Unemployment and underemployment are challenges for military spouses.
According to the Hiring Our Heroes’ “Military Spouses in the Workplace” report, half of spouses working part time would prefer a full-time position, and 82% of those who have a seasonal or temporary job would prefer a permanent position. More than two-thirds of military spouses reported having to quit or change jobs due to their spouse’s career.
But, there are programs to help military spouses pursue an education and potentially gain meaningful work. MyCAA (Military Spouse Career Advancement Account) is one of them.
What is MyCAA?
MyCAA is a career development and employee assistance program that helps military spouses who’d like to earn a professional license, certificate, certification or associate degree. As part of the Department of Defense’s Spouse Education and Career Opportunities (SECO) program, MyCAA offers help with exploring career options, education and training, resume and interview skills, and using connections to help land work.
Learn More: NEC’s Long-Standing Military Support
What Does MyCAA Cover?
MyCAA pays up to $4,000 for spouses earning a recognized license, certificate, certification or associate degree in a portable career field. Courses must be part of your education and training plan. It excludes majors of general studies, liberal arts and interdisciplinary studies unless there is a specific concentration, such as nursing or teaching.
What MyCAA Doesn’t Cover
- Reimbursements of any kind
- Books, supplies, equipment, uniforms, computers or electronic devices
- Fees such as registration, technology or parking
Who is Eligible for MyCAA?
To take advantage of the MyCAA program, you must be a spouse of an active-duty servicemember who can start and complete your coursework while your spouse is on active duty.
Spouses who qualify must be married to servicemembers in the following pay grades:
- Enlisted servicemembers – E-1 to E-5
- Warrant officers – W-1 to W-2
- Commissioned officers – O-1 to O-2
You cannot be in the military or on active duty yourself, but you are still eligible if you are currently employed. MyCAA uses the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) to verify spouse eligibility. An eligibility check is initiated when you open a MyCAA account and each time you request financial assistance.
What Schools Can Participate?
Schools that qualify for the MyCAA program must be accredited. You can verify a school of interest using MyCAA online.
New England College offers spouses of active-duty servicemembers a special military tuition rate* of $750 per 4-credit course; spouses of veterans are eligible for a 10% tuition savings.
How Can You Learn More?
To see if you qualify for MyCAA benefits and learn more about how the program works, visit Military OneSource.
*Reductions are valid off the standard tuition and program fee rate of any degree or certificate offered through Bisk Education. This reduction is not stackable with other reductions, and you may not use this reduction in conjunction with other reductions.