Northwest Ohio colleges, 180th Fighter Wing support higher degree attainment

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Representatives from Bowling Green State University, the University of Toledo, Owens Community College, Lourdes University, Tiffin University and the 180th Fighter Wing signed the Higher Degree Attainment Initiative March 22 at the Toledo Express Airport.

The Public-Public; Public-Private (P4) Community Partnership Initiative supporting higher degree attainment is a commitment to collaborate and cooperate in ways that benefit the 180th Fighter Wing of the Ohio Air National Guard, current students in institutions of higher education and the citizens of northwest Ohio to achieve higher degree attainment. The agreement supports the goals of the state of Ohio to increase the educational attainment of Ohioans by 2025.

“We are pleased to join forces to help our student veterans succeed,” said President Mary Ellen Mazey. “Supporting this initiative is in alignment with our strategies and goals for BGSU student veterans and the surrounding community.”

The primary function of this partnership is the sharing of information addressing the educational needs and interests of airmen and the offerings of the partner institutions of higher education. Other activities will include education fairs, class offerings, supporting the use of CLEP and DANTES examinations and information, and supporting military members and the partnership in order to increase degree progress and attainment.

“The 180th Fighter Wing considers education to be a critical part of the professional development of our airmen. We recognize that the skill sets and knowledge our airmen gain from higher education directly translate to a more efficient, more capable mission-ready force,” said Col. Kevin Doyle, commander of the 180th Fighter Wing, Ohio Air National Guard. “Our airmen never stop learning, and never stop reaching for excellence. Higher education is an integral part of that journey, and we are humbled and grateful to have such incredible support from local colleges and universities, highlighted by this partnership agreement.”

John Fischer, BGSU vice provost for academic affairs; Doyle; Sharon Gaber, president of the University of Toledo; Mike Bower, president or Owens Community College; Mary Ann Gawelek, president of Lourdes University; and Lillian Schumacher, president of Tiffin University, signed the initiative.