Higher Education Preparation Course



Marines who want to use TA for school must complete the online training and have a GT score of 100 or above. A TA orientation brief is is offered monthly at the MCRD Lifelong Learning Center in Building 111. Contact the Education Center staff for a schedule.

After completing the Higher Education Program training sign and send the certificate to the Lifelong Learning Center for recording into your student record.


There are four colleges/universities offering classes aboard the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego:

To reseach college/university programs:

Contact the Education Center staff concerning visiting colleges/universities.


Students who are interested in a highly specialized degree should consider taking the lower division (freshman & sophomore) general education courses at the local community college. Military experience and CLEP testing will help military students earn extra credits, which will help students finish more quickly. Check with the Education Center on where CLEP tests are available. Many schools have a maximum number of credits they will accept through these non-traditional methods.


If you are a military student, chances are you will choose to use either Tuition Assistance, Post 9/11 or the Montgomery GI Bill to help cover college expenses. Remember that almost all of the financial aid programs available to traditional students are also available to adult learners.

Go to for additional information.


Students who find it difficult to attend traditional classes can take advantage of numerous distance learning programs that offer courses in a variety of flexible formats, such as paper-based, television, video teleconferencing, or online programs. Students who have access to a computer have thousands of programs available, ranging from degree programs delivered entirely online, to programs that combine both traditional and online course work. It is important to remember self-discipline is the key to success with any online program. In order to be successful online, students must be:

  • Able to communicate well through writing
  • Self-motivated and self-disciplined
  • Willing to speak up when problems arise
  • Have 9 to 15 hours per week to dedicate to coursework
  • Are comfortable with computer and Internet technology

Students who are challenged in a specific subject might find this type of program difficult to follow. They would probably benefit from a traditional classroom setting, allowing for easy access to the instructor and assistance with any problems that arise.


ADD/DROP – The term add/drop refers to the process of adding an additional class to a current course schedule and drop refers to dropping a course.

CATALOG – A book published once a year that governs student progress toward degrees and certificates and contains course descriptions, programs, requirements, policies, and procedures.

CLASS SCHEDULE – A booklet of class offerings, times, and locations published each term. The class schedule also contains information on how to properly register.

DISTANCE LEARNING – Courses that are offered through non-traditional methods such as on-line, over the television or paper based.

ENROLLMENT – Enrollment is the process of submitting an application to a college. An application must be accepted before a student can register for classes.

EXTENSION PROGRAMS – Education programs offered in the evenings or weekends and are designed for professional advancement or continuing professional education.

FULL TIME – A student who is taking 12 or more units per semester.

HALF TIME – A student who is taking 6 – 8 units per semester.

REGISTRATION – Registration is the process of signing up for specific courses.

RESIDENCY – There are two types of residency requirements. The first is the length of time you have lived in the state. The second residency requirement is the number of courses you have taken.

TERM – A length of time required to complete a course, normally 16 weeks or 8-week fast track programs.

UNITS – A unit or credit hour is a block of instruction time. Semester credit hours are 16 hours of instruction. Quarter hours are 12 hours of instruction. The number and type of unit affects the amount of tuition assistance students will receive.


The Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) helps service members and veterans pursue their educational goalsand earn degrees or certifications both during and after their service. DANTES is a Department of Defense agency that provides leadership and support for this important effort through partnerships across the education community.


Online Academic Skills Course (OASC) is a free interactive study course to assist in building math and verbal skills.

Financial Assistance – Scholarships and financial aid

Lifelong Learning Center
Building 111 across from the gas station.

James Brooks
Education Services Officer
(619) 524-8158

Annie Villalon
Education & Career Specialist
(619) 524-1275

Monday – Friday
0730 – 1600

MCRD Lifelong Learning Center Survey

DoD Postsecondary Education Complaint System (PECS)

Service Philosophy

Marine & Family Programs’ goal is a foundation of readiness and resiliency. We reinforce that foundation with personalized service, and an innovative approach.

We hold as our guiding principles, that:
• We Do the Right Thing
• Our Mission is You
• There is No Wrong Door

Mission: To provide tools and resources which promote a ready and resilient Marine Corps Recruit Depot

Vision: To enrich lives through a compressive array of innovative programs and services