The Navy is now calling for applications to a new graduate education program to be piloted this fall, with 80 officers expected to start low-residency opportunities offered by up to eight partner schools.
The Low-Residency Graduate Education Program (LGEP) is designed to provide due-course naval officers in paygrades O-2 to O-5 the chance to get a Navy-funded graduate degree in one of three disciplines -- strategy, management or international relations.
The pilot program was announced last week in Naval Administrative Message (NAVADMIN) 204/20, which requests that applications be submitted by August 2.
“This initiative is the product of close collaboration between the Chief Learning Officer (CLO), N7, and the warfare communities,” said VADM Stuart Munsch, former Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfighting Development and service-lead for naval education, whose office helped to champion the new program. “Once implemented, LGEP will give officers with compressed career paths an opportunity to pursue a graduate degree that fulfills education requirements for promotion and milestone screening and contributes directly to Navy warfighting advantage.”
The idea is to give officers on compressed career paths a flexible, Navy-funded option to earn graduate degrees which meet the O-7 promotion eligibility education requirement.
Each program is designed to be completed during a shore-duty tour. This means that selected officers will remain at their duty stations and complete most course work online or via telephone. Residency requirements are met through funded, monthly trips to campus.
The lineup of degree programs range in length from 10 to 24 months. Current partner institutions are Old Dominion University, William and Mary University, American University, Johns Hopkins University, UCLA, UCSD, University of Washington, and the Naval Postgraduate School.
In return for the service-funded education, selected officers agree to a continued service obligation of three years, which is served concurrently with any other service obligations they have.
The obligation, which is incurred whether or not the officer completes the degree, starts either on the date of program completion or, should the officer not complete the degree, the date of withdrawal from the program.
This year's program is a test of concept, designed to gauge the effectiveness of low-residency education delivery models in netting officers required graduation education while also meeting the needs of the Navy for strategy-minded warriors.
If successful, the program could expand opportunities for up to 300 officers annually in future years.
The window for applications this year is open now and runs through August 2. A committee from the office of the CLO will review the applications; selectees will be announced by August 14.
Details on how to apply as well as Navy points of contact can be found in NAVADMIN 204/20, which is available for download here:
LOW-RESIDENCY GRADUATE EDUCATION PROGRAM - NAVADMIN 204/20.
NOTE: Supplemental material advertised by the NAVADMIN message as avaialble on the Internet (at www.navy.mil/local/clo) is not currently available due to technical difficulties. However, the NAVADMIN provides all information necessary for submitting an application to the program.
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For more news from Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfighting Development (N7), visit www.navy.mil/local/OPNAVN7/.