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Aerospace certification course approved for college credit

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Aerospace and aviation technicians at Patrick AFB and Cape Canaveral AFS have a new avenue to pursue a college diploma.

The American Council on Education (ACE) has approved the Aerospace Technical Education Center (SpaceTEC) core certification for 24 credits toward a degree at the nation's colleges and universities.

The Veteran's Administration has also approved the certificate for funding by the Montgomery GI Bill and Defense Activity for Non-traditional Educational Support (DANTES).

"We're very excited about it," said Dr. Al Koller, SpaceTEC's executive director, of the approval.

"This certification paves the way for professional career development for aerospace technicians - both military and civilian," said Dr. Koller.

SpaceTEC is funded by the National Science Foundation with the goal of formalizing national aerospace education and securing industry-wide endorsement for the education.

The center works with a consortium of local schools like Brevard Community College.

"As the only certified training program for aerospace technicians in the country, we are fortunate that SpaceTEC is headquartered in our back yard," said Patrick Blucker, the 45th Space Wing's chief of plans and programming.

"With the pending new NASA, commercial and operational launch programs coming here in the next few years, there will be an increased demand for technicians who can work on rockets, spacecraft and spaceport facilities," said Mr. Blucker.

The GI Bill and DANTES support provides funding for active duty, guard and reserve technicians serving in aerospace and aviation specialties, offering the ability to pursue the Certified Aerospace Technician credential as a step toward entering the aero-space profession in ways formally recognized by American business and industry.

For more information about SpaceTEC, visit www.spacetec.org.

For more information on agency programs, visit ACE at www.acenet.edu; VA at edu.military.com/gibill, and DANTES at www.dantes.doded.mil.

Information from a SpaceTEC press release was used in this story.