Story Number: NNS140402-18Release Date: 4/2/2014 4:20:00 PM
By Ed Barker, Naval Education and Training Command Public Affairs
PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- The Navy College Office (NCO) serving Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola and surrounding locations announced April 2 it will offer additional degree programs based on the online Educational Needs Assessment Survey conducted late last year.
According to NCO Pensacola Educational Services Specialist Ken Spradlin, voluntary educational programing is changing at a rapid pace, and Navy College is working to keep up.
"When the last survey was conducted over eight years ago, distance learning was just becoming available," said Spradlin. "Now virtually all of our partner schools offer online degree choices, and most Sailors choose a school and stay with it throughout their educational career. They take their education plan and institution with them as they transfer to new duty stations."
The survey gave Spradlin's office significant insight into the changing needs of its customers.
"We surpassed our goal of 500 responses from the survey, and the suggestions that resulted are driving our efforts," added Spradlin. "Some of the changes requested include additional seated-course options (instructor-led, in-person) for general education programs, more eight-week courses and expanding our course offerings with additional degree programs."
According to Spradlin, the next step in the process is a request for proposals from schools that provide the degree programs identified in the needs assessment, and based on selections, a new base Memorandum of Understanding may be generated.
NAS Pensacola Commanding Officer Capt. Keith Hoskins recently toured the NCO for a familiarization and update on the survey results. Base leadership will play a key part in the selection process for any new and additional degree programs.
"We definitely need to have more education options," said Hoskins. "The demand signal for higher skill-sets is going to be there in the future, and we need to support that through our voluntary education programs and through the Navy College Office."
Some of the specific demand signals indicated by the survey include:
* General education on-base seated offerings in an eight-week schedule
* Availability of additional on-base seated offerings for degrees in Aviation, Business, Criminal Justice, Education, Electronics and Fire Science
* Addition of Electronics and Fire Science online degree programs
The Regional Director of Navy College Operations East Ernest Poe is optimistic about the inputs to the Pensacola NCO resulting from the survey.
"We're hopeful that the survey results will lead to an improved level of Sailor satisfaction and support in terms of new degree opportunities as identified by the survey," said Poe. "Being able to implement programs that address the needs of our customers is exactly what we want each NCO to accomplish."
Spradlin added that the Navy College Program supports the personal and professional growth of Sailors by providing them opportunities to earn degrees that enhance their analytical skills and ability to make informed decisions, which helps make them invaluable assets to the Navy. It's an important part of the 21st Century Sailor and Marine initiative that 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.