Air University awards associate degrees to 73 CADP students Published Oct. 17, 2022 By Tech. Sgt. Jennifer Stai, Air University Public Affairs MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- CLDS 2022 logo 2022 logo for Civilian Leadership Development School. (courtesy graphic) Photo Details / Download Hi-Res Civilian Associate Degree Program. The program is part of the Civilian Leadership Development School, Ira C. Eaker Center for Professional Development. The graduates earned an associate of applied science degree in Department of the Air Force Leadership and Management Studies. The virtual commencement ceremony was held Sept. 22, 2022. Of the 256 applicants, only 90 were selected to participate. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, they ended their two-year program with an 75% graduation rate, making it 53% to 62% higher than the national average. The entire program is completed through distance learning. Along with the many staff and faculty members who make this program possible, the student population represents the Air Force, Air Force Reserve and the Space Force. Across the globe, students logged in from 10 major commands and 29 bases, representing 11 career fields, and two non-appropriated fund employees. Lt. Gen. Andrea Tullos, Air University commander and president, alluded to the Air Force chief of staff’s action order to train and educate all Airmen with the attributes required to win the high-end fight in her congratulatory remarks to the graduates. “When you listen to our senior leaders today talk about what we need in our Airmen and civilian employees today and what it’s going to take to win a competition with our peers, it’s going to take a relentless spirit, and it’s going to take some of the same things it took you to get here,” she said. “This is actual education, and no one can take that away from you. It’s a part of who you are.” Col. Terri Jones, Eaker Center commander, congratulated the students on their substantial commitments. “Your dedication, persistence and hard work have paid off. This is an amazing achievement, and you should be very proud. It wasn’t easy and required significant sacrifice at times, but you persevered and reached your goal,” she said. “And now you have that degree, a degree that will help propel you to your next goals. Our adversaries aren’t slowing down or fading away, so we have to continue investing in and developing our most important asset: people.” A few graduates have already started using what they’ve learned going through the program, and the benefits are paying off. “Since finishing the program, I have been promoted into a leadership role,” said graduate Steven Adams, from Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma. “I have attended many online classes, and this is the only time the teachers made sure you understood and learned the material.” Many graduates and speakers during the commencement ceremony touched on the hard work, dedication and sacrifice they had to endure during the two-year program. John Anderson, graduate from Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, said, “It has been strenuous accomplishing all the tasks set out before us with a fulltime job, a family and just life in general. I could not have achieved this without the help of my coworkers, my friends and my very supportive family. This degree is only the first stepping-stone in my path to higher education.” Several students were recognized with a leadership award for their academic work and class contributions. Receiving the award were: - Mindi Zehring, McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas - Kathleen Burr, Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, Alabama - Kim Williams, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida - Dustin Moore, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio - Katie Cartwright, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas A writing excellence award was given to: - Audreanna Brown, Edwards Air Force Base, California - Brenda Medoza, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada - Kim Williams, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida - John Suarez, Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska - Todd Tipton, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma “Graduates, you blew me away with the transformations that have occurred in your lives as a result of this program, they are just awe-inspiring for us,” said Barry Waite, Civilian Leadership Development School director. “It makes us want to do that much better next time as we continue this program.” For more information on the CADP, visit https://www.airuniversity.af.edu/Eaker-Center/CLDS/CADP/.