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Training and Education

Navy College Program Goes Virtual

As of September 2016, all but four Navy College offices closed. The Navy College offices at Naval Station Norfolk, Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Naval Base San Diego and Naval Base Kitsap will remain open through the end of FY17.

Sailors who aren't stationed in those areas still have the same resources and are able to start their educational goals via the Virtual Education Center.

"The Navy Voluntary Education [VOLED] process is pretty simple and the information is at the fingertips of any Sailor seeking it, " said Lt. Dusan Ilic, educational services officer at the Defense Media Activity. "Sailors can explore education and career paths, receive counseling, research schools, and develop a plan right there on the website. - It's pretty seamless."

Ilic also pointed out that many local universities have representatives on military bases to assist service members.

In addition, there are a few changes that Sailors must be aware of. All Tuition Assistance (TA) requests for courses that have started after January 1, 2017 must be submitted and command approved between 120 and 14 days preceding the term start date.

"Although it wasn't standard practice in the past, the Navy College Office was willing to take some last-minute requests for Tuition Assistance [TA], and that's within a matter of days before the class start date. Now that is no longer the case," said Ilic.

In addition, Sailors generally need to be at their commands for a year before they can receive TA benefits, but in some cases waivers can be granted. However, pending legal actions or a failed Physical Fitness Assessment can impede the TA approval process.

Go for it. ... Take advantage of this gift. I think a lot of people rely on the GI Bill, which is also fantastic, but my philosophy is knock it out while you're still in." -Lt. Dusan Ilic

Three photo collage: Sailors using mobile devices for Navy College; Sailor using Navy College website; Sailors in class

Sailors pursuing higher education should also choose schools that are part of the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges-Navy (SOCNAV) program to ease the credit transfer between schools.

"If you choose a school that's not a part of that, there's no guarantee those credits will transfer. All of your efforts might be for nothing in the end," Ilic explained.

When pursuing your educational goals, another important aspect to think about is timing.

"Take advantage of where you are. If you're on a shore billet, take advantage of it, because waiting until you're haze-gray-underway is not really the optimum place," said Ilic. "Sailors can obtain degrees while underway, but it's an extremely rare occurrence and difficult in comparison to getting it done while on shore duty.

"Especially if you want to do traditional classroom instruction, ashore is the way to go."

Sailors can also learn about SAT and ACT testing options, graduate education vouchers, advanced education vouchers and the Navy College Program for Afloat College Education at the Navy College Program website.
For more information visit the Navy College Program website at
Navy College info graphic.

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