There are a number of benefits available for active-duty military, reservists, veterans and military spouses in order to advance their education. One of the programs available specifically for military spouses is the Military Spouse Career Advancement Account (MyCAA) program, a career development and employment assistance program sponsored by the Department of Defense (DoD).
MyCAA is specifically geared toward career advancement education for military spouses, providing a maximum education benefit of $4,000 ($2,000 per fiscal year) to military spouses in order to help them pursue licensing, certification, or an associate degree aimed at gainful employment in high-demand, high-growth portable career fields and occupations. Examples of high-demand, high-growth portable career fields include pharmacy techs, medical coding associates, and medical billing associates.
Because of its specifications and aim to lead military spouses into portable career fields, MyCAA is not available for general education programs, and thus excludes such common associate degree programs as general studies, liberal arts, and interdisciplinary studies. MyCAA requires a career focused concentration in the coursework and certification or degree worked toward, making sure the funds available are applied to those areas of study with a practical use and defined occupational endpoint.
In addition to the financial assistance provided by the program, MyCAA has two other aspects that should be of interest to military spouses considering advanced education:
- Employment Readiness Counseling – Counseling services available to spouses of all active duty military regardless of rank help spouses identify additional sources of federal, state and local financial assistance, as well as guidance toward the career paths that might fit given a spouse’s particular background and strengths. This counseling can also provide necessary support resources to help spouses continue their education, ranging from child care and transportation to books, computers, and other supplies.
- Employment Assistance and Career Services – This department helps those spouses who have completed MyCAA-funded educational programs find employment by contacting military-friendly employers and providing referrals.
As a military-friendly school, Abraham Lincoln University is eligible for MyCAA participation. Particular programs of interest to spouses using MyCAA funds include the diploma programs in Criminal Justice and Paralegal Studies and the associate degree programs in Criminal Justice, Paralegal Studies, and Business Administration. For more information, visit www.alu.edu.