NAS Whidbey Island Community

NAS Whidbey Island
Navy College Program

Navy College Program

DSN 820-3027

Navy College Office (NCO) oversees the adult education program on board NAS Whidbey Island. NCO is partnered with two on-base colleges, Brandman University and Columbia College, who provide in-seat as well as online courses and degree programs at the associate, bachelor and master’s level.NCO also periodically host other school representatives from colleges that are members of the Navy College Distance Learning Partnership program (NCDLP). There are also two off-base colleges in the City of Oak Harbor. The colleges on board NAS Whidbey Island are open to any adult learner with baseaccess.

The Navy College program, along with their on-base partner colleges and the visiting representatives from our NCDLP partners may be found inside the Naval Operational Support Center, on Midway Street, in Building 2739. The two on-base colleges have full-time staff to assist with your educational needs. To contact one of the on-base partners call, email or visit their website.

Brandman University (part of the Chapman University System)


Columbia College


For schools to be granted access to the installation, they must maintain membership in the Servicemember Opportunity College (SOC) network for their associate and bachelor degree programs, signed the DOD Memorandum of Understanding with applicable Navy and Marine Corps addendums and be listed as a “Participating Institution”on the website: For full-time sponsorship, the college must also have a regional or base Memorandum of Understanding, be accredited as recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, and also licensed by Washington State.

Degree programs affiliated with SOC are typically available throughout the Naval and Marine Corps community worldwide, which affords active duty and their adult family members maximum flexibility and guaranteed transferability of college credit from one member institution to another. These schools also award credit and advanced standing in their SOC-affiliated degrees for military training and experience as reflected on the member’s Joint Services Transcript or prior learning experiences. Additionally, these colleges award credit for courses that are challenged through examination as offered through the DANTES testing program, managed by the Navy College Office.

A wide variety of exams are available through the DANTES testing program such as interest and aptitude testing; CLEP and DSST course challenge exams; and the ACT and SAT college entrance exams. Many of these exams are fully funded for active-duty members.

While military spouses, retirees and civilians with base access may also take exams through the DANTES testing program, certain exams are restricted to active-duty members only. When DANTES permits testing of spouses of active duty, retirees and others, it is at their expense and on a space-available basis.

Do you want to test out of college-level subjects? Navy College Office established an on-base National Test Center through partnership with Columbia College. There are approximately 70 college-level subjects that students may test out of, saving both time and money toward completing a college degree. Students attending any college may take these exams through Columbia College and have the results transferred to their school. By taking the CLEP and DSST exams through Columbia College, the student has the advantage of instantaneous scoring for all multiple choice exams. Essay exams take longer since they have to be scored by hand. To arrange for one of these exams, contact Columbia College at 360-279-9030 for details.

Local Program Information: Navy College Office emails a monthly calendar to on-base employees through the base Public Affairs Office. If you would like a monthly calendar to be emailed to your home, send your home address to with the words “Calendar Request” in the subject line.

Financial Assistance: Tuition funding for active-duty members is by far the most popular element of the many services offered by the Navy College Office. A mandatory orientation class is required before submitting a Tuition Assistance application, and refresher training is required every year thereafter until degree completion. During orientation, students will learn how to research colleges, the various types of accreditation and how to choose a quality program with a school that holds appropriate accreditation for their chosen career. In addition, students will learn about other types of financial assistance available. These sessions are held weekly at 2:30 p.m. on Thursdays. While reservations are not required, students need to arrive a few minutes early, because late arrivals are not accommodated.

Courses while deployed: For those serving in Sea Duty type 2 or 4 commands, and Individual Augmentees (IAs), the Navy College Office also provides NCPACE Orientation Services. NCPACE, or Navy College Program Afloat College Education, is a contracted program owned by the Naval Education and Training Command and overseen by Naval Education Training Professional Development Technology Center through their Navy College Offices worldwide. Certain colleges are contracted in this program, offering college prep, associate, bachelor and master degrees. All tuition is paid out of the NCPACEcontract dollars. The only out-of-pocket expense to the Sailor are the books and if taking a self-contained distance learning course, the kit that provides guidance. This program is uniquely designed to help Sailors who are forward deployed with their educational needs.

NCPACE requires coordination by the participating command. Normally, the Command Education Service Officer is charged with this responsibility. The Command ESO requests NCPACE Orientation Services by calling the primary Navy College Office where home ported. The program is available to ship’s company, submariners and squadron personnel deploying to ships, as well as expeditionary squadrons and IAs. The program may be made available to commands on a year-round basis depending upon their deployable status and desire for the program.

Squadrons interested in taking the NCPACE program on deployment should contact the Navy College Office at the beginning of their work-up cycle to request NCPACE orientation services. This ensures ample time for dealing with logistical concerns and contract requirements. IAs are encouraged to contact the Navy College Office for guidance as soon as they know of their IA status.


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