MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. -- Most Marines can remember taking the seemingly days-long Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery Test in order to join the Marine Corps, a set of scores that will follow a Marine until the end of their career.
Sometimes however, at the end of an enlistment, a Marine may want to switch jobs, but find they don't have the ASVAB scores needed to qualify for a new job or program in the Marine Corps. This is where the Military Academic Skills Program comes in.
The program is a general studies course designed to bring a Marine back up to academic speed in case they may have let studies slip over the years. Additionally, MASP can assist in improving a Marine's test scores needed to get into various Marine Corps programs or to get enrolled in college.
The ASVAB, a required test used to determine an individual's mental abilities, is often used as a guideline to help individual placement in a Military Occupational Specialty. Often times the ASVAB is taken during high school which in turn may aid in producing better scores but after several years of not studying, things often change.
"Most Marines take the ASVAB and think that's it," said Sgt. Christelle Temple, Manpower and Reserve Affairs postal clerk.
For Temple, who wanted to challenge herself by earning a commission, found that she couldn't submit a package for the Meritorious Enlisted Commissioning Program because of some of her ASVAB scores. The ASVAB has several different subjects that range from math to mechanical comprehension.
After enrolling in the month-long MASP classes, Temple managed to increase some of her ASVAB scores from her original 95 points, to 125.
An advantage to the MASP is that it's cost free, according to Natalie Galvin, MASP program manager. Another is that, by enrolling in MASP, Marines can better prepare for an academic future.
"Most Marines think they'll get out in four years and go to college," Galvin said. "They don't realize they'll need to take a placement test."
According to Galvin, the MASP program is a general studies course, "kind of like a college prep course," she said.
Galvin also explained that there are times when a Marine may not be ready for college level courses and must take preparatory classes using money from their own pocket. These prep classes usually don't count for credit. MASP, according to Galvin, is a better alternative because the Marine won't waste any money that way.
In addition to cost savings, MASP is offered every four weeks online, via satellite video feed, and traditional classrooms, which all allow for greater access to the program, stressed Galvin.
Ultimately, anyone who seeks to better their test scores should consider the MASP program, "nobody's embarrassed, nobody makes you feel embarrassed," Galvin explained. "Everyone is there to better themselves. It's a user friendly environment."
For more information, contact the base education office.