Jan. 8, 2021, KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – Oregon Institute of Technology (Oregon Tech) is proud to announce a new partnership with the Air Force through the Air University Associate-to-Baccalaureate Cooperative (AU-ABC) program. The AU-ABC program partners with military-friendly civilian universities to offer degree-completion programs to enlisted personnel who have earned Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees from the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF). AU-ABC is available to currently serving members in the regular Air Force, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard. Air Force personnel may also initiate or complete their AU-ABC program after separation or retirement.
Oregon Tech was selected after an extensive AU-ABC application and vetting process. The first degree program Oregon Tech entered into the AU-ABC partnership is the Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Technology and Management, which is a program offered completely online through Oregon Tech’s Business Management Department.
Oregon Tech selected this program for multiple reasons. First, the BAS in Technology and Management was ranked 18 of 30 Best Online Engineering Degrees 2020 (which included other STEM—Science, Technology, Engineering and Management—degrees). Second, this program has received specialized accreditation through the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE), a top-recognized accrediting body. Finally, this program maximizes transfer credit opportunities for Air Force members with Air University general education requirements aligning well with the general education requirements for the BAS degree program. Additionally, the leadership and ethics training offered as part of Air Force Professional Military Education aligns well with the degree requirements so this BAS degree can be offered to CCAF graduates from every Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC).
When the CCAF general education credits are combined with transfer credits earned through technical, leadership and ethics training while serving, Air Force personnel enter the Technology and Management degree program with a minimum of 90 quarter hours complete toward their 180 quarter hour BAS degree. Many Airmen have earned even more transfer credits based on courses taken at other community colleges and universities. This means Air Force personnel start their degree program with Oregon Tech already in their junior year.
Dr. Maureen Sevigny is the program director for the Technology and Management BAS degree. She is the spouse of a retired Air Force MSgt and has a special understanding of and connection to the Air Force students. Dr. Sevigny shares, “Students who complete their CCAF have already proven their ability to succeed in higher education. Their motivation and focus, despite their demanding lives, makes it easy and gratifying to work with them as they pursue their bachelor’s degree. The AU-ABC partnership is a wonderful opportunity for us to serve those who serve our nation. It’s a classic win-win.”
Erin Waller enrolled in Oregon Tech’s Technology and Management degree in 2020 and transferred into the AU-ABC partnership once it was approved. She currently serves as a member of the Oregon Air National Guard and is completing the degree online from the United Kingdom where her husband serves on Active Duty. Waller said, “It has been easy discussing my goals for the degree with my adviser, Maureen. She has helped me visualize how I will complete the degree, on a timeline that works for my lifestyle, without feeling like I’m starting at the bottom. This AU-ABC Partnership has given me a clear vector to accomplish my goals. It has taken my experience and education I’ve achieved through the military and translated it into a degree I can use in the civilian world without monopolizing my time or my bottom line.”
Retired Air Force Colonel Jeff Smith works with Oregon Tech in military outreach, looking for new partnerships that can benefit military-affiliated students. “I am very pleased to see the AU-ABC partnership come together,” said Smith. “While I was serving, I heard Air Force enlisted members voice frustration about the required CCAF AAS degree because they did not think the credits would transfer toward completion of baccalaureate degrees. This partnership honors their service, maximizes transfer credits, and helps these members reach an important academic milestone.”
Oregon’s Polytechnic University, Oregon Tech is home to more than 270 military-affiliated students. Oregon Tech is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) and is known for its high-quality STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), healthcare and business degrees. The high return-on-investment at Oregon Tech earns the university national accolades such as No. 70 nationwide as one of the Best Value Colleges by Payscale College Salary Report, which recognizes the high salaries Oregon Tech graduates earn—reported as an average starting salary of $60,000 within six months of graduation. To learn more about the AU-ABC partnership, visit www.oit.edu/educational-partnerships/au-abc or contact Dr. Maureen Sevigny at email@example.com.