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Good experiences with online masters programs?

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On a semi-unrelated note...

I'm about halfway done with completing my masters.  It's a distance learning program, however there are some on-campus requirements that I'm trying to figure out how to fulfill.  The first is a 3-week January intersession term and the second is a 7-week summer seminar.

My question is - has anyone been able to get PTDY or a leave of absence for something like this without having to take ordinary leave?  I skimmed AFI 36-3003 and AFI-36-2649.  In the first reg and in table 4.5, nothing seemed to match my situation and with the second - is the AFELA program even still a thing? Some places say it's been suspended others have not.  I have also read through the Masters Information  and Permissive TDY  threads without finding much. Is there really nothing or am I not looking in the right places?

If worst comes to worst I'm willing to use my leave.  This school and its program is important enough to me, I just didn't want to use up 60+ days if I didn't have to.

I realize the masters and taking this much time off for it is secondary to doing my primary job in the jet, but I just wanted to see if you guys knew anything or had any guidance as to how to get this done, before I tried to talk to leadership or the people at the education office.

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On 2/29/2016 at 5:56 PM, Guardian said:

So if it's all online with the exception of one week a semester how do they expect to remove your heart and install a cash register in that small amount of time?

They do that when you pass the bar exam.

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10 hours ago, eindecker said:

...

I realize the masters and taking this much time off for it is secondary to doing my primary job in the jet, but I just wanted to see if you guys knew anything or had any guidance as to how to get this done, before I tried to talk to leadership or the people at the education office.

I had luck with Rule 7 in table 4.5 (36-3003) during my AD time.  It required some "selling" as to the institutional value of the PTDY (as in what the AF gets out of it), but it worked for me.  This was for a professional conference over 10 days, so I would imagine a graduate degree would be more beneficial to an officer's professional development than exchanging business cards and collecting drink coupons.

I completed a hybrid master's degree program as well, and I ended up working a drug deal with the school that allowed me to complete additional elective courses in lieu of attending the in-residence sessions -- I also completed the "work" that would've been done while at the school.  I would imagine that your school may be willing to discuss an abbreviated term, especially for an AD guy.

If you haven't extinguished all options working with/through the school, I would do that first and then engage your CC about PTDY.  Good luck! 

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Fwiw I was able to use the "five days to defend a thesis" for one of my on campus residence weeks. It was towards the end of the program so my boss considered it fair game. Then again, I had a great boss. 

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AFIT has an online systems engineering masters program. Classes run concurrent with the in residence schedule (10 weeks plus finals week, 4 quarters a year), and you do need to take the GRE to apply.

No cost for active duty (on a space available basis), so no ADSC incurred for TA as it is no longer required.

Classes were a mix of all online students and a mix of in resident and online students (where we watched recorded lectures). I'd say the work was primarily at the masters level, so there were times it was challenging juggling work and school.

I'm in the last year (of 3 years), overall the program has been challenging, but with interesting course work that has some DOD leanings.

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On 3/9/2016 at 8:40 AM, Vetter said:

University of Arkansas Master of Science in Operations Management.  All online, high school level work.  Pretty cheap.

I graduated in a year with a 4.0 and literally spent half an hour a week on each class.  2-3 classes per semester.

Vetter,

Just PM'd you. This option looks interesting. Most of my buds are doing the ACSC OLMP. I've started the OLMP, and I a program that doesn't suck too much of my life away from flying and my family. 

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2 for the ACSC OLMP. I am in the middle of it now and I had more difficult work in elementary school. I spend about 90 minutes a week on it, the only exception being the "final exam" papers, which take about 3-4 hours total to knock out. If you're looking for an easy, free degree that wont use TA/GI Bill its a solid choice. I think somehow it counts for some kind of ACSC credit, if that kind of thing matters to you

Edited by hispeed7721

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