EVERETT, Wash. (NNS) -- Navy College Learning Centers (NCLCs) at Naval Station Everett (NSE), Wash., Naval Base Kitsap Bremerton (NBKB) and Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island each offer programs to help Sailors increase their Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) scores or prepare them for college.
A Sailor's ASVAB score can determine what ratings he or she is eligible to select, said Chief Navy Counselor Derek Messer, a Navy Region Northwest regional career counselor.
"The NCLC is extremely important in getting Sailors on the right track for their future, both in and out of the Navy. The placement tests that are administered will identify the Sailors' weaker areas and provide them a track for which areas that they need to work to improve," said Messer.
"Many of the young Sailors I see during their initial check-in career development board have relatively low ASVAB scores," said Command Master Chief (SW/AW) Michael Schanche, NSE command master chief.
By using the services of NCLCs, Sailors have the opportunity to raise their ASVAB scores, which under Perform To Serve (PTS) increases a Sailor's eligibility to convert to other ratings.
"Every little investment made makes them more attractive to PTS, and that is a good thing," Schanche added.
Tia Lindquist, NSE's NCLC lead education facilitator, said the Sailors she sees are realizing their potential for PTS success by studying for the ASVAB.
The ASVAB prep course is two weeks long, but the NCLCs work with Sailors to fit their schedules.
"We value Sailors here," Lindquist said. "It's great for us to see one of the Sailors come back in and say 'I did it! I got the scores I needed!' It's very rewarding."
Machinist's Mate Fireman Natalie Murguia, assigned to NSE, improved her score by 32 points following training provided by NCLC.
"The two-week course really improved my score and helped me get over test-taking anxiety," said Murguia.
Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) Airman Kimberly Williams, a Sailor from NBKB, used the program to boost her score so she could cross-rate to legalman.
"This program has helped to refresh my memory on subjects that I needed to improve on," said Williams.
In addition to the ASVAB courses, Sailors can prepare for college courses or study for the SAT/ACT.
Sailors can use the college prep classes to get started on a degree and further their careers.
"I used the NCLC myself before I went back to college," said Ship's Serviceman 1st Class Michelle Holloway, from NAS Whidbey Island. "That's the first step I took; it helped me out, and it gave me confidence."
Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 2nd Class Brad Jensen, from NBKB, is using the program to advance his SAT scores.
"I've been out of high school for more than five years now, so this program is bringing a lot of the old knowledge back to me. It's a great refresher course," said Jensen.
NSE's NCLC has recently witnessed an increase in interest in the program from Sailors.
"We've gone from under 20 percent usage of resources a month to over 40 percent," Schanche said.
For more news from Commander, Navy Region Northwest, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnrnw/.