Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support

Education Support to Department of Defense (DOD) - Worldwide


The mission of the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) is to support the voluntary education functions of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, including the Military Services, Reserves, and other DOD components.

DANTES provides these education programs:

DANTES supports the education management functions of the Secretary of Defense and the Military Services by:

Non-Traditional Education

Nontraditional education is the term often used to describe educational experiences taking place outside the formal classroom. Military Service members, who reflect the changing demographic profile of today�s college students, expand their skills and knowledge through service schools, on-the-job training, self-study activities, and examination programs. These learning experiences form an essential component in planning and achieving education goals. Service members can use these methods to overcome the challenges of periodic transfers, shift work, remote assignments, frequent travel, and non-availability of required courses.

To assist service members in reaching their educational goals, DANTES fosters a philosophy of partnership between the civilian and military communities through agreements with testing agencies, colleges and universities, and educational associations. Thus, military students may use the same nationally recognized educational programs available to civilian students. Like their civilian counterparts, service members may receive college credit for nontraditional learning. The DANTES-sponsored programs are an integral part of the voluntary education program of each Military Service and are administered by education personnel on most military installations.

Alternative Delivery System

Service members often need individual programs of instruction or individualized methods of completing a course of study. Some of these methods, such as correspondence study and documenting previous learning, have a long tradition in education. Others, such as technological delivery systems, are relatively new. In all, the common factor is that the institution granting the academic credit is located at a distance from the students. DANTES programs form bridges between the learner and the institution.

Program Support

DANTES provides a variety of services to educational personnel: program evaluations; supporting publications, including the only DOD-wide educational newsletter; training; and promotional materials.

Policy Direction

Policy direction for DANTES is provided by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Personnel Support, Families, and Education under the advisement of an all-services DANTES Working Group consisting of representatives from OSD, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, Reserve Components, and DANTES. The executive agent for DANTES, the Department of the Navy, provides administration and logistical support.