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Top Schools Embrace WebTA Automation; Eliminate Navy College Funding Backlog

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Just seven months in from the launch of the Navy's Web Tuition Assistance (WebTA) automation, all of the top 30 TA colleges have uploaded their course catalogs, allowing more than 18,000 Sailors to take advantage of streamlined application funding.

"Schools and Sailors are benefiting from a vastly improved process that allows TA payment vouchers to be issued more quickly," said Dr. Faye Messick, Navy Voluntary Education Program Specialist. "When we started the WebTA automation process, we were averaging a backlog of 500 manual approvals per day. Now that the top schools are automated, we've eliminated most of the daily backlog. Not all schools have their info automated, but we're working toward that."

Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate Cassie Poepoe, Military Exam Leader at the Navy Advancement Center, has used WebTA before and after automation, and is impressed by the new system.

"Compared to the old TA system, the automation is quick and easy to navigate, with help if needed," said Poepoe. "One of the things that impressed me the most about the new system is that during the entire process, I was sent updated e-mails as my request worked its way through the system - I didn't have to call the Navy College Virtual Education Center for the status."

Streamlined approvals also include automation of the Navy College Program for Afloat Education/Distance Learning (NCPACE/DL).

Elizabeth Baker, NCVEC evening shift supervisor, said that WebTA/NCPACE DL automation typically saves Sailors several days in comparison to the manual process. In order for a Sailor to have their WebTA/NCPACE DL request accepted and command approved, they need to meet specific training and policy requirements, (training completed, academic counseling by a Navy College Counselor, degree plan uploaded, passing the PRT, recommended for advancement, etc.) to qualify. 

"Sailors whose TAs are funded automatically can receive their TA vouchers as soon as the application is approved by their command if it falls within the current funding availability window," said Baker. "Sailors with TA applications that need to be manually processed may have a delay of several days, depending on the volume of manual TA applications in the system."

Two mandatory training topics include the Navy Tuition Assistance Training or NCPACE Training and Navy Virtual Counseling 101. The link to My Education for required training can be found on the Navy College Program website www.navycollege.navy.mil under 'Tuition Assistance' or 'NCPACE' tabs. Navy College Education Counselors are available to provide the required academic counseling to help Sailors define their goals and select an education program. Once a college/university and a program have been selected, Sailors work with their Academic Institution (AI) to produce an education plan which they upload to their 'My Education,' 'education tab,' and 'view/upload files' icon.

Academic counseling can be scheduled through the My Navy Portal (MNP) scheduler available through the Navy College Program (NCP) website or via MNP: https://www.mnp.navy.mil/group/training-education-qualifications/appointment-scheduler .

When the above requirements have been met, Sailors are able to create, save, and submit their WebTA/NCPACE/DL application, after entering the Command Approver's e-mail address. Applications that do not pass the automatic checks will be reviewed and manually processed by a Navy College Program staff member.

For assistance with WebTA or NCPACE, review the tutorial located on the Navy College Program website in several locations: 
1. Under 'Hot Topics' 
2. Under 'Tuition Assistance' tab, click on 'TA Steps,' in Section 5 https://www.navycollege.navy.mil/tuition-assistance/steps-for-tuition-assistance.htm
3. In the 'My Education' Module.

It is highly recommended that WebTA/NCPACE DL applications be submitted no later than 30 days in advance, but all applications MUST be command approved no later than 14 calendar days prior to an Academic Institution's published term start date. Applications may be submitted for approval up to 120 days prior to term start dates, and vouchers are issued as funds become available.

For questions, visit the NCP website and submit a Help Request at the 'Assistance Center,' initiate a Live Chat session, or call the NCVEC toll free 1-877-838-1659; DSN 492-4684; or CML (757) 492-4684. OCONUS Service members may contact their servicing Navy College Office (NCO). Contact information can be found under the "Contact and Feedback" section of the website.

Additional information about the Naval Education and Training Professional Development Center can be found via: https://www.netc.navy.mil/netc/netpdc/Default.htm

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