A Methodology for Determining Air Force Education Requirements Board (AFERB) Advanced Academic Degree (AAD) Requirements
RAND PROJECT AIR FORCE SANTA MONICA CA
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The United States Air Forces current process for producing advanced academic degrees AADs requires career field managers CFMs to predict specific AAD-coded billet vacancies three to five years before they occur and then submit these requirements to the Air Force Education Requirements Board AFERB to fill those projected vacancies. Based on the reported vacancies and other criteria such as the Chief of Staffs priorities, the AFERB provides quota allocations any CFM requirements that do not receive a quota allocation become unfunded quota requirements. After an officer earns an AAD, the Air Force Personnel Center assigns the officer to an AAD-coded billet vacancy. The ideal result should be a 100 percent match rate between the Air Force funded AADs earned by officers and the education requirements of the corresponding AAD billet vacancies, irrespective of the number of funded quota allocations allotted at the AFERB. However, our analysis of 8,447 AAD assignments for officers who earned AADs from FY2000 through FY2010 shows that only 58 percent of officer assignments to masters degree billets and 33 percent of officer assignments to doctorate degree billets were made such that the officers degree level and academic specialty matched the billet requirement. One reason for the low percentage of proper assignments is that the AAD assignment process does not deliberately match officers who have previously earned an AAD to unfunded quota requirements. Furthermore, our analysis points to a lower-than-desired utilization rate of officers who have earned Air Force funded AADs. Our analysis also shows that the career points at which personnel earn AADs are misaligned with the AAD billet grade structure. An analysis of FY2010 data shows that the number of personnel with Air Force funded master s degrees falls short of requirements in early years of service, but exceed requirements by the sixth year of service.
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