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Navy College Program can boost Sailors' advancement exam scores.

Sailors can now apply education points toward their Final Multiple Score (FMS) calculations for the fall advancement cycle. For E-4 to E-6, two points will be awarded for an associate's degree, and four points will be awarded for a bachelor's degree or higher. For those Sailors up for the E-7 to E-9 boards, points will not be awarded, but there will be clear guidance to selection board members to emphasize and positively note advanced degrees.

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"This is a significant milestone in the progression of junior Sailors becoming senior leaders. We are doing it the right way, starting with the junior enlisted community and providing a wealth of tools to get them started," said Center for Personal and Professional Development (CPPD) Master Chief Navy Counselor (SW/SS) Jeff Kennamore.

"Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) has developed degree roadmaps available on the Navy College Site, and it is important to encourage all Sailors to check it out. Now is the best time ever to be in the Navy.

Between Navy College Program for Afloat College Education (NCPACE), Navy Tuition Assistance (TA), College Level Examination Program (CLEP), and a host of other tools, there is absolutely no reason every Sailor can't start, or finish, their degree right now."

The Navy College Program (NCP) supports the Enlisted Learning and Development Strategy (ELDS). ELDS does not necessarily create new programs, but provides visibility to current Navy programs, such as NCP. ELDS is an umbrella under which are the learning and development programs enlisted Sailors need access to for a successful career. ELDS includes everything from basic training, through rate training basic and advanced schools, and includes Enlisted Navy Professional Military Education (ENPME), Enlisted Leadership, Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education (EJPME), professional certifications through Navy Credentialing Opportunities Online (Navy COOL) and advanced education.

The staff at CPPD and the Navy College Program are responsible for a variety of Sailor-education programs, including but not limited to the administration of the 52 Navy College offices located around the world, as well as the operations of the NCPACE, TA, Academic Skills Testing (AST) and the United States Military Apprenticeship Program (USMAP).

"NCPACE provides shipboard personnel the educational opportunities comparable to those available to personnel assigned to shore duty," said CPPD's Voluntary Education Director, Dr. Mary Redd-Clary.

"All NCPACE college courses are provided by accredited colleges and universities, and both undergraduate and graduate level courses are available. NCPACE institutions are accredited, and the course instruction is offered through distance learning and classroom teaching. However, it is important to keep in mind that while NCPACE courses are tuition-free, students must pay for textbooks and other educational material."

The Navy's TA program provides active duty personnel funding for tuition costs for courses taken in an off-duty status at a college, university or vocational or technical institution, whose regional or national accreditation is recognized by the Department of Education.

Navy TA pays the tuition and fees for academic course enrollment up front. TA also pays 100 percent of tuition costs for courses related to the completion of a high school diploma or equivalency certificate. For other education levels, there is a fiscal year credit limit of 16 semester hours, 24 quarter hours or 240 clock hours per individual.

"CLEP is another resource that can be a useful for Sailors pursuing a college degree. Sailors who have a solid foundation in certain subject areas and wish to "test out" of a particular course are able to through CLEP testing," explained Redd-Clary. "Through the Navy College Office (NCO), Sailors can make arrangements to complete CLEP course examinations on an array of subjects."

Another academic resource for Sailors is the Navy College Program Distance Learning Partnership (NCPDLP). The NCPDLP is administered by CPPD, which also serves as the administrator for all Navy College Offices.

"The goal of the NCPDLP is to support both the Sailor's mobile lifestyle, as well as their educational goals with a myriad of degree programs. Courses are offered in a variety of formats, such as CDROM, videotape, paper, or over the Internet," said Redd-Clary.

The NCPDLP recently expanded its membership from 17 to 30 schools. NCPDLP colleges and universities offer Sailors degree programs via distance learning regardless of their duty stations. These degree programs are designed to use nontraditional credits from a Sailor's rating as well as other schools they may have attended.

"NCPDLP's degree programs play an important role in Sailors' academic pursuits, particularly with the addition of degree points being available toward their FMS," said Redd-Clary. "All of NCPDLP's degree programs are mapped to ratings; however, all degree programs are open to all rates. The number of credits afforded a Sailor will obviously depend on their individual training.

"NCPDLP is just another great way to take advantage of the education programs the Navy has available for Sailors."

Sailors interested in starting on a degree or taking advantage of any of these educational and advancement opportunities can start by visiting their local Navy College Office or the Navy College Web site https://www.navycollege.navy.mil.

Story by Susan Lawson, Public Affairs Officer, Center for Personal and Professional Development (CPPD)
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Title Annotation:Something to Think About
Author:Lawson, Susan
Publication:All Hands
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2008
Words:852
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