Navy Ends Instructor-Led 'Afloat' College Program

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Peter R. Miller
Military.com | By Jim Absher

On Sept. 30, 2019, the Navy ended its decades-old NCPACE program, which provided classroom-based college courses to sailors and Marines at sea.

The Program for Afloat College Education, or PACE as it was known then, began in 1974 as classroom instruction in basic college courses, usually taught by a civilian instructor. Through the years, the program, and name, evolved.

Most recently, the program existed in two versions: the NCPACE-IL and NCPACE-DL.

Read more about Navy education programs.

While NCPACE-IL offered free "Instructor Led" college courses in a classroom setting onboard a deployed ship, the NCPACE-DL program offers "Distance Learning" programs to sailors and Marines at Types 2 or 4 sea-duty commands. The courses can be taken while deployed or in homeport.

While the NCPACE-IL program is ending, the NCPACE-DL program remains unchanged.

The NCPACE-IL program relied heavily on electronic methods and computers to achieve its goals, while the number of sailors and Marines enrolled in classroom training saw a steady decline over recent years with no corresponding decline in program costs.

There were also no bidders for the new NCPACE-IL contract when the Navy sought to extend the program.

The service says that funds allocated for the NCPACE-IL program will be reclassified and used for the Tuition Assistance program.

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