BREMERTON — Sixteen stateside Navy College Offices are scheduled to close Oct. 1, and the remaining four, which includes Naval Base Kitsap, will discontinue by Oct. 1, 2017, raising concerns of how sailors at NBK will begin, continue and finish their education.
After Oct. 1, the majority of Voluntary Education services in the continental United States will be provided by the education counselors at the Navy College Program’s Virtual Education Center.
Ernest D’Antonio, director of the Naval Education and Training Professional Development Center’s VOLED program, said providing sailors the educational tools and information when and where they need it is the goal of restructuring service delivery.
“This new VOLED structure will make educational programs, including counseling, Tuition Assistance, and testing services accessible for all sailors in the continental U.S. through a combination of self-service and virtual services,” he said. “The colleges will still have access to bases for teaching courses and counseling students.”
The remaining Navy College Offices will continue to provide full services, including counseling and testing, until October 2017. After that, academic institutions with partnership agreements will continue to provide services as they have in the past. NBK is served by Brandman University, Southern Illinois University, and Vincennes University.
Most of the steps in the voluntary education (VOLED) process will not change under the new service delivery model. Sailors are expected to go through their chain of command in regards to:
— Pursing an education program.
— Researching education programs through the Navy College Program and Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) websites.
— Receiving Navy College Program education counseling.
— Working with an academic institution to develop an education and degree plan.
— Meeting Navy Tuition Assistance requirements, including Navy WebTA training.
— Completing academic courses.
The Navy College website MyEducation portal is available 24/7 for sailors to establish and manage their accounts, ensure their degree plans are current, and verify they’ve received education counseling.
The VEC call center hours are from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern time (3 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific time), Monday through Friday. NBK sailors may reach the VEC at 877-838-1659, or VEC@navy.mil for assistance.
Academic institutions requesting access to Navy installations are required to use the U.S. Air Force Academic Institution Base Access Portal to request visitation for student interaction, education fairs, Morale, Welfare and Recreation events, sponsorship, command visits, etc. The portal can be found at https://aiportal.acc.af.mil/aiportal/.
Additional information may be found on the Navy College Program website’s “Base Access” page at www.navycollege.navy.mil/base_access_info.html.
For more information on the Navy College Program and the Virtual Education Center visit https://www.navycollege.navy.mil/.
Follow Navy Voluntary Education on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/NavyVoluntaryEducation/.
Additional information about the Naval Education and Training Professional Development Center can be found via https://www.netc.navy.mil/netc/netpdc/Default.htm.