Carl Vinson Sailors Utilize PACE in the Shipyard

Story Number: NNS080520-11Release Date: 5/20/2008 9:06:00 AM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Philip Schrickel, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) are earning more than just qualifications and warfare designations this May; they're also earning credits toward college degrees through the Navy College Program for Afloat Education (NCPACE).

With a wide variety of college classes to choose from, many crew members are taking the initiative to fulfill their educational goals by enrolling in courses held conveniently aboard the ship.

"The NCPACE program is a great opportunity for Carl Vinson Sailors," said Personnel Specialist 1st Class (SS/SW) Daniel Leggett, of the command's Educational Services Office. "Having access to college classes on board helped me go back to school and get my master's degree."

Having an NCPACE program in the shipyard is unique. According to coordinators, Carl Vinson is one of the first Navy ship's to offer classes while undergoing its 40-month extended overhaul period.

"We have a lot of things going on in the shipyard, but the command still emphasizes education," said Leggett.

Recently, the benefits of college education have transformed into incentives for advancement. Beginning with the September Navy examination schedule, Sailors who have earned an associate's degree will receive two bonus points. Sailors who have completed their bachelor's degree will earn four points. Additional degrees can yield crew members up to the maximum allotment of 12 points toward their advancement exams.

NCPACE, a part of the Navy College Program, provides both academic skills and college (undergraduate and graduate) courses. All courses are offered by colleges and universities accredited by an agency recognized by the Department of Education, allowing sea-going Sailors an opportunity to meet their educational goals in virtually any setting.

All courses, including academic skills instructions, are provided to Sailors tuition-free. Academic skills instructional materials are also provided at no cost. However, Sailors must pay the costs associated with textbooks and other educational materials.

All undergraduate courses are offered by educational institutions with Service Members Opportunity College - Navy (SOCNAV) affiliations, allowing Sailors the opportunity to transfer credits and complete degrees with various schools around the country.

"Being able to take college classes at my duty station and without paying any tuition is great," said Yeoman 1st Class (SW) Katherine Ward, the NCPACE coordinator for ESO. "It really is a good deal. All you have to do is get your books, show up for class and study. When you get your degree, you can reap your rewards with extra points for advancement."

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