You may be familiar with the US Air Force Academy that is located in Colorado. However, you may not be aware that there is a Community College of the Air Force which is located in Montgomery, Alabama. The main campus is located at 100 S. Turner Blvd, but there are other campuses that are part of the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) that are found around the country.
The community college is dedicated to serving members of the United States Air and Space Forces which currently consists of 270,000 active, reserve, and guard personnel. In total, the campuses and institutions are designed to provide advance degrees for military personnel that otherwise would find it difficult, if not impossible to attend civilian higher learning institutions.
Partnered with 112 schools that are affiliated with the Air and Space force. Plus, 300 Educational Service Offices, the Community College of the Air Force is the world’s largest community college system. Over 22,000 associate in applied science degrees from 71 different programs are awarded each year.
The Community College of the Air Force began as an idea to help non-commissioned officers (NCOs) gain additional training that required advanced education. This included getting recognition and accreditation for training programs utilized by the Air Force. The United States Air Force Academy, Air University, and Air Training Command held conferences that set the stage for the community college
On April 1st, 1972, the Community College of the Air Force was established. At first, only certificate programs were offered by the college. However, as it became obvious that the standards of the community college well exceeded the minimum requirements of civilian community colleges in terms of their associate degree programs, by 1976 the college became authorized to award associate degrees.
this point, accreditation was sought from the SCAC Commission on Colleges. By 1980, this was granted, and official accreditation was achieved. In 2004, associate and master’s degrees were being offered. Up until 2010, only airmen were qualified to enter the college. Today, service personnel from all branches are now qualified to enter the Community College of the Air Force.
The combination of technical education offered by Air Force schools, management education, and general education from accredited civilian colleges has created a series of degrees that can be offered by the Community College of the Air Force which includes the following.
- Aircraft & Missile Maintenance
- Allied Health
- Electronics & Communication
- Logistics & Resources
- Public & Support Services
In addition, the Air University allows for up to 60 credits from a CCAF Associates Degree to count towards a bachelor program from their institution. This means that a person receiving 60 credits from the CCAF only needs 60 more to complete their bachelor’s degree from the Air University. This allows an Airman to complete a four-year degree by attending both institutions.
The Community College of the Air Force continues to grow and expand to cater to the need of Air and Space Force personnel and other branches of the military.