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Up your GT, Turbo-charge your career with MASP

By Sgt. Todd Greenwood | | December 1, 2000

Looking to advance your military career, make a lateral move or simply desiring to further your education?

The Military Academic Skills Program (MASP) might just be the program you need.
The Military Academic Skills Program offers individualized instruction in basic academic skills such as math and English. Students identify initial goals with the base program coordinator, and choose a format to pursue their studies.

According to Air Station Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron Career Planner MSgt. James Whitehead, MASP can be a vital tool for the Marine seeking career advancement.

"Currently, most fields that are in demand require General Technical (GT) scores of at least 110," said Whitehead. "For that reason, one of the most important things I take a look at with first term Mariners during their 24-month interview is their GT score. If they are below a 110, I recommend they retake the ASVAB and perhaps look into a preparatory program like MASP. We?ve had Marines go through the program and improve their scores significantly."

All Tri-Command MASP students enroll in the program at Depot Education, and have the option of taking the curriculum through either a 30-day satellite-based teleconference course or an online instruction course. The teleconference course requires Temporary Assigned Duty (TAD), while the online course may be pursued during personal time, at the student?s pace.

"The first thing I do when I?m contacted by a Marine interested in MASP is try to determine their goals," said Cpl. Fritz Jadotte, MASP program coordinator. "Marines may want to take the MASP because they want to be officer candidates, because they want to make lateral moves or because they haven?t been in school in a while and want to brush up on basic skills before going to college. The program is flexible and paced for different ability levels and the instructor assistant, Rupert Williams, helps tailor the instruction to each student."

On average, ASVAB score improvements on those who?ve completed MASP training range from 10 to 15 points.

"Success rates for the Marines and Sailors aboard the Air Station who have completed MASP have been excellent," said Andrea Hodges, education specialist at the Air Station lifelong Learning Center.

"In the past it has made the difference between someone getting to move on to do something they want to in their career."

Because the skills taught in MASP are identical to those an individual will need if he or she plans to attend college or take college entrance examinations. The program is also excellent for those who have been out of school for some time, but want to refresh on basic skills before beginning or continuing higher education.

Hodges said the real strength of the program is that it frees the service member to focus on study over a four-week period.

"It is basically like temporary reassignment like a formal school," said Hodges,
"Those who seek to join MASP are placed according to their deficiencies," said Hodges. "They must first complete the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) to assess their skills level. We assign the student to the appropriate MASP level according to their TABE results."

Although the TABE is designed to place students according to ability level, students who did not score below the established TABE score may participate in MASP if they feel they need the skills development or refresher education.

The MASP curriculum focuses on basic computational and literacy skills, but an Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) specific study guide and practice examinations are also offered.

Classes are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the workweek, and are broken into half days of mathematics and English skills. All courses are centrally managed and delivered over the Marine Corps Satellite Education Network (MCSEN).

Because Headquarters Marine Corps considers MASP to be a cornerstone of its voluntary education program, it is fully-funded and may be taken on a voluntary basis with command permission, or command-directed. Those who have completed below the 10th grade or have a GT below 99 are the target population for the program.
The TABE, MASP preparation and MASP Level 1 classes are offered regularly at Depot Education.

For more information on MASP, contact your installation Lifelong Learning Center.