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ASU launches maritime-focused associate degree

Associate of Science in logistics program serves active-duty, enlisted sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen

Navy ship sailing in front of a sunset on the water.

Photo courtesy Pexels

November 08, 2023

Arizona State University has partnered with the U.S. Naval Community College to debut an Associate of Science in logistics program with a maritime concentration to provide active-duty, enlisted sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen with a naval-relevant, maritime-focused logistics education. The program launched this fall with nearly 70 students.

“W. P. Carey is honored to deliver the maritime logistics degree in partnership with the USNCC,” says Michele Pfund, clinical professor and senior associate dean of undergraduate programs. “This degree provides an opportunity for active-duty, enlisted sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen to earn an associate degree that will directly contribute to the readiness of the naval services and set students on a path of lifelong learning.”

The USNCC is the official community college for the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, providing naval-relevant education to students through associate degree pathways and stackable certificates. The partnership highlights the W. P. Carey Department of Supply Chain Management's expertise in the maritime logistics domain and commitment to serving the broader community through student support and academic excellence.

“This new partnership program with USNCC is a wonderful example of the W. P. Carey School’s dual commitments to access and excellence,” says Ohad Kadan, Charles J. Robel Dean and W. P. Carey Distinguished Chair. “Our undergraduate supply chain program is ranked No. 2 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, and we are thrilled to offer such a high-quality program to U.S. service members and create pathways for them to hopefully complete a future degree at ASU as well.”

The 60-credit associate degree is offered through ASU Online, and students can apply it to any W. P. Carey Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science program.

The degree includes two certificates: A certificate in logistics taught by ASU faculty, and a certificate in naval studies taught by USNCC faculty.

ASU first partnered with the USNCC in 2022 to launch Associate of Arts degrees in organizational leadership and military studies, both offered by the College of Integrated Arts and Sciences.  

“This program will help the sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen to understand the civilian side of ocean commerce,” says Joseph Van Orden, clinical associate professor of supply chain management. “ASU honors the military and our veterans. It is an honor and a privilege to educate members of the U.S. Navy.”

Active-duty sailor Larissa Yuncker enrolled in college courses several times before finding the Associate of Science in logistics program. She is enjoying the program’s initial courses and was surprised by the diverse ranks of personnel represented in the program. 

“I can focus on school and enjoy the classes. Online classes can feel stale and boring, but these classes have been engaging and helpful,” says Yuncker, who will earn her associate degree in logistics (maritime) in 2025. “The staff seem to truly care and are willing to help.”

Yuncker plans to complete the associate degree and receive the certification from USNCC and ASU. She says her fellow sailors motivate her to keep learning and be successful.

“I love being in the Navy, and I love logistics,” says Yuncker. “We import and export goods 24 hours a day. It’s one thing to learn about business in the U.S., but knowing the business of transportation and goods beyond that is helpful for us all.” 

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