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Education Foundation: Learning Never Ceases

September 15, 2011
By Maryann Lawlor, SIGNAL Connections
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Education is an AFCEA International core value. For students, teachers and professionals, AFCEA provides opportunities for furthering their education in technical training, leadership development, and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Not only do AFCEA members have access to courses in these disciplines they also are eligible for continuing education discounts and scholarships.

The AFCEA Professional Development Center (PDC) offers more than 40 courses in technical, management and leadership areas. Many of the courses are held in industry and government locations. The association also now offers online courses; the Cyber Operations course begins this fall.

Instructors are subject matter experts from government, industry and academia, and they tailor the material to the interests of the AFCEA membership so that those attending can better support government missions. Association members receive discounts on most PDC courses. In addition, most courses have an early bird discount for students who register at least one month in advance of the course start date. For more detailed descriptions of all the PDC courses and updates as well as to register, go to http://pdc.afcea.org.

For its members’ benefit, the PDC also has a relationship with the University of Maryland A. James Clark School of Engineering, which provides discounts on graduate and certificate programs. In addition, the PDC has arrangements with the University of Maryland University College for reduced tuition on information assurance and cybersecurity online courses; the Software Engineering Institute Carnegie Mellon for discounts on courses; and The Intelligence & Security Academy for course discounts for AFCEA members.

The Educational Foundation offers $2 million annually in scholarships, grants and awards to college students, teachers, ROTC cadets/midshipmen and military personnel. Because the tuition for PDC courses covers the foundation’s overhead expenses, 100 percent of donations the Educational Foundation receives are awarded to students and teachers.

In addition to the foundation’s awards, many AFCEA chapters have scholarship programs for students in their region. Chapter members regularly participate in choosing the recipients as well as fundraising activities to boost the chapters’ scholarship numbers and amounts.