Master Sergeant Dan Halverstadt of the U.S. Air Force
Master Sergeant Dan Halverstadt of the U.S. Air Force

UEX online course helps Air Force’s Dan Halverstadt earn bachelor’s degree


Dan Halverstadt joined the Air Force right out of high school because he was looking for job training and wanted to see the world.

As his initial term of service was coming to a close, he considered retiring from the military. However, a chance encounter led him to make another plan.

“At one point in my military career I decided to get out. Then I met a retired Sergeant Major from the Army who was delivering furniture,” said Dan. “He told me that he used to run the Army’s IT division, and he got out thinking that he would make big money, but couldn’t find a job because he didn’t have a degree. I re-enlisted that week and started working on school right away.”

At the time, military educational benefits weren’t even on Dan’s radar. But after investigating what was available to him, he soon decided to put them to good use at University Extension (UEX).

“I learned about UEX from another university, Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC), while trying to finish my bachelor’s degree,” recalled Dan. “I was down to my final course — physics — and UEX was one of only two programs that SIUC would accept course credit from, due to UEX’s strict academic standards.”

As a married father of two with a busy life and unpredictable work schedule, UEX’s self-paced online course format provided Dan with the flexibility he needed to finish assignments on his own time.

“The class format is very simple to follow. You log onto the website, enter the class and simply follow the menus to find your assignments,” said Dan. “I really liked that there were several video examples that enhanced what the text taught, making many of the main points much simpler and easier to understand.”

Dan continued, “Because of UEX I was able to take an online physics class, which is very hard to find, and complete my bachelor’s degree. With my high deployment rate I would never have completed my degree otherwise.”

Today, Dan is the Superintendent of the US Air Force’s Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, near Bakersfield, California. After Dan took UEX’s PHY 302K — General Physics: Technical Course — Mechanics, Heat and Sound online, he completed his bachelor’s degree in industrial technology in 2011. Dan plans to begin an MBA before retiring from the military.


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