New Civilian College of the Air Force program to help some federal employees earn degrees
By Donovan Potter, 75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
/ Published February 16, 2021
HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- Some federal civilian employees at Hill Air Force Base are now able to put skills learned through mandatory job training into credits that count toward an associate of applied science degree, and it’s all free.
Equivalent to the Community College of the Air Force for Airmen, the Civilian College of the Air Force, or CivCAF, is a new education program at the base to assists Air Force civilian workers in earning a college degree.
Rebecca Delgado, Hill’s senior academic analyst and education services officer, said her team questioned why civilian workers didn’t get applied college credit for doing required military training like Airmen get.
That’s when the concept of CivCAF began.
As part of the Air Force Sustainment Center’s strategic goals to innovate, design and deliver training, a civilian university model was proposed to help develop and advance the civilian workforce.
“We are so excited about this program because we see a value for blue-collar workers,” Delgado said. “If we can make this work for civilians like CCAF does for the military, we are improving careers and personal development for blue-collar employees.”
As the program is just getting established, criminal justice is the first associate degree available to civilians through the CivCAF program.
Currently in the accreditation process and expected to be available soon are degrees associated with non-destructive inspection, information technology and quality assurance.
The CivCAF team is working to offer the same associates of applied science degrees as CCAF, at no cost to civilians. Then, an employee can go directly with a college of choice and earn the remainder of their needed credits by using civilian tuition assistance.
The program not only benefits the career of Air Force civilians in technical specialties, but enhances mission readiness, contributes to recruiting and assists in retention.
“We anticipate this being a win-win,” Delgado said. “CivCAF provides a self-improvement opportunity for civilians and it begins an Air Force transformation from a vocational to a professional culture. Developmental opportunities may not only build self-confidence, but also fortify a more engaged civilian force.”
Delgado and the CivCAF team are working to establish the accreditation program here in the Hill AFB area, and after they do, CivCAF could be used by civilian workers throughout the Air Force.