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Top Colleges Available Through Afloat Education

From Navy Voluntary Education and Naval Education and Training Professional Development Center (NETPDC) Public Affairs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Six of the top 10 colleges accepting Tuition Assistance (TA) are participating in the Navy College Program for Afloat College Education (NCPACE), available to Sailors on type 2 or 4 sea duty.

"Our goal for the NCPACE program is to provide eligible afloat Sailors the same quality education available to those on shore duty," said Lisa Teeling, Navy Voluntary Education NCPACE program manager. "Between the available Instructor-Led (IL) and Distance Learning (DL) courses, almost any curriculum is available through our participating schools, which include the majority of the top schools for TA."

IL courses are taught in the typical classroom setting by an in-person instructor onboard, and provide basic curriculum (math, history, English) required to obtain an associate degree. The DL courses are self-contained, meaning no internet connectivity is required to complete the class, and course offerings range from associate-level through master's-level programs.

Ens. Roger Engelhardt, Education Services Officer for USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) says that between the NCPACE distance and instructor-led programs, his Sailors are well-served.

"There are approximately 350 undergraduate and graduate-level courses offered through NCPACE IL and DL," said Engelhardt. "NCPACE IL is a great resource for Sailors who may need the consistency of classroom structure or face-to-face interaction with their instructor to understand key course material or complex concepts."

NCPACE DL courses are funded by Sailors using Tuition Assistance (TA); and at the same rate authorized for regular college courses; $250 per Semester Hour (SH) or equivalent. Sailors may only receive funding for up to 16 SH or equivalent, per fiscal year through TA, NCPACE DL or any combination of the two. NCPACE DL courses also require the same grade attainment standards as TA courses at all levels to avoid tuition reimbursement to the government.

The NCPACE Instructor Led (IL) program operates under command sponsorship. IL classes operate under contract support and NCPACE Command Coordinators use the NCPACE section of the Navy College Program (NCP) website to select courses, pre-register Sailors and order courses. The Navy pays directly for IL courses, so they do not fall under the funding cap restrictions of standard TA and NCPACE DL courses. Sailors are responsible for paying for their textbooks and related materials.

First-time NCPACE users must complete the prerequisite training listed on the NCP website prior to obtaining funding approval for courses and receive academic counseling for each level of educational or academic pursuit (certificate, associate, bachelor's, or master's).

Sailors who have completed the training and met eligibility can receive automated approval of NCPACE DL requests. Sailors may view the available NCPACE DL courses in the catalog located in the 'My Education' section of the Navy College website. For complete NCPACE information for Sailors and commands, visit the NCPACE section of the NCP website at https://www.navycollege.navy.mil/ncpace/index.htm.

Engelhardt added that even though connectivity at sea can be a challenge, the Navy College Program staff has been able to support and troubleshoot educational challenges aboard the Truman.

"Navy College assisted our Sailors who were running into issues," said Engelhardt. "We communicated our situation and they were very understanding and provided a solution."

Additional details on Voluntary Education Program updates, including NCPACE DL and IL, can be found in NAVADMIN 243/17.

Visit the NCP website: https://www.navycollege.navy.mil/index.htm to start the education process, complete required training, submit a Help Request through the Navy College Virtual Education Center (NCVEC), initiate a Live Chat session or review knowledge management articles. The NCVEC can be reached toll free 1-877-838-1659; DSN 492-4684, Monday-Friday 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. EST.