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Obtaining Degree While Working

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Hello!  I have been a member on here since summer '17 and in the CAF since Jan '18.  Things are going well, not that you asked. 

Anywho(m), as a P3 Avr still, I have heard some sr. Corporals are enrolled in online uni courses chipping away at a degree.  I always hear weird things like its 'hard to do' and the reimbursements and even enrolling in this are 'frozen'.  Looking for any insight as id love to take advantage of this opportunity as learning is important (and pads a PER)  Thanks in advance and ill be checking in daily.

Thank you,

Avr, the best rank
 

Navy_Pete

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It would be helpful to know if you have an endgoal. Are you working towards something specific, like UTPNCM? There are lots of different options, but if you just want PER points there are probably better ways to spend your time then random uni courses (especially as junior NCM; they really won't matter or be relevant).

If you are just looking at gaining knowledge, there are lots of free options (such as the Open University). Or even just reading a few books.
 

Kilted

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It's doable, many universities offer online degrees now, especially with covid.  I'm doing one myself, because I'm a reservist I have to pay for the entire thing myself because they got rid of our educational reimbursement, although apparently we are supposed to get it back when there is money for it in the budget.  There is never anything wrong with doing school, even if it is for the sake of doing it, especially if it is free. 
 
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UTPNCM is something id like to consider and atleast have available.  The more options the better right?  I disagree with better ways to spend time.  If i can get educated and reimbursed while improving my career and creating more options for the future... is there really a downside? 
 

Navy_Pete

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SlickHandzAVN said:
UTPNCM is something id like to consider and atleast have available.  The more options the better right?  I disagree with better ways to spend time.  If i can get educated and reimbursed while improving my career and creating more options for the future... is there really a downside?

No, I agree education/knowledge is always good, but just meant if all you want if a PER bump, there are probably other things that give you more bang for the buck on scoring then some random college/uni course. Depends on what rank and trade you are looking at, but generally speaking a second language profile is usually worth more points then anything else (for example).

Personally I'm a big proponent of lifelong learning, and if you have a specific goal in mind, then you may want to go a more formal route and have some kind of certificate on the other end. Equally valid though is just generally learning about stuff or how to do new things; that's the kind of thing that you can pick up from reading, asking someone to show you how to do it and practicing it, or the thousand other ways to pick things up. That can be trade specific or picking up a general CAF kind of skill (like learning something in DRMIS) or have absolutely nothing to do with the CAF and just be something you are interested in. So really all depends what you want to get out of it and what specifically you want to learn about for what may be the better option.

Not really sure what the current options are for things like ILP, but even if you are doing it on your own dime would recommend mentioning it to your CoC. There is a lot of flexibility to offer support in all kinds of ways that don't involve money, and have in the past done things like put them in touch with SMEs for help, helped edit papers, run through a sticking point on a lesson, and arrange for some short leave for an exam. Anything financial has very specific rules and authority levels, but the rest is discretionary, and in my experience people are as supportive as they can be.

Not sure if you've seen them, but there are a few universities that have free courseware. They may not include things like getting grades at the end, but if you want to learn about science/math, hard to beat MIT.  I think the Open University even offers some course certificates, but not sure if that's just a participation one or if they actually do assignments and whatnot.  There are even some decent courses on DLN, and depending where you are they may run some of those short seminar type courses. The ones on improving writing skills are always really useful.

MIT open courseware: https://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm
Open University free courses: http://www.open.ac.uk/courses/coronavirus#free

 

FJAG

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I joined the Forces straight out of high school (in those days you could become an officer without a university degree) but quickly started taking night courses and extension courses. The University of Manitoba has a great program for allowing you to get a degree through extension courses including evaluating courses from other universities and even some academic military qualifications and assigning credit towards a UofM degree. Worked great for me.

https://umextended.ca/military-support/

:cheers:
 

sidemount

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Just as an FYI right now is no new ILPs are being approved.
A new policy should be coming out in the Feb time frame. My understanding is to expect a $36K lifetime cap and a few other changes.
 

ModlrMike

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While getting a degree is an important goal, getting the right degree is more important. You don't say what occupation you intend to enroll in, so it's a little bit hard to be more specific. I would recommend that you take a look at how you are expected to progress in your career. Then map out how you get from where you are now, to where you want to be. Ensure you enroll in a degree program that meets your needs, and is consistent with your end goal. If your goal is to become an officer, ensure your degree is on the list of preferred degrees for the occupation you want. For example, if you intend to be a LogO, don't take a degree in biology.

That being said, certainly, take the degree. But use your electives to bolster your current career requirements. Take short courses in between. For example if you enroll as an NCM and you expect to do your PLQ in a few years, take some management courses as you approach that milestone. If you have a specific trade requirement at your next level, explore courses offered by a community college that might give you a leg up. You don't say what occupation you intend to enroll in, so it's a little bit hard to be more specific.

Think of this a long-term campaign, and develop a strategic plan for victory.

 
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Thanks for all the responses guys.  I really do appreciate it and you all have shed some light on this topic for me.  Perhaps with a little more planning and goal setting I can narrow it down to exactly what I want.  Thanks again and ill be in touch 😁
 
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It's doable, many universities offer online degrees now, especially with covid. I'm doing one myself, because I'm a reservist I have to pay for the entire thing myself because they got rid of our educational reimbursement, although apparently we are supposed to get it back when there is money for it in the budget. There is never anything wrong with doing school, even if it is for the sake of doing it, especially if it is free.
Reservists whose programs are authorized through the ILP program do get reimbursed up to a max ceiling. It is a treasury board entitlement for Reservists so not something that is dependent on the military finding money. You just have to be authorized.
 

