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Seeking higher education

The Education Center on Minot Air Force Base, N.D., helps inform base personnel about the different opportunities they have to seek a higher education. (Courtesy photo)

The Education Center on Minot Air Force Base, N.D., helps inform base personnel about the different opportunities they have to seek a higher education. (Courtesy photo)


Education is often a door left unopened by many who have been provided the chance.

Some with this opportunity may make a decision on their education based on their location or a recent fad, but that may not be the best for them.

The Education Center on Minot Air Force Base, N.D., is here to help inform base personnel about the different opportunities they have to seek a higher education and assist them in choosing the best opportunity.

“Our primary purpose, provided to both our active duty and dependents, is to make sure they get the most bank for their buck,” said Ron Filkins, 5th Force Support Squadron base training and education section chief. “If they’re thinking about taking classes or they want to get into a specific degree program, we try to give them the guidance to make sure they’re picking what’s right for them. There are a lot of options out there for people and our main thing is to let them know what they are.”

At the Education Center, there are four colleges on location: Central Michigan University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Minot State University and Park University.

CMU primarily offers base classes for graduate degrees, PU and ERAU primarily offer base classes for undergraduate degrees, and MSU primarily offers base and on-campus classes for bachelor’s degrees, said Filkins. CMU also offers undergraduate courses online and PU and ERAU offer graduate courses online.

There are also other courses not taught by the colleges at the Education Center, such as an Accessing Higher Education Course, Winter Driving Safety Class, Tuition Assistance Briefings, Resiliency Training among others.

For some classes, if less than five people sign up, an education specialist can go through the class in a one-on-one session.

When there are enough people from one location on base interested in a class taught by one of these schools or by the Education Center, the class can be taught on location to save time, Filkins said. Everybody would still get credit for the course.

Every year, the Education Center hosts an Education Fair. This year’s is scheduled to occur July 19.

“We go in and look at the top 20 schools people at Minot (AFB) are taking classes through,” said Filkins. “We extend an invitation to them. Reps come in from the schools and set up an information station.”

Schools will also call to ask if a rep can come to the base to talk with current students of their school, said Filkins. Emails would go out to the students and Filkins would coordinate a time and location for these meetings.

The Education Center also holds testing for all Air Force tests. Every test is scheduled Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday at either 8 a.m. or 1 p.m.

Although there are selected test days and times, there are a few exceptions, Filkins said. Most tests in the Air Force have due dates or need to be set for a specific day and time. Due to this, they have computer labs open Monday to Friday during business hours.

For more information on the Education Center, check out the related link above titled ‘Education Center’ or call the front desk at 723-2772.

Next time: how to pay for college.

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