A Productive Partnership

UNM partners with the Air Force in new distance learning program

This fall, four college courses are being taught at Kirtland Air Force Base through an agreement between the University of New Mexico and the U.S. Air Force. The courses are part of a new distance education program, teleconferenced from the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) headquarters at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.

The agreement between UNM and AFIT, which was signed in March, allows Air Force officers and civilians to earn advanced degrees in science, technology and management by combining credits from UNM and AFIT. The plan provides a framework for the two institutions to jointly offer part-time graduate programs primarily to Air Force officers and civilians, to share distance education offerings and to encourage research applications. UNM will further benefit by allowing students access to advanced courses and research opportunities, previously available only to Air Force personnel.

"This collaborative program will allow students in the School of Engineering to access high-quality systems engineering courses from AFIT," says Charles Fleddermann, professor of Electrical Engineering and associate dean. "It will also allow military and civilian employees at Kirtland Air Force base to easily transfer UNM courses to AFIT, or AFIT courses to UNM."

UNM has provided graduate-level education to Air Force officers and personnel for many years. For more than 50 years, AFIT has been the Air Force's primary source of graduate education in engineering, science and management. Air Force military personnel typically have three-year assignments, making it difficult to complete a part-time graduate program, which usually requires four or more years. UNM's agreement with AFIT will make their path to a graduate degree easier to negotiate.