By Stacey Abler
MyCAA (My Career Advancement Account) is an education benefit program available to some military spouses to advance their education. This program has been through many changes in the past 12 months including being halted completely for an overhaul of the program.
The goal of the program is to provide military spouses with educational funds to pursue what is needed to establish a portable career. The military often requires moves every few years and this can make it difficult for a spouse to maintain a career. By providing the funds needed to acquire certifications and licenses for a portable career, the program hopes to support these spouses in their career choices.
The original program was open to all spouses, allowed the spouse to pursue most educational goals (including advanced degrees) and provided a benefit of $6,000 with an annual cap of $3,000. However, program officials said they were overwhelmed with the number of participating spouses and funds were quickly disappearing. The program was halted and revamped to take advantage of the resources available under the benefit.
The new program will open up to spouses under new guidelines on October 25, 2010. Under the new program, spouses are eligible for $4,000 in educational benefits with a cap of $2,000 per year. Spouses who enroll in MyCAA must finish their studies within three years of the first class start date. The program is now limited to associate’s degrees, licensing programs and certificate programs.
The program is limited to spouses of military members of certain ranks. As of October 25, only spouses of the following ranks will be eligible for the program:
- – E1-E5
Spouses of military members of higher ranks are not eligible for this benefit. Also, the military member must be on active duty. If the military member is serving in the Guard or Reserves, he must be on active status in order for the spouse to participate in the program.
Further details about the program can be found through Military One Source: https://aiportal.acc.af.mil/mycaa/