By Don HerrickDecember 20, 2018
FORT SILL, Okla., Dec. 20, 2018 -- The Army Air Defense Artillery School here signed a memorandum of agreement Sept. 3, with Upper Iowa University (UIU) to offer a bachelor of science degree in information technology (IT) to Army Command and Control Systems technicians, Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) 140A, and Air Defense Enhanced Early Warning System operators (MOS 14H).
"The program provides eligible Soldiers the ability to receive the maximum number of prior learning assessment credit hours toward a bachelor of science degree in information technology," said Jennifer Smith, leader development and education analyst for the ADA School commandant. "This partnership with UIU supports the Army's credentialing program and assists air defense artillery with readiness, retention, and recruiting."
The Army Continuing Education System (ACES) develops a recommended list of equivalent college courses and the number of semester hours to be awarded for Soldiers' military education. Not all colleges accept the ACES recommendation for their degree programs, which makes this articulation agreement beneficial for Soldiers. The articulation between the air defense school and UIU ensures that air defenders receive all of their ACE credits towards their IT degrees.
The IT degree plan would award a new 14H just graduating from advanced individual training 14 semester hours toward the bachelor's degree and a fresh graduate from the 140A Warrant Officer Basic Course with 40 semester hours. UIU's IT classes are offered online, allowing the highly deployed air defenders the ability to continue their civilian education during deployments.
Many air defenders start pursuing educational improvement by seeking an associate degree, but once complete are unsure of the path to follow for a bachelor's degree. UIU also has an articulation agreement with Central Texas College (CTC), which allows CTC students to continue their education towards a bachelor's degree. UIU accepts all credits earned with the associate degrees from CTC.
When asked about new 14H graduates receiving free college credit worth roughly $15,000, Sgt. 1st Class Jessica Llavet the 14H course manager said, "It benefits them not only in the military but on the civilian side as well. They have already started working on their future."
Llavet explained how this degree would help develop a better air defender who would have increased understanding of troubleshooting Patriot IT equipment. She also said she was interested in starting the degree program as well.
"This partnership is the product of an interdisciplinary effort of the Upper Iowa University academic and administrative teams," said Edward Huffstetler, UIU interim dean of science and math. "Helping all students to access and earn an affordable degree has always been one of UIU's primary goals, but we are especially proud of the wide variety of educational opportunities we have developed that are tailored to fit the dynamic lifestyles of today's military personnel and their families."
Upper Iowa University is a private, nonprofit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 5,800 students. For enrollment information, you can visit the Fort Sill Truman Education Center or go online to https://uiu.edu/locations/fortsill/index.html.