By Scott Prater
Military spouses who are looking to enhance their careers might want to look into the Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts program.
Following the success of a two-year, eight-state pilot program, the Department of Defense has expanded MyCAA to include military spouses worldwide. The program is now offering $6,000 to military spouses who pursue degree programs, licenses or credentials that lead to careers in high growth, high-demand career fields.
“The idea is for spouses to receive training so that when they move from station to station, they don’t have to start all over again in another career field,” said Terrance Jackson of the Pikes Peak Workforce Center, the administrator of the local pilot program.
The new worldwide MyCAA program is now administered by Military OneSource, and is initiated through an online process. Interested spouses can visit https://aiportal.acc.af.mil/mycaa to set up a MyCAA account and learn more about the program.
All spouses of active duty military members and activated members of the National Guard and Reserve components are eligible for the program.
MyCAA financial assistance pays for expenses such as post-secondary education and training, tuition, licensing and credentialing fees. These include degree programs and continuing education classes, Bar, Certified Public Accountant and similar exams, state certifications for teachers and medical licensing.
Military OneSource Career/Education Consultants at 1-800-342-9647 can assist interested spouses with the specifics of starting the MyCAA process, as well as help spouses choose career fields, schools, services or exams.
Spouses around the globe have Pikes Peak area military installations to thank for making the pilot program successful, and thus, prompting the DoD to offer it worldwide.
“Our goal was to get 643 spouses from Fort Carson, Peterson Field, Schriever Air Force Base and the U.S. Air Force Academy to participate,” said Mr. Jackson. “We ended up with 812 enrolled participants, and we’ve just about spent all of the grant money allotted for the program.”
Family agencies, including the Airman and Family Readiness Center here at Schriever, assisted the Pikes Peak Workforce Center with the pilot program, by helping spread the word to local spouses and determining eligibility for the program.
“The benefits to spouses are really great,” Mr. Jackson said. “It’s sad that some people choose not to take advantage of the program because it’s a great chance to further your education and pick up new skills.”