USS JOHN C. STENNIS, At Sea -- Sailors aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) began taking college classes Oct. 22 while deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.
More than 300 Stennis Sailors have enrolled in Navy College Program for Afloat College Education (NCPACE) classes to further their education.
NCPACE courses are led by college professors and allow students to earn college credits that are transferrable to any accredited college or university. This semester, the John C. Stennis University (JCSU) is offering a variety of math, history, English, government and financial courses.
"NCPACE classes are a big morale booster," said Ensign Jarrod Hamby, Stennis' educational service officer (ESO), from Jonesboro, Ark. "If you were to ask why Sailors joined, 50 percent would probably say 'for educational benefits.' The classes are completely free and all Sailors have to do is purchase a book; you're not going to find a better deal than that."
Hamby said that taking these classes will enhance Sailors' study habits, which will carry over into advancement exams and qualifications.
"NCPACE courses will increase Sailors' overall knowledge, and it will allow them to be better equipped Sailors while in the Navy," said Hamby.
The education Sailors receive will follow them while in the Navy or in the civilian sector.
"By taking classes, I will help develop myself to be disciplined in studying for school as well as my Navy qualifications," said Yeoman 3rd Class (SW) Candice Davis, from Conyers, Ga.
Davis, currently enrolled in two NCPACE classes, said the courses will provide her with the necessary skills she needs to succeed.
"These days, you need to have some form of secondary education to get a job as a civilian," said Davis. "If I get out of the Navy, I want to have as many options as possible, and a degree along with the skills I learn will do that for me."
The John C. Stennis Strike Group, consisting of Stennis, Carrier Air Wing 9, Destroyer Squadron 21 and guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) are forward deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet to strengthen regional partnerships, sustain maritime security, and support combatant commander requirements for assets in the area.