Columbia College comes to Grissom

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Rachel Barton
  • 434th Air Refueling Wing

Grissom has long looked like a college campus and with the arrival of Columbia College to the installation, it now is.

The official opening was on Oct. 15, with a ribbon cutting to signify the activation of the school’s satellite office serving the Hoosier Wing.

Columbia College is a military friendly school with several locations across the country. About 23 of those locations exist on military installations.

“The ultimate goal for us is to support more service members in providing an education,” said Dixie Williams, Columbia College’s vice president for enrollment management and marketing, so they can further their career within the military or when they exit the military.”

They also aim to serve military families and installation employees.

Earlier this year, Master Sgt. Kerry Tromba, 434th Air Refueling Wing career assistance advisor, and Senior Master Sgt. Adam Oswalt, 434th ARW training manager, had been brainstorming to solve the problem of helping Airmen access higher education.

Tromba sent an inquiry to Columbia College which they enthusiastically responded to.

“They forwarded me Master Sgt. Tromba’s email,” said Rob Boone, Associate Vice President of Columbia College Global Military. “I just called her and said, ‘What do you need?’ and we started talking. I explained we have physical presence on military installations, would you be interested?”

“I said yes, definitely!” Tromba said. “What do we need to do to make this happen?”

The process moved quickly. Between January and October, they were able to get things in place for the satellite office to open.

“This is the first Air Force Reserve base with a school presence on it, which is really cool for us,” said Tromba. “It’s just been a great partnership. They have been so easy to work with every step of the way they have been amazing.”

Air Force Reservists have educational benefits such as the G.I. Bill and tuition assistance that can be used at a wide variety of institutions for higher learning. Columbia College is one option members can use to pursue a college education.

Grissom Airmen can contact Jennifer Grant, Columbia College Program Coordinator for Grissom in the Education and Training office at 765-217-2408 or visit for information on classes or CLEP and DANTES test options through Columbia College.  

The 434th ARW is the largest <a href="">KC-135R Stratotanker</a> unit in the <a href="">Air Force Reserve Command</a>. The Citizen Airmen from the Hoosier Wing routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission.

Stay connected with the 434th ARW on <a href="">Facebook</a> and <a href="">Twitter</a>.