How can military spouses advance their careers?

Take advantage of Columbia College programs for military spouses

Having a spouse who attends Columbia College helps.

Military spouses often have the worst of both worlds, relocating to distant bases where they know not a soul and where educational and career opportunities are scarce. But Columbia College, a leader in educating military servicemembers, is taking the lead in educating their spouses with a new program called MyCAA and through several existing programs.


The Department of Defense has established a tuition assistance program for spouses of active duty personnel serving in the regular forces and for spouses of activated National Guard and Reserve members. Called the My Career Advancement Account (MyCAA), the program provides up to a total of $6,000 in tuition assistance (TA) for spouses to pursue degree programs, certifications, licensure and credentials. The $6,000 can be used all at once or incrementally.

Columbia College is an approved school in the MyCAA program. As such, all degrees are approved for this program.

Basically, these are the general steps a spouse would take:
  1. Apply for the MyCAA program at
  2. Make an appointment with an academic advisor at the nearest Columbia College office to discuss education or career goals and apply for admission (if not yet an accepted student) to Columbia College. Pure online applicants should speak to an Online Campus academic advisor.
  3. When registering for courses at Columbia College, a copy of the TA authorization letter is required. Pure Online students would take the assisted registration path by either faxing or attaching to an e-mail the TA authorization letter.
  4. Columbia College will then post the TA as a credit to the student’s account
Note: Military OneSource, the contractor providing assistance to spouses for this program, cautions that due to the high volume of calls and e-mails, applicants should allow up to two weeks for requests to be processed.

Spousal opportunities

Columbia College currently has a Spouse’s Opportunity Scholarship and offers 20% off tuition for undergraduate in-seat classes to all spouses. If spouses attend Columbia College with their spouse, they also receive discounted tuition with a Two-in-Family Grant.

Spouses also may take advantage of the National Military Family Association's military spouse scholarship and benefit from Army Emergency Relief scholarships for both statewide and overseas spouses.

Columbia College operates 35 Nationwide Campuses around the country, including 16 on military bases. All offer courses in the evening and on the weekend with eight-week sessions five times a year. Some campuses offer courses once per week for five hours per course; other campuses offer courses twice per week for 2.5 hours per course. Course schedules and degree programs vary by campus. Visit your local campus Web site for details.

And even frequent moves, deployment or a move to a location without a Columbia College in-seat program can't hinder a spouse's education. Spouses may transition to the online program seamlessly, ensuring that education will continue on schedule.

Columbia College further provides SOC transfer credit benefits to the military spouse; accepts most college examination programs; accepts many transfer credits; offers credit for life experience; and provides online access to career placement tools through the Career Services Center such as access to testing services, resumé writing and interview assistance, internships, and other job-search strategies and career-management tips.

Additional information on Columbia College's military spouse program may be found on; more on MyCCA at


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