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Vets earn college credit for military work

The Multi-State Collaborative on Military Credit provides higher ed opportunities in 13 states
University Business, February 2017

Not all vocational experience is created equally—this is especially true if it happens on the battlefield. In 13 Midwestern states, veterans can now receive college credit for military vocational skills and trades learned working on base or in the field.

For many vets, taking unnecessary general ed courses leads to longer grad times, debt accrued beyond the GI Bill, and greater chances of dropping out. To prevent these outcomes, the universities and colleges in the Multi-State Collaborative on Military Credit accept credits verified by the American Council on Education.

States that are part of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact:

Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin

Much of this credit falls into the health and technology fields, says Sara Appel, project coordinator with the Collaborative, which is an initiative of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact. The majority of participating schools are public institutions.

ACE staffers and faculty experts are invited to military bases to assess the skills used for various jobs. They then will interview training personnel and the prospective students to assess what has been learned, Appel says.

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System, a pioneer in awarding credit for military vocational experience, has awarded 153,000 credits since 2008. Its Veterans Education Transfer System, launched before the Multi-State Collaborative, continues to be a model for other states on this topic, says Appel. Credit hours earned allow students to jump to more engaging classes and save their GI Bill funds.

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