Evaluation of Graduate Education Policy in the U.S. Navy
Hatch, William D.
Eitelberg, Mark J.
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This thesis evaluates Navy policy by comparing elements of fully-funded and partially-funded Graduate Education Programs (GEPs). The Navy's primary goal in offering funded graduate education is to support requirements for officers with specific subspecialty skills. Officers are considered funded if they attend graduate school full time for 26 or more weeks, regardless of whether the degree program is partially- or fully-funded. For a fully-funded program, the Navy provides full pay and allowances for the duration of the course of study plus all tuition costs. For a partially-funded program, the Navy generally provides only pay and allowances, and the individual or an organization other than the Navy pays the tuition. Particular attention was given to researching DoD and Navy policies, a review of stakeholders responsibilities, and management of the Navys GEP. The results identify gaps in the current policy directive (OPNAVINST 1520.23B), which had not been updated in over twenty years. The study proposes policy and program changes to better manage and more effectively execute graduate education in the U.S. Navy. From an equity perspective, the partially-funded service obligation needs revision to reflect its actual burden to the individual officer and the Navy. It is further recommended that the Navy review its existing graduate education instructions to confirm that language is current and meets officers career milestone objectives.
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