Sailors in the Navy are increasingly interested in pursuing an education both while on active duty and after their Navy Career. To help the Sailors that are trying hard to get an education, as well as the many sailors seeing different qualifications and certifications, the Navy has responded. The Navy is currently working to raise the previous limits that restricted the amount of Tuition Assistance or TA that the Navy would pay.
Navy Tuition assistance is available to all enlisted and officer personnel currently on active duty. Sailors are eligible for one hundred percent of tuition costs up to two hundred fifty dollars a semester hour. There is also a new limit of sixteen semester hours allowed per year. The previous limit was twelve semester hours.
“We are seeking to motivate our Servicemembers and sailors to be educated and give them the skills and training to do their jobs,” said Vice Admiral Kevin Moran. Admiral Moran is the commander for the Naval Education and Training Command, or NETC. “We wish to develop critical thinking skills that higher education helps provide, they are very essential to the success of our mission in the twenty first century,” said Admiral Moran.
There are two other programs that offer sailors a chance to get a college degree. The Defense activity for Non-traditional education, or DANTES program, and the Navy College Program Afloat, or NCPACE both offer additional help. Through these other programs, and others offered by the Navy sailors can work to achieve college credit. Some of these programs offer tests for prior knowledge and experience. One of these programs is the College Level Examination Program or CLEP.
Beginning in 2005 the Navy began a series of educational initiatives that are supposed to assist and support sailors in their educational goals. This has been including senior enlisted programs, and has been well received by Navy personnel overall. Beginning in 2011 a Chief Petty Officer who wishes to advance to Senior Chief will be required to have at least an associate’s degree.
This new educational standard is a slow means of raising the level of education required in the enlisted ranks. It is a gradual effort, and will be watched closely to make sure that it is challenging but also something that the majority of the Chiefs in the Navy will be able to achieve. It is partly for this reason that it is being set several years down the road in 2011.