NCPACE Program Gives Sailors a Jump on Education

Story Number: NNS070515-01Release Date: 5/15/2007 6:41:00 AM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Candice Villarreal, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- As USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) continues its refueling complex overhaul (RCOH), Sailors on board the aircraft carrier are using their time wisely by taking advantage of educational opportunities through the free Navy College Program for Afloat College Education (NCPACE) by enrolling for the upcoming June semester.

NCPACE, a program designed to give Sailors the chance to achieve their educational goals while on sea-duty assignments, is being offered to Carl Vinson crew members on the floating accommodation facility located adjacent to the ship at Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard.

Tuition for NCPACE classes is free for Sailors who elect to take these college classes on board. Sailors are only required to pay the costs associated with textbooks and personal educational materials for their courses.

Undergraduate, graduate, and academic skills courses are offered to allow participating Sailors the opportunity to enhance their personal and professional growth.

While courses are traditionally administered only to ships during deployments, Carl Vinson was granted a waiver allowing the aircraft carrier to continue with the program during her time in the shipyard.

"When underway we work 12 to 16 hours a day, and people still find the time to take these courses," said Personnel Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Todd Carnes, the educational advisor aboard Carl Vinson. "Now that we're in the yards, our days aren't as long, so our crew is really taking advantage of the NCPACE program."

Sailors receive three semester hours per course completed and may transfer their course credits to the academic institution of their choice.

"Most people coming into the Navy list educational benefits as one of their main reasons for joining," said Carnes. "With the NCPACE program, the Navy gives Sailors the opportunity to earn their degrees during working hours. Why pass up a great opportunity to earn your education during your Naval service?"

This convenient, cost-effective program allows Sailors to complete degree programs in a nonconventional setting. And although the setting is different than the traditional campus classroom, Carl Vinson Sailors are placing their focus on the lifetime benefits of education.

"The more motivated you are, the easier it's going to be to meet your educational goals," said Yeoman 3rd Class Hadassah Hill, who is planning to register for the upcoming semester. "A degree is a beneficial asset to anyone's future. Knowing that should be enough motivation for anybody."

Carl Vinson conducts 12 courses per semester, with five semesters each year. Through the continued NCPACE initiative while the aircraft carrier undergoes RCOH, hundreds of Carl Vinson Sailors have realized their educational goals while supporting the mission of the ship.

"USS Carl Vinson has set the example for the NCPACE program Navywide," said Carnes. "This ship maintains a good balance in providing educational opportunities while working to accomplish Carl Vinson's RCOH mission."

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