The US Navy has announced an immediate redirection of $100 million for education this year, with a proposal to increase education spending by more than $300 million by 2025. This came as a response to the Education for Seapower Study, released in December 2018, that identified a need for a more cohesive and flexible educational system to create a technologically advanced force. Although the focus of the funds is on aligning and strengthening the Navy’s own educational infrastructure, the study also states that it seeks to coordinate with American universities and the private sector to increase educational opportunities for service personnel.
What Are the Goals For Naval Education Funding?
John Kroger, the new Navy Chief Officer of Learning, has said that the Naval education funding initiative will alter the way education funds are spent to take advantage of evolving, flexible educational opportunities for Marines and Sailors. The alignment of all educational programs with Naval strategic goals, in both military institutions and civilian educational programs, is a goal of the program. Part of the funds will support a new Naval Community College for enlisted personnel, allowing servicemen and women the opportunity to earn college credit for courses they are required to complete as part of their Naval training. Also in the works is an accredited, online educational system to provide active duty Sailors and Marines a flexible and mobile education option and an opportunity to transfer credits toward bachelor’s degree programs at civilian universities. The scope of the Naval education funding initiative goes beyond these proposed in-residence programs. The Navy report states that, “Broad sources of education beyond the doctrinal curricula of our military schoolhouses, and service members instructed in a wide variety of disciplines and approaches, will be necessary to develop the habits of mind, and to inculcate the customs of continuous personal education, necessary to face the future.”
How Will Education Be Tied To Naval Career Advancement?
The Education for Seapower Study states, “We must create a supporting culture of lifelong learning, enabled by a value proposition for education that is clearly understood as absolutely essential for professional advancement.” Officers who entered the service since 2015 are now required to spend time earning advanced degrees before they can be considered for major command. The cultural shift within the Navy will extend to enlisted personnel as well. Officers will be expected to motivate the men and women they lead to take advantage of the new educational opportunities the funding will establish.
How May The Naval Education Funding Initiative Impact Enrollment Marketers?
With the Navy investing an additional $300 million in education funding and placing education requirements on Naval advancement, enrollment marketers may have an easier time recruiting active-duty Navy personnel, especially for coursework and programs that align with the educational objectives outlined in the Education for Seapower Study. Objectives include addressing the emerging technology of warfare, such as artificial intelligence, cybermetrics, network security, data analytics, biotechnology and computer science. The study also listed traditional education objectives such as international relations, psychology and critical thinking.
Enrollment marketers should also consider the impact of the Naval Community College and the Navy’s online education system. Enabling a seamless transfer of credits from Navy programs should help bridge the gap between creating initial interest in civilian education and successfully enrolling Sailors and Marines once the Naval education funding has been made available.
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