PuckChaser

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That max ceiling is 50% of costs up to $2000 per year for up to 4 years, so a lifetime total of $8000.

The RegF ILP system is 100% coverage. Same form, completely different set of rules and problems.
 

Kilted

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Reservists whose programs are authorized through the ILP program do get reimbursed up to a max ceiling. It is a treasury board entitlement for Reservists so not something that is dependent on the military finding money. You just have to be authorized.
We haven't been able to claim it for about two years now. There has been no indication of when it is coming back. I know that recruiting still advertises it, which I don't think is very honest.
 

Kilted

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Just as an FYI right now is no new ILPs are being approved.
A new policy should be coming out in the Feb time frame. My understanding is to expect a $36K lifetime cap and a few other changes.
Is that just Reg Force or are we finally going to get it back in the reserves?
 
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We haven't been able to claim it for about two years now. There has been no indication of when it is coming back. I know that recruiting still advertises it, which I don't think is very honest.
That is very disappointing to hear, and very frustrating for you. I've attached a link to a local (parked on civilian server) soldier handbook here which has on page 29 the process for claiming an ILP as a Reservist in BC. You have probably done and looked at everything on the page, but in case you haven't there is a link where you SHOULD be able to track your ILP file (it is a mil.ca link so unfortunately only available on DWAN). Also, the information was provided directly by the personnel selection officer who approves the programs in BC. I thought it might be useful to you to refer to and see if your unit could help refer your case to your own local PSO. It is possible (as someone else mentioned) that funds are 'frozen' temporarily, however I think (and hope) this is now old news - I would suspect that your file may have gone astray. Two years is a very long time to wait, but don't give up.

 

da1root

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That max ceiling is 50% of costs up to $2000 per year for up to 4 years, so a lifetime total of $8000.

The RegF ILP system is 100% coverage. Same form, completely different set of rules and problems.
They've actually changed the policy for PRes members.

When it came it out it was "50% of costs up to $2,000/year for up to 4 years" then a bunch of Class B reservists put grievances in and it's been revamped to be 50% of costs up to to $2,000/year to a career maximum of $8,000.

It took me roughly 6.5 years to do my undergrad degree but I claimed every single year because of the change in wording and still didn't use my career max.
 

PuckChaser

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Interesting change, I only did a 2 year program (and it was 15 years ago) so wasnt tracking that. Good to know.
 

Kilted

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That is very disappointing to hear, and very frustrating for you. I've attached a link to a local (parked on civilian server) soldier handbook here which has on page 29 the process for claiming an ILP as a Reservist in BC. You have probably done and looked at everything on the page, but in case you haven't there is a link where you SHOULD be able to track your ILP file (it is a mil.ca link so unfortunately only available on DWAN). Also, the information was provided directly by the personnel selection officer who approves the programs in BC. I thought it might be useful to you to refer to and see if your unit could help refer your case to your own local PSO. It is possible (as someone else mentioned) that funds are 'frozen' temporarily, however I think (and hope) this is now old news - I would suspect that your file may have gone astray. Two years is a very long time to wait, but don't give up.

It's not just my file, it's everyone's. No one has been able to submit new ones in that timeframe.
 

CBH99

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They've actually changed the policy for PRes members.

When it came it out it was "50% of costs up to $2,000/year for up to 4 years" then a bunch of Class B reservists put grievances in and it's been revamped to be 50% of costs up to to $2,000/year to a career maximum of $8,000.

It took me roughly 6.5 years to do my undergrad degree but I claimed every single year because of the change in wording and still didn't use my career max.
I fully understand I'm retarded, so please forgive me. But isn't that the exact same thing?

$2000 a year for up to 4 years... or $2000 a year to a maximum of $8000...


I apologize, I feel like I'm missing something glaringly obvious :unsure:
 

da1root

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I fully understand I'm retarded, so please forgive me. But isn't that the exact same thing?

$2000 a year for up to 4 years... or $2000 a year to a maximum of $8000...


I apologize, I feel like I'm missing something glaringly obvious :unsure:
Nope it isn't the same thing.

Original Wording:
50%/year to a yearly max of $2000 for 4 years
Class A Reservist (part-time military member) who is going to school full time will utilize the $8,000 as their yearly costs normally exceed $4000/year

Class B Reservist (full-time military member) who is going to school full time averages $1,500 to $2,000 /year in school fees - they would get $1,000/year in reimbursement - after 4 years they received $4,000 in reimbursement and because of the "4 year max" they can no longer claim reimbursement.

New Wording:
50%/year to a yearly max of $2000 for a career max of $8000

Class A Reservist (part-time military member) who is going to school full time will utilize the $8,000 as their yearly costs normally exceed $4000/year

Class B Reservist (full-time military member) who is going to school full time averages $1,500 to $2,000 /year in school fees - they would get $1,000/year in reimbursement - whether it takes them 4 years, 6.5 years (in my case), 10 years or 15 years to do their degree they will still get the $8,000 that the Class A Reservist got in 4 years.

So while it doesn't change a thing for the Class A reservist, it does change it for the Class B member.
 

daftandbarmy

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Why not just put in six years, or 12 years, then get out with either $40,000 or $80,000 of VAC education cash in your pocket?

It‘a a good option!
 
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