(COLUMBIA, Mo.)- Sailors aboard Navy vessels now have the opportunity to attend Columbia College classes without leaving the ship.
Through a partnership with Central Texas College in Killeen, Texas, Columbia College offers courses leading to a bachelor's degree in general/interdisciplinary studies as part of the Navy College Program for Afloat College Education (NCPACE).
As early as the 1970s, the Navy has provided sea-going sailors educational opportunities allowing them to continue their education through vocational skills courses and college degree programs while on assignment at sea. The Navy covers the cost of course tuition, and students are responsible for the cost of textbooks and associated fees.
Columbia College identified 21 eight-week courses from its curriculum to offer through the NCPACE program. Enrollment in courses varies from 10 to 25 students.
"One in every four students at Columbia College is in the military or a military dependent," said Dr. Gerald Brouder, Columbia College president. "In addition to our 16 campuses on military bases and our Online Campus, the NCPACE program is one more way for the college to help military personnel earn college degrees."
NCPACE courses are led by qualified instructors who accompany the students onboard the ship. All NCPACE instructors meet the same qualifications and academic requirements as required for Columbia College on-campus and online instructors. They have at least a master's degree and bring real-world experience to the classroom.
Fourteen students enrolled in the first Columbia College NCPACE course, Twentieth Century Europe, offered in November 2005 aboard the USS Emory S. Land. Since that time, Columbia College has offered additional classes aboard the USS Ronald Reagan, USS John Paul Jones and the USS Cape St. George. To date, 67 students have completed NCPACE courses through Columbia College.
Columbia College serves nearly 25,000 students each year at its Day Campus, Evening Campus, Online Campus, Graduate Studies Program and its more than 30 Nationwide Campuses.