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Tests to compare CCAF, civilian degrees

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- Education offices at 60 Air Force and Air National Guard bases around the world will test Community College of the Air Force graduates to determine how they compare to counterparts in civilian institutions.

The testing begins Oct. 14 and runs through Nov. 15.

First-time CCAF degree recipients who have not attained another post secondary degree will be contacted by their base education offices and asked to participate in the Education and Testing Service's Proficiency Profile.

The two-hour, multiple choice examination measures proficiency in natural science, social sciences, math, English and humanities -- subjects which comprise general education requirements for a CCAF degree.

As a college under Air University, CCAF programs are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. By participating in the testing, Air University fulfills a biennial SACS requirement of identifying college-level general education competencies and the extent to which graduates have attained them.

"Those students who are selected will receive an e-mail or phone call from their base education office asking them to schedule a test date," said Master Sgt. Lisa Arnold, the Institutional Effectiveness Coordinator for CCAF. "The Proficiency Profile demonstrates the integrity of our program. We have to have a way to measure general education, those last fifteen hours people normally need to accomplish a CCAF degree."

During the 2008 reaffirmation, SACS representatives were very impressed that CCAF graduates scored at or above the national average, according to Sergeant Arnold.

"If we were a civilian institution, we would be very competitive with other programs around the nation," she said. "I think it's the caliber of our Airmen and the Air Force enlisted education."

Commandant of the Community College of the Air Force Lt. Col. Timothy Albrecht said the ETS Proficiency Profile is a critical part of CCAF's biennial plan to demonstrate the quality of the Air University's academic programs to SACS.

"We need the help of education and training sections at bases across the Air Force to ensure the necessary number of CCAF graduates take the profile," he said. "With their support, and that of our graduates and their supervisors, we can ensure CCAF programs will continue to support the educational goals of more than 325,000 total force Airmen into the future."