SAN DIEGO - Nearly 100 Sailors aboard USS Makin Island (LHD 8) registered for college classes during Navy College Program for Afloat College Education's (NCPACE) first visit to the ship, Jan. 18-20.
NCPACE is a tuition-free program offered through the Navy College Office, which provides shipboard Sailors the opportunity to take both instructor-led and distance-learning courses.
Lt. j.g. Eric Smitley, USS Makin Island education services officer, said NCPACE courses are especially convenient for Sailors because the classes are offered on board the ship.
"This is really a great opportunity for our Sailors to advance their education given their busy schedules," he said.
Makin Island will be hosting three instructor-led classes during the ship's first pre-deployment term: psychology, biology and speech.
"NCPACE instructors will also be offering classes during deployment, so Sailors will be able to continue their education program even when the ship is underway," Smitley said.
Operations Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Robert Dupree said he signed up for the NCPACE courses to catch up on general education classes. Dupree plans on pursuing a degree in human resource management, which he hopes will one day help him become an officer.
"It's great because it (NCPACE) gives us an opportunity to get an education at no cost," Dupree said. "This will allow us to work on our personal goals, even while we're underway."