Navy announced changes to Tuition Assistance (TA) and Navy College Program for Afloat College Education (NCPACE) program management May 21, in NAVADMIN 114/19.
Beginning Oct. 1, 2019, enlisted Sailors and officers must complete a minimum of two years of service before becoming eligible to use TA or NCPACE instructor-led or Distance Learning (DL) courses. This requirement may not be waived.
In addition, TA and NCPACE (DL) funding is capped at 12 semester hours (or equivalent quarter hours) per fiscal year (FY) and a total of 120 semester hours (or equivalent quarter hours) in a career. Most Sailors in recent years have only used up to an average of nine semester hours annually.
“Due to unprecedented usage and fiscal constraints, Navy is reshaping how we administer the TA and NCPACE programs,” said Jim Johnson, head of Navy Voluntary Education (VOLED). “We want to keep both programs available and sustainable for eligible Sailors, while ensuring our Sailors remain focused on their professional qualifications.”
Navy transformation efforts focused on improving the “Sailor experience” have dramatically improved the ease of access to several technical and education programs, including TA and NCPACE. As a result, fleet-wide TA demand in FY19 was 30 percent higher at the mid-year review than the same point in FY18.
TA funding is expected to run out this month with no additional funding to be made available for the remainder of FY19. Sailors currently taking classes or who are in receipt of a funded TA voucher will not be impacted.
Johnson said that every billet is important to the Navy’s mission and that commanding officers (CO) and officers in charge (OIC) should judiciously manage their Sailors’ education outside of working hours. “A typical three semester hour college course requires up to 12 hours of weekly commitment,” he said. “COs and OICs should actively manage their Sailors’ off-duty education to meet their operational commitments when entering a period of increased operational tempo.”
Command leaders should establish benchmark qualifications that first-term Sailors must earn before using TA or NCPACE including damage control, maintenance, primary warfare, watch-station or other qualifications.
Affected Sailors who desire to continue taking courses for the remainder of FY19 should contact the Navy College Virtual Education Center (NCVEC) at (877)838-1659/DSN 492-4684 or via MyNavy Portal (MNP) at https://my.navy.mil/quick-links.html to discuss other funding options, such as GI Bill, scholarships or financial aid.
Sailors could experience increased call wait times and are encouraged to use other means to speak with an education counselor including the VOLED appointment scheduler on MNP, chatting via Live Help Now® or submitting a help request “trouble ticket” on the Navy College Program website.
For complete information on changes to the TA and NCPACE programs, read NAVADMIN 114/19 or visit https://my.navy.mil/quick-links.html.
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