Recognizing the validity of academic credit for real-life experience, the Navy Spouse University of the United States of America has designed a curriculum which reflects the challenges faced by women and men married to sailors.
Admissions to our program is straight-forward. Alone, you must assemble a child’s two-wheeler bicycle, with training wheels. The only tools you may use are those found in a typical kitchen (knives, nutcrackers, corkscrews, etc.) This assembly must be done in less than an hour. Our research shows that this is the average nap time of the recipient of such a bike.
If you elect to enter our Associates Degree program, you will be required to complete one six-month deployment. Stuff will happen, and you will be expected to deal with it. The majority of students enter this program with a toddler. You must also volunteer as Chair of the Welcome Home Committee for the ship’s Support Group. Furthermore, it is mandatory that you have completed the paperwork for, and obtained, a VA loan while your active duty member was at sea. You must write a five-page research paper which discusses, in depth, survival skills for a mid-cruise four-day visit by a member of your extended family who knows nothing at all about navy life and is very concerned about how their tax dollars are being spent. The written final exam will expect you to have a working knowledge of Tricare, Certificates of Non-Availability, and LES statements. .
You may at this point wish to continue your education and enter the Bachelor of Navy Spouse program. This comprehensive program of study demands that students complete two six-month deployments in no more than two years. Twice as much stuff will happen, and you will be expected to deal with it. You must also volunteer as Treasurer of the ship’s Support Group. The majority of the student body enters this program with one pre-schooler and one toddler. Students are required to sell a house, either through an agent or by themselves. Research shows that each is equally challenging. Students are eligible to graduate with honors if they complete a permanent change of station (PCS) move while their active duty member is at sea AND have submitted and been paid in full the Claim for Loss of or Damage to Personal Property to Service (DD Form 1842).
For a Masters Degree from Navy Spouse University, you must complete a two-year tour with your active duty member serving as a geographic bachelor – in other words – “s/he gets home on the weekends”. Navy Spouse recognizes the spectrum of stuff that will happen in these particular circumstances. However, in order to maintain our accreditation, it is required that candidates enter this program with, at least, one middle-schooler and one teen living with them. Furthermore, candidates must complete a major renovation on their residence (kitchen or bedroom and bath). Students are eligible to graduate with honors if they get away for one weekend in the two-year tour alone with their active duty member.
Finally, for those spouses who are highly motivated, we offer our Doctorate of Navy Spouse. For this degree, it is required that you complete a one-year unaccompanied tour OR 2 consecutive tours as the Command Master Chief’s wife OR 3 consecutive tours as the XO’s wife (in one tour the CO must be a bachelor). You MUST have two teenagers living with you. Furthermore, you must volunteer as landlord for neighbors who are serving overseas and have rented their home to, with all due respect, a couple of bachelor helo pilots serving in their first squadron. Candidates are not required to write a thesis; however, we do require a three-hour oral exam administered by three chief’s wives.
Navy Spouse University has based its curriculum on those tasks that Navy spouses must do on a regular basis. These are tasks which no one, given the option, would choose to do. The experience inherent to this rigorous course of study has one end-result. When a Navy spouse is afforded the luxury of setting a course to reach a self-set goal – there is nothing – ABSOLUTELY NOTHING – that can stop that Navy spouse.