PENSACOLA, Fla. - Since their establishment in 2017, Navy College Region Advisors (NCRAs) have played a pivotal role in providing education assistance advice to command leadership while bridging the gap between the Navy and academic institutions.
“With the transition of the Navy College Program to a primarily virtual process, many are not aware that there are still Navy College personnel available within their region,” said Gil Williams, NCRA for Navy Region Northwest. “NCRAs are available to provide VOLED (Navy Voluntary Education) assistance to Region Admirals, base leadership, command career counselors and education services officers whenever needed.”
Though there are only eight NCRAs supporting over 80 Navy installations in the U.S., NCRAs travel frequently to not only keep base leaders up to speed on the Navy College Program’s initiatives and policies, but they interact frequently with academic institutions to ensure they are in complete alignment with Navy policies, VOLED goals, and Sailors’ education needs.
NCRAs ensure on-base and visiting academic institutions maintain high ethical standards and meet the quality thresholds for administration of educational programs as required by the Department of Defense Memorandum of Understanding (DODMOU).
“NCRAs work closely with the on-base schools to address any concerns with marketing and outreach to Sailors,” said Karen Stanbery, one of the NCRAs for Navy Region Southwest. “We also ensure the quality of the classroom facilities is maintained and that schools are offering classes that Sailors need based on the tri-annual base needs assessments completed by the Navy College Program.”
Schools that require access to a military base to advise current students or participate in educations fairs hosted by the NCRAs must request access and be vetted by the NCRA.
“We work to ensure academic institutions visiting Navy installations are approved in accordance with DoD base access requirements,” said Stanbery. “Essentially, we are the liaison for on-base academic institutions and the installation. We then make the determination to approve access based on the reason for the visit.”
Since 2016, the NCRAs have processed over 17,800 base access requests without one DODMOU violation.
“But we are not only the command advisors and liaisons,” said Stanbery. “We also conduct and host education fairs, open houses, webinars, and meet with academic institutions to discuss their academic or certificate programs.”
The NCRAs also work hand in hand with their Navy College Program co-workers to assist Sailors with education counseling.
“We collaborate with each other as well as colleagues at OCONUS NCOs and the Navy College Virtual Education Center (NCVEC) in order to ensure Sailors receive proper, professional, and quality assistance and services across the globe,” said Stanbery.
Quality service has long been a big part of the Navy College Program mantra.
“The voluntary education needs of the Navy are my team’s primary mission,” said Navy Voluntary Education Program Director Ernest D’Antonio. “We have always aimed to provide the best service for every stakeholder, whether that be a Sailor on a ship, or command leadership requesting assistance with their education programs on base.”
Recent feedback shows the efforts are working.
In July, the Navy College Program conducted a survey in which 80% of Sailors were satisfied with the services received, and 90% had their issue resolved when the Sailor first contacted a Navy College representative.
”The results are good, and we continuously work very hard to increase Sailor satisfaction with Navy College service delivery,” said D’Antonio.
For commands wanting to contact an NCRA, go to https://www.navycollege.navy.mil/information-for-commands/region-advisors.htm. The NCVEC can be reached Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Eastern time, toll free at 1-877-838-1659. For OCONUS NCO information, visit https://www.navycollege.navy.mil/resources/find-open-navy-college-offices.htm.
As part of the MyNavy HR Force Development team, Naval Education and Training Professional Development Center (NETPDC) provides products and services that enable and enhance education, training, career development, and personnel advancement throughout the Navy. Primary elements of the command include the Voluntary Education Department, the Navy Advancement Center and the Resources Management Department.
Additional information about NETPDC can be found at https://www.netc.navy.mil/NETPDC/.
CDR James Stockman
Public Affairs Officer
Naval Education and Training Command