The U.S. Naval War College, located in Newport, Rhode Island, offers long distance education courses for military officers and federal employees, and has recently started a pilot program offering courses to military spouses. 

"Not everybody can physically come to the Naval War College and attend in residence," said Timothy Garrold, deputy director of the College of Distant Education (CDE). "There are so many qualified students and a very finite number of seats in Newport. CDE greatly expands the opportunity for people to get this education, fulfill the Joint Professional Military Education Phase I (JPME-I) requirement, and share the NWC experience."

The College of Distant Education at the war college offers three main courses, Strategy and War, Theater Security Decision Making, and Joint Maritime Operations, which culminate in a diploma upon completion.

The war college offers a multitude of ways for students to complete coursework, recognizing the diversity of technical fields and global deployments of its student body. Students can attend sessions though the The Fleet Seminar Program—which are faculty led at various U.S. installations, use CD-ROM or web based applications, or attend courses at the Navy Post Graduate School in Monterey, California.

"The resident course is great, but CDE allows me to do my job as a lawyer and still better my education," Capt. Todd Gaston, a Marine Corps officer said. "Especially in the legal field, you need to be on site, doing your job to get better at providing command advice. CDE is a very beneficial option for me."

The Naval War College has also recently started a pilot program offering select lectures for the spouses of military service members, faculty, and staff.

The lecture series, titled "Issues in National Security," was developed as a result of interest expressed by the spouses, partners and significant others of the institution's student body to get a better understanding of what his or her student was experiencing at college, a representative of Navy War College said to Military Times.

The topics of discussion in the lecture series will include the Iran nuclear deal, U.S. naval power in the Pacific, civil-military relations, and ISIS and conflict in the Middle East.

"Now working in tandem with the Fleet and Family Support Center, this lecture series is helping to better educate our military family members with the variety of courses that their service member is taking while at the U. S. Naval War College," the war college said.

The lecture series for spouses kicked off on January10, and will be held every other Tuesday in Pringle Auditorium on campus. Attendees can receive a certificate for attending nine of the lectures, with the next class scheduled to start on January 24. Applications for the CDE program can be found here.