From Naval Education and Training Command Public Affairs PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- To ensure the best Sailors continue to have access to tuition assistance funding, the Navy has implemented management controls for the Tuition Assistance (TA) program and Navy College Program for Afloat College Education (NCPACE).
NAVADMIN 161/07, released June 25, stated the new controls will focus on three areas: Sailor readiness, career development and program/fiscal efficiencies.
“Education is, and will continue to be a key factor in the professional and personal development of our Sailors,” said Commander Naval Education and Training Command Rear Adm. Gary Jones. “We must reward those deserving Sailors by enacting policies that take into account performance and career development.”
According to Ann Hunter, Education and Training branch head for Naval Education and Training Command (NETC), timing is important to an individual’s successful education plan.
“Historically, Sailors’ chances for success have improved when education is introduced at appropriate times within a career,” Hunter explained. “Experience tells us that Sailors’ first assignments following initial training are extremely challenging. We’ve found that Sailors have a better chance of success in college courses if they have completed their warfare and professional qualifications before enrolling in college courses. Commanding officers are asked to look closely at all TA applications for the proper career timing.”
The following management controls are effective immediately and focus on meeting professional development requirements as a prerequisite to TA/NCPACE approval:
A. Advancement-eligible Sailors must have taken and passed the most recent advancement exam. Sailors who are serving out of their rating, and have not passed their advancement exam are eligible for TA and NCPACE with approval from their commanding officer or officer in charge.
B. Sailors must pass the most recent physical readiness test, or be medically waived from the test.
C. Sailors must not be under instruction in initial skills or in a duty under instruction (DUINS) training status.
D. Sailors who have been awarded any non-judicial or courts-martial punishment in the previous six months shall not be authorized TA or NCPACE courses.
E. Sailors must be recommended for promotion or advancement.
Enlisted personnel with less than 20 years in service are now required to have at least one year remaining on their current enlistment prior to using TA or enrolling in NCPACE courses. The current statutory service obligations for officers using TA or taking NCPACE courses remains in effect.
“The cap for TA authorizations remains at 16 semester hours per fiscal year, but an approved academic/education plan is required after the fifth course,” Hunter said. “Only courses required by the academic/education plan are authorized for TA and NCPACE, and TA will no longer be authorized for additional degrees at the same or lower education level. Lower division or prerequisite courses may be authorized if the courses are part of the degree program and are listed on the Sailor’s approved education plan.”
Sailors already pursuing a degree at the same or lower level may continue taking courses provided their approved education plan is dated December 2005 or earlier.
In addition, TA will no longer be authorized for continuing education units (CEUs). Sailors may use their Montgomery GI Bill or other resources to fund CEUs.
Sailors who are currently enrolled in TA and/or NCPACE courses but do not meet the conditions listed above will be allowed to complete their current courses but will not be authorized funding for additional courses until the conditions have been met.
Under the Navy College Program, several programs are offered to help Sailors earn a college degree. A visit to the local Navy College Office is a logical first step to learn about the wide variety of college level examinations available, such as the College Level Examination Program and the DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST) program offered through the DANTES Examination Program.
“Navy leadership is committed to providing opportunities and financial assistance to Sailors as they pursue their educational goals,” Hunter said. “We are currently working detailed execution guidelines including criteria for waivers, but the majority of the information on TA and NCPACE management controls can be found in NAVADMIN 161-07.”
Navy College Office staff serve as the primary points of contact for off-duty education and are responsible for ensuring the implementation of the programs. Additional information on the Navy College Program can be found at https://www.navycollege.navy.mil.