SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The Information Assurance Manager (IAM) for Mine Countermeasures Squadron (MCMRON) 3 is using the Advanced Education Voucher (AEV) program to accelerate her education and is putting her degree to work on a daily basis.
Chief Information Systems Technician (AW) Anna Marie Douglas, command IAM for MCMRON 3 in San Diego, recently completed her bachelor's degree and is now working toward her master's degree using the AEV program.
"Using the AEV program is one of the best decisions that I ever made," said Douglas. "By obtaining a degree I believe I am leading from the front - for my Sailors, husband, and children. I am making a difference in my life and for the United States Navy. My bachelor's degree is in Human Services Management and my master's degree will be in human services with an emphasis in executive leadership. Both degrees have afforded me the opportunity to fill my toolbox, work better with my Sailors, and create a work environment that inspires others."
The Chief of Naval Personnel announced funding for the FY-12 Advanced Education Voucher (AEV) program March 8 in Naval Administrative Message (NAVADMIN) 076/12, providing advanced education opportunities for top performing chief, senior chief and master chief petty officers. The AEV program provides financial assistance to complete post-secondary, Navy-relevant degrees through off-duty education.
"Chief Douglas is a perfect example of what advanced education can bring to the table," said Capt. David Chase, commodore of COMCMRON 3. "Not only is she a great example to her Sailors by pursuing off-duty education, but the theories she learned through her Human Services Management program are put into practice every day in her application of critical thinking and motivating factors."
Senior Chief Electronics Technician (SW/AW) Jason Szot, enlisted education program coordinator at the Naval Education and Training Command (NETC), believes the AEV program to be one of the most significant in the military, as the Navy invests in the future of enlisted leadership.
"For senior enlisted members interested in advanced education, the AEV program is an outstanding way to get there," said Szot. "AEV offers the opportunity to get a degree from a major university without having to worry about finances or Tuition Assistance (TA) restrictions, as it pays for 100 percent of tuition, books and fees up to a specified limit."
The AEV program will fund bachelor's and master's degree completion in designated, Navy-relevant areas of study. Examples include: strategic foreign languages, construction management, emergency and disaster management, homeland defense and security, human resources, business administration, leadership and management, engineering, information technology, nursing, business administration, education and training management, and electrical /electronic technology. All degrees, including any not listed above must be approved by the AEV program coordinator at NETC to validate Navy relevance.
For the command master chief of MCMRON 3, William Steele, the value of advanced education is demonstrated every day by Douglas' empowering her Sailors to reach their potential and face challenges in a positive manner.
"Higher education is one of the best ways we can improve ourselves and also one that can help us achieve our professional goals," said Steele. "Critical thinking leads us to thinking 'out of the box' and advanced education can make a real difference in ensuring success even in very difficult situations."
The AEV program will support bachelor's degree completion in approved, Navy-relevant areas of study through off-duty education, capped at $6,700 per year for a maximum of 36 months from the date of enrollment and covers 100 percent of tuition, books, and related fees. Total program cost per student is limited to $20,000. Qualified candidates must have an associate degree from an accredited institution or the equivalent amount of college credit applicable to the degree being sought.
The AEV master's degree program covers 100 percent of tuition, books, and related fees up to a maximum of $20,000 per year for up to 24 months of enrollment, with the total program cost per individual capped at $40,000. Qualified candidates must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution recognized by the Department of Education. For FY-12, Navy-relevant master's degrees are required.
The Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy will convene the AEV Program selection board in June 2012 and program selectees will be expected to enroll in studies in the summer or fall 2012 terms.
Deadline for applying for FY12 programs is May 25, 2012. Applications should be sent to Naval Education and Training Command (N523), 250 Dallas Street, Pensacola, FL, 32508-5220. See NAVADMIN 076/12 for specific requirements and application guidelines. Packages must be endorsed by the applicant's commanding officer and command master chief.
For more information about the program, call Senior Chief Electronics Technician (SW/AW) Jason Szot, AEV and enlisted learning and development coordinator (NETC N523) at (850) 452-7268 (DSN 922) or email at email@example.com.
The AEV program is a supporting element of the Enlisted Learning and Development Strategy, which includes post-secondary education as an integral part of the career roadmap for each rating career track.
"Although working and off-duty education at the same time is a challenge, online courses allow you to set your own schedule," added Douglas. "My education has been more than worth the investment of time and discipline - in fact, I plan to eventually get my doctorate degree and teach after I retire from the Navy."
Additional information about the AEV program may be viewed on the Navy Knowledge Online (NKO) Web site www.nko.navy.mil. After logging on, click the 'Learning' tab, then go to the quick link for AEV located on the left hand side of the page.
AEV is one of many opportunities for personal and professional growth available to Sailors to earn certificates, licenses and degrees making them invaluable assets to the Navy. Those programs are important parts of the 21st Century Sailor and Marine initiative which consolidates a set of objectives and policies, new and existing, to maximize Sailor and Marine personal readiness, build resiliency and hone the most combat-effective force in the history of the Department of the Navy.
For more information on the Naval Education and Training Command, visit https://www.netc.navy.mil/.
For more news from Naval Education and Training Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnet/.