|Career Path > Navy:Staying In|
|STA 21 program|
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I am currently in the Delayed Entry Program, and I am trying to figure out what my nuke pipeline is going to look like. I understand that if I do the STA 21 program it would start before prototype training and the specific universities i can attend. Only thing that I am confused about is some wording on the STA 21 website:
"The STA-21 Nuclear Option is available only at those specially identified universities, not including cross-town universities (see Education). Selectees must major in a technical curricula and maintain a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale."
What does "technical curricula" mean? Does this mean that I need to look into getting a Nuclear Engineering degree or something? I already have over 60 hours of college credits right now, and the nuke recruiter in my district said that I also earn some college credits while in Nuclear Power School.
what does technical curricula mean? (For instance, does a Business Administration degree count)
what type of hours are accumulated at NPS?
Has anyone else gone through the STA21 Program?
Other than going back to college, what else is apart of the STA21 program (other training, etc.)?
First, you're assuming you get selected in the pipeline, which may or may not happen. I'm not saying don't apply, though, if you don't apply, you can't get selected.
Technical curricula means, I think, a couple semesters of calculus and calculus based physics, so, no, Business Administration doesn't cut it, unless you have those as electives. However, I have seen SWO-N officers with degrees in Classical Literature, or something like that (she was the REA on my ship), History, Political Science, Nutrition, but most often some sort of Engineering degree.
It looks like the website hasn't been updated for the three part SAT yet, so be careful about that. Here's a link to the actual instruction, you'll want chapter 8.
Thanks for that link. Would I have to retake the SAT? i made a 1250 or something on the two part when I was in high school. I'm 21 now.
Also, in the nuke pamphlet it says "automatically accepted" into the STA21 program...all i know is that they reserve X amount of spots for just nukes.
Technical Curricla= A technical degree program, e.g. Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, maybe Computer Science (not IT garbage, real Computer Science that needs math) or Astronomy.
There is no "automatic" for STA-21. You have to apply and be accepted. What they base acceptance on varies as you spend more time in the Navy. At the point you are at, they will base it on High School performance and SAT's, plus whatever impression you make in the Sailorization process (Boot Camp, schools etc.)
College credits for service schools are determined by the granting institution and vary greatly. Thomas Edison State College gives a lot of credit for Nuclear Power School and "A" school. Texas A&M University gives little to no credit. It depends on the university and the degree program.
Look deeply into the requirements for STA-21, and make sure you follow all of the application guidelines
Have A Day ;D
I went through the Nuclear Enlisted Commissioning Program (NECP) which was discontinued when STA-21 started. The STA-21 nuclear option is essentially NECP except that they get up to $10K/year for school and don't have to go to OCS. I think it is a pretty big improvement. I thought it was stupid to require NECP students to spend 3 years doing NROTC then have them go to OCS. But to answer some of your questions...
Technical Curricula = Engineering Curriculum (Not Engineering Technology and not Industrial Engineering [I think Civil Engineering is out too but I can't remember]), Math, Physics, Chemistry. Computer Science does not count as technical but Computer Engineering does. Biology/physical/earth sciences are not considered technical. Business Admin is not even close to technical. Anything that has to do with finance is out the window...don't even think about it. You can minor/dual major in anything you want as long as you show that you can graduate on time with the required degree.
Basically, the best bet to graduate in the alloted time is to get a Mechanical Engineering degree. Most universities with large engineering programs (i.e. the schools STA-21 Nuc options are limited to) offer the required courses for ME in the fall and spring semesters and sometimes during the summer semester. Some other majors will likely have required courses that you can only take in the spring or fall - that makes scheduling a nightmare, especially when you only have 2.5-3 years to finish school.
The number of course hours that you get from NPS varies greatly from school to school. I only received half of my Physical Education requirement (3 credits) because of boot camp. Everything I received from NPS was not applicable to my degree program (Geared toward Engineering Technology degree). So, I actually got a ton of credits but most of them were worthless for my degree program. The extra credits did give me advanced standing and allowed me to register for classes earlier than I would have without the credits. That allowed me to actually get into many of the classes that I needed which may have otherwise been full.
NECP was advertised as a college program with little military involvement. At some schools the NECP students only military obligation was random urinalysis and the PRT. At many schools the NECP students were fully integrated into the NROTC battalion and did pretty much everything the NROTC students did except take Naval Science courses...I went to one of those schools. STA-21 will probably be like that. STA-21 will do everything the NROTC Midshipmen do but you will be called Officer Candidate. STA-21 will take all of the required Naval Science courses and get commissioned by the NROTC Battalion instead of attending OCS. There are substantial extra-curricular requirements in NROTC. I averaged 15-20 hours/week doing random NROTC stuff (mostly on weekends) in addition to the weekly drills.
NECP was a good deal and I suppose STA-21 is as well (probably better with the 10K/year for school). I didn't get a chance at the "real college experience" but that really isn't the point...is it? The extra NROTC requirements and the accelerated degree plan helped me hone my time management skills and kept me from spending a lot of time/money on stupid crap. I found time for beer and women but only a couple of nights/week. My friends found time for them almost every night but they took 5 years to graduate and incurred incredible student loan debt. I graduated debt free with enough GI bill left over to pay for an MS. Since the Post 9/11 GI bill kicked in I have 12 more months of benefits if I want to pursue more education. STA-21 students should have all of their GI Bill intact after school. Which is pretty much awesome.
STA-21 is far from guaranteed. Yes, there are some spots guaranteed for students in the pipeline but there are far more applicants than spots available. It will be extremely competitive. If you want to get into the program then you will have to play the opposite game with your classmates. When they are bullshitting in the classroom then you need to go to quiet study. When they spend the weekend at the beach...you need to be in school studying. When they are BS'ing between classes...you need to work on the days homework assignment so that you can spend the evening studying. Your classmates will try to cram the night before a test but you will need to cram every night. The same goes for prototype...get there an hour early and leave and hour later than required. Minimize the time you spend BS'ing in the break room. If you don't know how to study then make sure you really spend a lot of time learning how to study during A-school. The best method for me was to read/ask questions until I understood. Then write everything multiple times until I could repeat it verbatim. Memorization won't work as well if you don't understand the concepts...there were quite a few thermodynamics exams where I would have done poorly because I forgot some equations. But I used some memorized definitions and unit analysis to jog my memory and reverse engineer the right equation. Do all of the practice problems that the instructors make available.
If you don't get selected during the training pipeline then just bust your ass in the fleet...same rules apply but you will have to be a lot more sociable. It is hard to succeed in the fleet/prototype by completely insulating yourself. You can get away with it to an extent in NPS because it is essentially an individual effort. That being said...be sure to help others who are struggling and don't be an asshole. Being an asshole doesn't help anything.
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