USNA Learning Resources Event

What a terrific event this one was, one we sponsored together with the USNA Parents Club of Northern Virginia!  We were honored to be joined by Col. Bobbi Shea, Deputy Commandant of the Naval Academy, Dr. Bruce Bukowski, Director of the Center for Academic Excellence, and Capt. Spencer Johnson, USN (Ret), President of the USNA Class of '63, and we thank them so much for giving up a Saturday afternoon to speak to our members.  Our attendance was not what we had hoped for, but those who were there had the opportunity to learn about the resources available to assist their Midshipmen both academically and professionally, as well as to ask all the questions of our presenters.  Col. Shea's presentation can be found here, and Dr. Bukowski's presentation is here.  Both contain a wealth of information.

Let me share some facts that I learned from these presentations.  These are things that I didn't know, and I have been working with Mids and the Academy since 1998.

  • One does not have to be in academic trouble to avail themselves of the Center for Academic Excellence (CAE).  A recent grad, #14 in her class, the #1 Marine selectee overall, and a Rhodes Scholar, used and benefited from the services provided by the CAE.

  • Somewhere in the range of only 20% of all college graduates in the US finish their bachelor's degree in four years.  USNA students must finish in four years, and in doing so, take an average of 20 more credit hours of classes than their civilian college brethren.

  • More than 50% of the Brigade makes use of the services of the CAE.

  • All of the non-Midshipmen tutors made available to the Mids are required to have a minimum of a Masters degree in their field.  In other words, if you are tutoring students in Chemistry, you must have at least a Masters degree in Chemistry.  Not Education, not an MBA, but in Chemistry.

  • There is a resource available to Mids, the Midshipman Development Center (MDC), that offers all sorts of assistance, including counseling, nutritional advice, and more, that is available to them at no charge and with no reflection on their record.  As in what happens and is said in the MAG, stays in the MAG. 

  • Captain Johnson told us about why his class is so involved with the CAE.  The Class of '63, as their legacy, chose first to educate the orphan children from their classmates that died in the Vietnam War.  After those children had all been put through school and the need for funds to do that had disappeared, they turned their attention to their next legacy challenge.  Their class lost roughly 30% of their shipmates that they started with during plebe summer, primarily due to academics.  They decided to begin funding the CAE to make sure that never needed to happen again.  In October of 2013, they presented the Superintendent with a check for over $6 million dollars to continue to fund the CAE.  He was proud to tell us that their Link in the Chain class, 2013, will be assuming the mantle to support the CAE as their legacy.

Please review these presentations, and share them with your Mid.  There is so much available to your sons and daughters to make them even more successful; all they have to do is ask.  If they don't know where to find it, talk to the MAG, talk to the CAE, talk to their Company Officer, talk to their academic advisor, talk to their chaplain.  Don't be afraid to ask for help or guidance, each and every person at the Yard and associated with the Academy is committed to helping them and making them successful.

We will hold this event again next year, and hope that more parents will attend and learn about the resources available to help their sons and daughters.