JUNE 22, 2015, ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) – USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) began accepting registrations for the Navy College Program for Afloat College Education Distance Learning (NCPACE-DL) placement tests, June 16, offering Sailors an opportunity to take college courses while underway.
NCPACE-DL provides both officers and enlisted Sailors with the opportunity to complete undergraduate and graduate courses while at sea. The program also offers options for Sailors to earn an associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
“It’s a terrific opportunity for our Sailors,” said Ensign M. A. Martin, Truman’s educational services officer. “The Navy works with 10 different nationally accredited colleges and universities to provide tuition-free courses. The only costs to Sailors are the textbooks.”
NCPACE-DL briefs aboard Truman are scheduled monthly and registration is offered at those times.
The Navy has been allowing civilian instructors to teach aboard ships through the Program for Afloat College Education (PACE) for more than 40 years.
Civilian instructors teach NCPACE courses in a traditional classroom environment during deployments. Distance learning NCPACE offers an alternative for Sailors who cannot commit to a schedule or who desire the convenience of a self-paced study environment and is available both on deployments and during regular work-up cycles. Sailors are also able to transfer credits from other schools to complete degrees.
“We encourage any Sailor looking to further their education to come find out more about the program and the courses we offer,” said Martin. “To qualify, a Sailor has to have been aboard Truman for one year if it’s their first permanent duty station, passed their last physical readiness test and advancement exam, and have no non-judicial punishments six months prior to the first day of class. If they meet all requirements, they can submit a special request chit to their chain of command.”
Copies of the request must also be provided to the educational services office (ESO) on the day of the brief, and payments for textbooks or additional study materials will also be collected at that time.
Sailors with no previous college math or English courses must register for a placement test administered by the educational services officer.
Interior Communications Specialist 2nd Class J. K. Cardenas said in addition to furthering education, college courses are an excellent way to improve morale while on deployment.
“It’s a really productive and fun way to pass your free time when you’re out to sea,” said Cardenas, who attended classes during the last deployment. “Some people enjoy working out, some people watch movies, and some people really like to learn. For people with that mindset, this is a great program and it’s really beneficial for you in the long run as well, whether or not you intend on making the Navy a career.”
Sailors can register for up to two classes per 90-day term, or one class if they are a first-time student. A complete course listing is located on Truman’s intranet page.
Perspective students can also make their voice heard by voting for future classes to be offered aboard Truman. Voting is open through tomorrow in ESO during normal business hours.