When your spouse moves every couple of years, it can be difficult to keep up a career or to even get certificates or degrees.
Spouses are always on the Facebook pages asking where is hiring and what can they do to get a job, and one of the most frequent questions is about the My Career Advancement Account.
What is MyCAA? How can I use it to further my potential?
MyCAA is part of the Department of Defense’s Spouse Education and Career Opportunities program. SECO helps to develop careers and can assist with employment opportunies for spouses. MyCAA, as part of this program, helps spouses pursue licenses, certificates and Associate’s Degrees in certain disciplines with financial support. Basically, MyCAA helps spouses pay for certifications for employment in a field that can be portable.
Spouses start by working with counselors to create an employment plan of action. How will this certificate help my Family? How will I use this grant money to help further my potential?
This can be done in person or over the phone, and the conversation with the counselor is to help the spouse identify their goals and how to best achieve them.
MyCAA can provide a maximum education benefit of $4,000, with $2,000 being the annual fiscal year cap. So if you were to get an Associate’s Degree, you could use $2,000 of MyCAA each of the two years to help you out with tuition costs.
Spouses can apply to get more than $2,000 in a fiscal year if their up front costs for certifications exceed that.
MyCAA pays for training, education and exams that lead to a recognized license, certificate or Associate’s Degrees, but it does have some limitations. The grant won’t pay for courses that haven’t been outlined with their counselor. Books, supplies, equipment, uniforms, electronic devices and student entertainment all can’t be paid for with MyCAA.
The grant can’t be used as a reimbursement and college entrance exams, like the SAT, cannot be be paid for with MyCAA funds.
If you have to take a course more than once, MyCAA will only pay for it one time. Study abroad programs and degrees and certificates without a concentrate do not qualify for MyCAA.
Private licenses are not covered. The example the MyCAA website provides for this is a pilot’s license. A private pilot’s license won’t be covered, but a commercial pilot’s license would be.
High school completion programs do not qualify for MyCAA.
There is quite a bit more information about MyCAA and how it works, and really, the best way to determine if the funds are something that might help you jump start your career is to call Military OneSource at 1-800-342-9647.
Military OneSource can help military Families with so many facets of military life, and they are a great resource for spouses seeking educational advancement.
You can also visit them online at www.militaryonesource.mil/web/mos. By calling up MOS, you can get connected with a career counselor who will help you figure out your goals and ways to succeed in your career.