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WebTA Automation Key to Vast Improvements for Navy College Program

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Tony

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- The first year of the Navy College Program’s (NCP) Web Tuition Assistance (WebTA) automation feature, allowing virtual processing of TA requests has been not only a resounding success, but has proven the key to system-wide improvements. “Using WebTA automation to virtually process more than 65,000 funding documents has been just the start,” said Navy Voluntary Education Director Ernest D’Antonio. “The time saved through WebTA has allowed our staff to increase counseling calls by 28 percent and decrease abandoned calls by 85 percent in FY17, down to four percent in FY18 – which is significantly better than industry standards.”

According to Elizabeth Baker, supervisor for the Navy College Virtual Education Center (NCVEC), the increased time available for Sailor counseling has allowed her staff additional time to introduce new technology. “Our individual counseling has expanded to virtual face-to-face via SKYPE for Business through webcams on non-government computers,” said Baker. “We received feedback that our customers wanted the option of personalization for the NCP counseling experience, and we can now do that via screen-sharing, putting a face with a name.”

Although not a total solution, WebTA could potentially process 75 percent of all TA applications by the end of the year. “We hand-process some applications for quality assurance purposes,” added Baker. “To date, 126 schools have uploaded courses, but some schools are constantly adjusting their course catalogs, and may not yet have uploaded every single course they offer. The lion’s share of schools benefit from the speed of virtual processing for payment.” “We’re constantly refining and making improvements to Voluntary Education” added D’Antonio. “Our goal is to have all schools receiving TA payments to have their individual courses uploaded and have their entire degree plans in the system as well.”

Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class Sherill Espinal, instructor at the Naval Air Technical Training Center’s AM schoolhouse, said that she has noticed numerous improvements to the Navy College Program. “WebTA has significantly reduced the time and effort it takes to get my TA requests approved,” said Espinal. “The new Navy College self-service model has freed Sailors like myself to move through the entire VOLED process from start to finish more quickly.” 

To benefit from WebTA automated processing, Sailors must meet a few conditions:
All Sailors must have a degree plan on file from the school they are attending.
First time TA users must have completed both the Navy TA Interactive Multimedia Instruction and Navy Virtual Counseling 101 training. This is a one-time requirement.
All service members must be counseled by a NCVEC counselor or an OCONUS Navy College Office counselor. Counseling must re-occur at each new level of education being pursued (e.g. AA, BS, MS).
All grades for previous TA funded courses must be reported and the service member cannot owe any funds to the Navy.
When completing their WebTA application, service members must use the catalog information as uploaded by their school into the My Education portal.

Navy College staff are always seeking feedback about the VOLED program. The link to the new NCP customer service opinion survey is: https://www.research.net/r/NCVEC_CSAT_SURV_V2.

More information can be found by visiting the Navy College Program website: https://www.navycollege.navy.mil/index.htm including how to start the education process, complete required training, submit a Help Request through the NCVEC, initiate a Live Chat session, or review knowledge management articles. The NCVEC can be reached toll free by calling 1-877-838-1659; DSN 492-4684, Monday-Friday 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. EST. An additional program, the United Services Military Apprenticeship Program (USMAP) works closely with the Department of Labor to provide nationally-recognized apprenticeship programs that result in journeyman-level certificates of completion for members of the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.

For more information about USMAP or to register for an apprenticeship, visit https://usmap.netc.navy.mil/usmapss/static/index.htm.  The WebTA automation feature is part of the Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education (MPT&E) Transformation, a modernization effort that will overhaul the way human resources (HR) services are provided to all Sailors, their families, and future recruits.  Over the next several years, the Transformation will change how services are offered throughout a Sailor's entire "Hire-to-Retire" life cycle, by streamlining processes and systems to improve the speed, accuracy, and quality of HR services.

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