USS CARL VINSON, At sea (NNS) -- Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) kicked off semester one of Navy College Program Afloat College Education (NCPACE) courses Jan. 16.
More than 400 Sailors from Vinson and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 are enrolled.
"It is a great opportunity for Sailors who want to continue their degree or for those who want to start college," said Lt. j.g. James Lowe, Vinson's education service officer. "Being deployed hinders a lot of people from pursuing their education, but we open up chances for those Sailors by offering a variety of NCPACE courses underway."
Five instructors from Central Texas College arrived aboard Jan. 14 and will remain onboard for two semesters - Jan. 16 to March 11 and March 14 to May 12.
"We are here to help Sailors with any questions or problems they might have with their classes," said Isaac G. McKnight, Business Ethics and Academic Skills Writing instructor. "It's a great opportunity for Sailors to get a running start for a degree or certificate."
Prior to deploying on Vinson's second consecutive combat deployment, Sailors enrolled in 16 genres of basic college courses - Academic Skills Writing, Fundamentals of Writing II, English Composition I and II, Introductory Algebra, College Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, Principles of Management, American Government, General Psychology, Child Psychology, Supervisory Management, Business Ethics, Public Speaking, Organizational Communication and History courses.
The courses were selected by Navy College, who determined what prerequisite subjects most universities required for an associates and a bachelor's degree. Once those subjects were presented to the crew, Sailors were offered the opportunity to enroll based on meeting the command and their department's criteria.
The first step to enrolling in a course started within the departments with endorsement from the chain of command. E-5 and above Sailors were required to be primary warfare qualified and all E-4 and below Sailors had to be onboard a minimum of 12 months.
Sailors had to be recommended for promotion or advancement on their last periodic evaluation, successfully completed the most recent physical readiness test (PRT) and had no non-judicial punishment or disciplinary review boards in their record within the last six months, explained Personnel Specialist 3rd Class (SW) James Bryan, Administration Department's X-1 Division education service office (ESO) clerk.
In preparation for the first day of school, Vinson's ESO worked with the instructors to provide information on what was required for each course and kept the crew informed on textbook prices and official start dates and times for each course.
Sailors will only have to pay for necessary materials which were available for purchase the morning class began. Textbook prices varied from $71 to $219, said Bryan.
The first day of "school" is now in the books, and Sailors acknowledge the benefits of free education and the opportunity for educational growth.
"I decided to take English Composition 1. I am saving money taking active steps toward achieving my educational goals," said Operations Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Christopher Mosley, assigned to Operations Department's OI, Division who recommended everyone should take advantage of the educational opportunities available especially on deployment.
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