Changes to Voluntary Education Program Helps Sailors Achieve Educational Goals
By Susan Lawson, Center for Personal and Professional Development Public Affairs
November 1, 2010 -VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Changes made to the Navy's Voluntary Education (VOLED) program this year are designed to first prepare the Sailor for the job and then focus on the pursuit of academic goals.
A significant change included the stand up of the Virtual Education Center (VEC) where Sailors can receive counseling and information around the globe.
"It's important for our Sailors to understand the Navy's focus on voluntary education," said Capt. Chuck Hollingsworth, Center for Personal and Professional Development (CPPD) commanding officer. "Our goal is not to simply 'enroll more Sailors,' but to enroll Sailors who are postured for success in the pursuit of a degree."
CPPD, part of the Naval Education and Training Command domain, manages the execution of the Navy's VOLED programs.
"We work closely with Sailors to ensure they maximize their education benefits by providing them with education planning and counseling prior to their use of tuition assistance (TA)," Hollingsworth said. "This pre-planning and counseling gives Sailors time to acclimate to their work in the Navy, and also allows them time to develop foundational education skills that will help ensure their future academic successes.
According to Hollingsworth, NAVADMIN 105/10 is the most significant VOLED policy change in the past 12 months, and has been met with broad approval, especially within the ranks of senior enlisted leadership. NAVADMIN 105/10 requires new accessions, both officer and enlisted, to serve one year at their first permanent duty station before applying for TA. It further requires all Sailors to have an education plan on file with Navy College before TA will be authorized.
"The Navy's VOLED policies serve to get the right Sailor, the right degree, at the right time," Hollingsworth said. "The first 12 months at the first permanent duty station is a crucial period of 'Sailorization,' when Sailors should concentrate on learning their Navy job and establish themselves as a valued asset to their command.
"The education plan requires Sailors to think about their education goals. This thought process serves to reduce the number of individuals who take courses arbitrarily, without a focus toward long-term education goals. We want Sailors to succeed in their careers and in their academics, which is why we provide them with comprehensive education planning and support services," said Hollingsworth.
The TA program provides active-duty personnel funding for tuition costs for courses taken in an off-duty status at a college, university or vocational/technical institution.
Navy TA pays tuition and fees charged by educational institutions for course enrollments up-front for Sailors. Under the program, TA pays 100 percent of tuition costs for courses applicable to the completion of a high school diploma or equivalency certificate.
For other education levels, there is a fiscal year credit limit of 16 semester hours, or 24 quarter hours, per individual. Payment for tuition and fees cannot exceed $250 per semester hour or $166.67 per quarter hour.
For more information on Navy College opportunities, visit https://www.navycollege.navy.mil/.
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