Saturday, January 19, 2013

Classes at RSC Luke Help Airmen Earn Degrees

Luke Air Force Base, located in the west valley, is one of the largest Air Force training bases in the world. Servicemen and women stationed there can purse their college goals by taking classes on site through Rio Salado College.

Airman First Class Grantley Fisher is an air traffic controller Luke AFB and is continuing his education with his eyes on the future.

“Working my way towards a degree is part of the reason I joined the military,” Fisher said.

Although the college is known for online classes which allow service members to continue their education even when deployed, airmen see added benefits to the on-base classes as well.

“If you need help, it’s right there,” Fisher explained.

Debbie Hill is a math instructor for Rio Salado College and has been teaching on the base for 18 years.
Hill teaches algebra classes and says that military personnel are focused and she enjoys teaching individuals with a desire to learn.

“The people here work really hard, they care about what they’re learning, they have goals that they are trying to meet,” she said.

For some students, the benefits of an in-person class help them achieve their goals and overcome struggles they have had in the past with education. 

Master Sergeant Daniel Sharayko works in the base’s IT department and is one class away from achieving one of his goals.

“I need one class to finish on a CCAF degree, an associate(degree) in electric systems technology,” he explained.

Sharayko had been delaying enrolling in the class because of anxiety over past experiences that led him to develop a fear of math.

Through a smaller, in-person class at the Rio Salado College location on base, he found what he needed to conquer his fears.

“It did a lot for my self-esteem. This is going to be the last class I need and then I can apply for graduation, I’ll be done,” Sharayko said.

Debbie Hill is an example of the caliber instructor Rio Salado College provides to students who are looking to further their educations.

 “If I have any problems, I can get an answer right away,” Sharayko said.

“She explains everything really thoroughly and makes it easy,” Fisher added.

While Hill is appreciated by her students, she too appreciates the hard work her students put in to mastering mathematics.

“That’s just the military in them, but that’s a real bonus to being out here at the base is they work and they have goals,” she explained.

With affordable and accessible education being offered to soldiers and members of the armed forces world-wide, Rio Salado strives to provide the quality education each student deserves.

“It’s a very good atmosphere to be in,” Hill said.