Monday, October 12, 2015

Key Information about the MyCAA (Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts)

MyCAA – Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts
Did you know that the military has a Tuition Assistance program for military spouses? It’s called the Military Spouse Career Advancement Account, or MyCAA. This program began in 2010 and is run through the Department of Defense. It is designed to help military spouses have better opportunities for employment.
Who is Eligible?
The MyCAA program is open to spouses of active duty servicemembers who are in the pay grades of E-1 through E-5, W-1 and W-2, and O-1 and O-2. Spouses of activated Guard members and reservists are also eligible for the program if the servicemember is on Title-10 orders and the spouse will finish their sponsored courses before the service member is off Title-10 orders. Spouses within all branches of the military are eligible (except Coast Guard spouses).
How does it work?
MyCAA participants are eligible to receive up to $4,000 in Tuition Assistance benefits, with a maximum of $2,000 per fiscal year. Spouses can receive the Tuition Assistance to get associate degrees, certifications, and licensures. These benefits cannot be used for advanced degrees or the completion of a bachelor’s degree. There is a requirement that the student must complete their study program within three years from the start date.
Purpose of the MyCAA Program
The goal is to help make military spouses more employable. The government knows that enlisted members and junior officers do not make a large salary and when married, they often need a dual income household.  
Where can I learn more about the MyCAA program?
Eligible military spouses can begin the application process at the official MyCAA website. Spouses will need to create a profile, and their eligibility will be confirmed by linking their account with DEERS.  Once eligibility has been established, the spouse can then create a Career and Training Plan, which will need approval. As previously noted, the student must enroll in an education plan that will lead to a portable career (list of approved programs). The student can then request their Financial Assistance document within 30 days of the first class date. Spouses are required to apply to the school and enroll in the courses on their own.
MyCAA Course Options
There are many different institutions that participate in the MyCAA program. One in particular that I like is Martinsburg College. They are completely online which allows busy spouses the benefit of doing their training and coursework when it is most convenient for them. They know that the best jobs for spouses are ones that are portable. They understand that military members are constantly moving and deploying and that spouses need a job that is in demand and can be used at any place in the world. They offer a wide variety of certificates and associate degree programs including homeland security, healthcare, information technology, finance, telecommunications and electronics, and general business. They serve all branches of the military including the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, as well as veterans and military spouses. In a recent survey, 95% of the students that respond expressed satisfaction with their experience at Martinsburg. Although it is online, if a student requires one-on-one and direct telephone or digital tutoring sessions the college provides those resources.
Martinsburg College also has a Facebook group where military spouses can learn more about their MyCAA education benefits. Click here to check out Martinsburg College Facebook page.
The MyCAA program is something you should definitely take advantage of. Only 20% of eligible spouses actually do. It allows you to advance your education for free or for a very minimum cost. If you have been thinking about furthering your education, now is the time!
To learn more about Martinsburg College click here.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

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