How to Get College Credit for Military Experience and Training

How to Get College Credit for Military Experience and Training
  • Opening Intro -

    Military training and experience provides valuable skills that are applicable to college credit.

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After basic training, military personnel receive specialized training in their Military Occupational Specialty (MOS), which becomes their job for the remainder of their service term. As all military personnel know, this training translates into knowledge and skills that propel the individual beyond the level of basic college courses in their specialized fields. Because of this, military personnel entering college receive credit for these experiences.

How it Works

The American Council for Education (ACE) determines college credit for military experience, as explained by Military.com. For the Air Force, the Community College of the Air Force determines eligibility. These organizations analyze the training and skills of each MOS and the skill and knowledge level according to rank. This analysis provides ACE with a standard set of criteria that applies to specific course subjects and levels. ACE provides credit for all types of military training, including basic training.

What Courses Do ACE Credits Apply Towards?

Most ACE credits apply to 100- and 200 level courses, though some specialties and ranks qualify personnel for advanced course credit and even graduate credit. Many of the credits may apply to associates-level electives. Whether ACE credits apply to a degree program depends greatly on the MOS. For example, a soldier with a computer-based MOS may receive credit towards an IT degree but not towards a pre-law degree.

Acceptance of ACE Credits Depends on the School

Some schools are military-credit friendly, others accept few or even no ACE credits. For example, an online university for military veterans and active personnel may have certain programs, whereas other specific universities do not. Online universities offer acceptance for ACE credits, in addition to geographical flexibility. Though ACE credits provide a standardized formula for the eligible coursework, schools are under no obligation to accept them.

Before enrolling in a school, students eligible for ACE credits should always verify what credits the school accepts. In addition to inquiring whether a school accepts ACE credits, prospective students also need to inquire about credits for their specific degree program. While a school may accept ACE credits, each department may have a different policy. An admissions advisor can counsel incoming students on how their ACE credits will affect their desired degree path.

Take the DSST Test

All military personnel are eligible for the DSST test. The DSST specifically evaluates military experience in terms of how it translates to college credit. These results can provide credit for many skills that may not be covered by ACE credits.

With the GI bill, it makes sense for military personnel to seek advanced education. Many of the skills learned in basic training, MOS training, and through military work experience qualify as college credit. By taking advantage of the credits available to them, many veterans are able to earn degrees and get on the path to a rewarding career in a much shorter period of time.

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