The Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) program provides up to $4,000 (over 2 years) of Financial Assistance for military spouses who are continuing their education by pursuing a license, certification, or Associates degree in a portable career field and occupation.
The Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts Program (MyCAA) is a career development and employment assistance program sponsored by the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Spouse Education and Career Opportunities (SECO) program. MyCAA helps military spouses pursue licenses, certifications, or an associates degree necessary for gainful employment.
MyCAA Benefits for Military Spouses
- Training and Education Financial Assistance – MyCAA provides a maximum education benefit of up to $4,000 with an annual fiscal year cap of $2,000 to assist eligible military spouses in acquiring a professional credential needed to meet their portable career goal. Annual cap waivers are available if there is an upfront tuition cost that exceeds $2,000 (up to the maximum education benefit of $4,000).
- Employment Readiness Counseling – Spouse Education and Career Opportunities (SECO) career coaches are available to all military spouses married to active duty service members of all ranks, regardless of their eligibility to receive MyCAA financial assistance and their desire to pursue higher levels of education. Counseling services help military spouses identify additional sources of federal, state, and local financial assistance, expanded career choices and opportunities, and necessary support resources (e.g., childcare, transportation, books, computers, equipment, supplies, etc.).
- Employment Assistance and Career Services – Referrals are made to networks of military-friendly employers for MyCAA spouse participants who have completed their programs of study using MyCAA funding and who are ready to seek gainful employment. Examples include the Military Spouse Employment Partnership, USAJOBS.gov, CareerOneStop.org, and Blue Star Families Blue Star Career Center.
Who is Eligible for MyCAA?
Spouses of service members on active duty in pay grades E-1 to E-5, W-1 to W-2, and O-1 to O-2 who can start and complete their coursework while their military sponsor or spouse is on Title 10 military orders, including spouses married to members of the National Guard, Reserve Components, and Coast Guard in these same pay grades. Military spouses of service members above O-2 are still eligible if already enrolled in a program with an education plan in place prior to promotion. Eligibility includes currently employed military spouses. Surviving spouses are also eligible if their military spouse died during active duty.
Spouses must have completed high school or obtained a GED and are required to complete their program of study within three years from the start date.
Who is Not Eligible?
- Spouses who are members of the armed forces themselves and are currently on Title 10 orders
- Spouses who are married but legally separated
- Spouses whose National Guard or Reserve service member is in a Warning Orders/Alert, Post Deployment/Demobilization or Transition Status
- Spouses who are unable to apply for financial assistance while their military sponsor is on Title 10 orders or before their separation date from the military
How To Apply For MyCAA
- Establish a MyCAA account by visiting the MyCAA website. Note: a DS Logon is required just like for Tricare.
- Explore approved MyCAA career fields and licensure programs.
- Find a school that matches your interests and offers licenses, certificates and degrees.
- Create an Education Training Plan (ETP) with a career coach or Employment Readiness staff. Note: this is a mandatory step. Include all potential courses in the ETP because once submitted there are no edits or changes possible.
- Work with the selected school’s admissions advisor to complete the application process.
- Apply for MyCAA financial assistance.
MyCAA Approved Career Fields
- Animal Services
- Automotive Services & Transportation
- Business, Finance & Administration
- Health & Human Services
- Homeland Security
- Information Technology
Skilled Trades: In-demand jobs that require certification or other credentials and provide the flexibility necessary for military spouses’ frequent relocations. Use the MySECO Research Occupations Tool to find in-demand professions in your area or nationwide. The following are approved skilled trades for the MyCAA program. Each program already has approved technical schools and more are being routinely added.
- Aesthetician or Skin Care Specialist
- Make-up Artist (must provide copy of cosmetology license to SECO staff)
- Mortuary Science
- Musical Instrument Repair
- Nail Technician
- Sales Manager
- Yoga (all credit hours must be completed in-person; distance learning or online programs will not be covered)
- Nursing (must meet certain qualifications in the Education and Training Plan and include pre-requisite courses.)
- Other training programs listed in the MyCAA approved programs
Note: all career field and skilled trade programs have different additional criteria. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your career coach or Employment Readiness staff.
Do spouses have to select a school that is participating?
No, but it can take up to 60 days for approval, and it is recommended to find a school that is participating. The school and only the school can apply for the MyCAA program. Spouses can encourage the schools to apply and even provide them the link to the application. Schools are incentivized to secure attendees; however, it is easier to choose a participating school. Browse the approved school directory here: MyCAA Approved Schools By State
What will MyCAA pay for?
MyCCA will pay for an approved program’s tuition and any licensure or examination fees, including College Level Examination Program tests, and associate degree programs.
What is NOT Covered by MyCAA?
- Bachelor’s degree courses
- Reimbursements for previous or current studies
- Books, supplies, uniforms, and equipment
- Electronic devices such as: computers, laptops, and tablets
- Supplemental activities and events
- Fees other than for examination, licensure, certification, and associate degrees
- Ungraded (audited) and repeat courses
Note: Program participants develop a plan with their MyCAA Career Counselor or Employment Readiness staff. All expenses are outlined at that time and the spouse is informed what is covered and NOT covered for their chosen career path.
Where can I get more information?
Contact a Spouse Education and Career Opportunities (SECO) Consultant at 1.800.342.9647 during the hours of 7AM-10PM EST Monday through Friday and 10AM-5PM EST on Saturdays. You may also email them at: [email protected] Once you have an account established, you can message staff directly.