By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff Writer
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- The Fort Rucker Education Center, located in Bldg. 4502 on Andrews Avenue, can provide Soldiers the opportunity to get the education they need to boost their careers by providing classes and programs that can help guide them as well as provide some educational services for Family members.
The education center provides Soldiers with Functional Academic Skills Training classes that help Soldiers increase and improve on their academics for their General Technical scores, said Jeff Pouncy, education services officer for the education center.
"The GT score is a basic test that measures Soldiers' placement for their Military Occupation Specialty," said Pouncy. "The FAST classes help the Soldiers build up their general academic competencies to score better on the GT tests."
Soldiers with a GT score of less than 110 are eligible for the FAST class program.
The education center also offers the Army Tuition Assistance Program for Soldiers that wish to earn a degree ranging from a two-year degree up to a master's degree.
The program is available to almost all servicemembers, including Soldiers in the Army Reserve and Army National Guard on active-duty, according to Pouncy.
"The Army will cover 100 percent of tuition, up to $4,500 per fiscal year for the Soldier with the TA program," he said.
The TA covers tuition, lab fees, enrollment fees, special fees and computer fees, said Pouncy.
He also said that the education center has been tasked with a lot of Government Issued bill briefings.
"It's a Veteran Affairs program but the education center can provide Soldiers with a lot of information on it," said the education services officer.
"Currently we have two GI bills going on," said Pouncy. "We have the Montgomery GI Bill and the post-9/11 GI Bill."
The MGIB provides up to 36 months of education benefits eligible for veterans for college, technical or vocational courses, correspondence courses, flight training and licensing and certification tests just to name a few, he said.
"Under the MGIB, active-duty members must enroll and pay $100 per month for 12 months to be entitled to receive a monthly educational benefit once the Soldier has completed a minimum service obligation," said Pouncy. "A reservist must be actively drilling and have a six-year obligation in the selected reserve to be eligible."
The post-9/11 GI Bill was enacted Aug. 1, 2009, and has been referred to as "the greatest veteran benefit since the original post-World War II version of the GI bill."
This GI Bill offers extensive education benefits for veterans and servicemembers who served 90 days or more on active duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001.
According to Pouncy, eligible veterans and servicemembers receive as much as 100 percent funding for tuition and fees at qualified colleges, universities and accredited, non-college, degree-granting institutions.
The post-9/11 GI Bill will pay full tuition and fees, a monthly housing allowance and annual books and supplies stipend of $1,000 paid proportionately based on enrollment.
In addition to providing services for Soldiers, the education center also provides some services to Soldier spouses with spousal academic advisement and the Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts Program, said Pouncy.
"MyCAA is a career development and employment assistance program sponsored by the Department of Defense, which helps military spouses pursue licenses, certificates, certifications or associate degrees," he said.
According to Pouncy, MyCAA offers training and education financial assistance, employment readiness counseling, and employment assistance and career services.
Those eligible for this program are the spouses of servicemembers on active duty in pay grades from E-1 to E-5, W-1 to W-5 and O-1 to O-2, he added.
The military spouses can begin and complete their coursework while their military sponsor is on Title 10 military orders. This includes the spouses of members of the National Guard and Reserve components in the same pay grades, according to Pouncy.
MyCAA will pay tuition costs for education and training courses and examinations leading to an associate's degree, license, certificate or certification at an accredited college, university, or technical school in the United States or approved testing organization that expands employment or portable career opportunities for military spouses.
For more information on any of the programs the education center offers, call 255-2378.