Strategies for Maximizing Credit
Awards for Military Training and
Kathy Snead
SOC Director
Why credit awards for miIitary training
are important to servicemembers
a) Recognizes college-level knowledge/skills gained from
military experience
b) Institutional value statement about military service to
country (affirmation that veterans matters to school)
c) Jump starts a veteran’s academic progress; reduces
amount of coursework required for the degree
d) Motivates a servicemember toward degree completion
by communicating prior learning accepted
e) Accelerates their entry into the work world by
shortening their degree completion time
f) All of the above
Why faculty/college administrators are
hesitant about awarding credit for miIitary
training and experience:
a) Concerned it will lessen academic quality of the degree
b) Concerned it will impact accreditation
c) Don’t fully understand the ACE Military Programs
evaluation process
d) Concerned that awarding “applied” credit for “theoretical”
knowledge may disadvantage the military student
e) Aren’t fully knowledgeable about military culture and
level/extent of military training
f) Financial “incentive” not to award credit, student has to
take more courses, college receives more tuition/fees
g) All of the above
In a ‘perfect’ world...
all college registrars, transcript
evaluators, academic deans and
department heads would have
served at least one tour in the
military or participated as a
evaluator on an ACE Military
Programs evaluation team.
Lacking a ‘perfect’ world...what
can we do to eliminate or
minimize these concerns?
• Provide campus training and informational
experiences to share military culture (guided
discussions in faculty senate committees)
• Coordinate “educator tours” of military
installations, training exercises
• Invite military personnel (and campus veterans)
as guest lecturers—issues/topics demonstrating
skill/knowledge acquired in military
• Host campus (regional or state-wide) workshops
to help understand the formal training that the
military provides AND ACE military evaluation
process (use off-campus experts)
Such professional development
opportunities might include:
• Background and information about the military student
population and potential transfer credit opportunities.
• Background and information on Servicemembers
Opportunity Colleges’ mission/functions as liaison/conduit.
• A clear understanding of the American Council on
Education’s (ACE) Military Programs credit evaluation
• An overview about use and benefits of the transcript
services (AARTS, SMART, CGI, and ACE transcripts).
• Practical hands-on exercises to explore college options for
applying evaluated credit toward degree requirements.
Servicemembers Opportunity
Colleges (SOC) Mission
• Serve as vehicle to help coordinate
postsecondary educational opportunities for
• Strengthen liaison and working relationships among
military and higher education representatives
• Advocate for flexibility needed to improve access to
and availability of educational programs for
Servicemembers Opportunity
Colleges (SOC) Principles
• Servicemembers should share the same educational
opportunities available to their civilian counterparts
• Educational programs that are provided by
appropriately accredited colleges and universities
• Educational programs that are flexible in terms of
scheduling, academic residency, course transfer, and
acceptance of non-traditional credit
SOC Criteria for Membership
• Reasonable with Transfer of Credit from other institutions
- Minimum loss of previously earned credits
- Avoid coursework duplication
• Reduced Academic Residency Requirements
- 25% maximum for most programs
- 30% for schools providing undergraduate degrees 100% online
- No final year or final semester mandatory requirement
• Credit for Military Training and Experience
- Award credit for military service schools
- Recognize and use ACE Guide in evaluating military training
• Credit for Nationally-Recognized Testing Programs
- Award credit for at least one nationally-recognized testing
program such as CLEP, DSST , ECE
ACE Center for Lifelong Learning
Program Evaluations
• Military Programs
• Corporate Programs
Third-party review gives
unbiased assessment of nontraditional learning, training
Engages subject matter experts
in evaluative credit process
where institutions may not have
Military Course Evaluations
• Formal military instruction and military
occupations specialties courses approved
by a central authority
• Correspondence courses with
proctored end-of course exams
• Distance learning/online courses with
documented rigid control test conditions
and firm identification of the student
Program Evaluation Activities
Evaluate formal courses and
occupational specialties
Publish course and occupation
descriptions and academic
credit recommendations
Transcript and registry services
About Military Evaluations
2008 Fiscal Year
• 35 installation visits
• 1,200 courses
• 25 occupations
• 150 teaching faculty members
• 3,400 semester hours in the lower division
• 900 semester hours in the upper division
• 300 semester hours in the graduate division
Evaluator Representation
• Accrediting agencies
Practitioner or Other
Community College
• Types of institutions
Univ ersity
4-Year College
• Approximately 7,000
faculty on military
teams (since 1954)
Evaluative Criteria for Courses
• Course content
• Learning outcomes
• Depth and breadth of material
• Level of difficulty
• Applicability to postsecondary programs
• Evaluative instruments
• Outside assignments
• Instructor qualifications
Defining College Level Work
Content, scope, and rigor must be
at the postsecondary level.
• Vocational / Certificate
• Lower Division
• Upper Division
• Graduate
No Credit Recommended
• Material presented in the course is
not comparable to content and rigor
at the postsecondary level
• Material offered is inadequate for a
judgment to be made
• Inadequate outcome assessments
Military Occupation Evaluation
• Occupation is a job designation by
the military service
• Review and assessment are more
experiential in nature
• Teams validate demonstrated and
expected job knowledge, skills, abilities
by pay grade
Military Occupation Evaluations:
Official Documentation
• Occupation manuals
• Technical guides and
training manuals
• Promotion examinations
• Study guides
• Other official branch
specific documentation
ACE “Military Guide” Online
•Daily updates
•1954 to1989
•The last printed Guide
The ACE Guide on CD
2009 Guide On CD
(late November 2009 release)
Military Guide Online
• Over…
• 15,000 course
• 3,100
Sample Exhibits
Military Transcripts: AARTS and SMART
Features of Web Delivery
Military Transcripts: CGI and CCAF
Serve as an Evaluator
• You must be actively teaching
college-level courses.
• When your discipline expertise is
needed, you are contacted directly
to serve on the ACE team.
•Evaluator training provided; also
provide evaluator handbook
• ACE pays all evaluators an
honorarium and travel.
[email protected]
Applying Evaluated Credit
Mapping non-traditional credit toward degree
requirements is much like applying transfer credits:
• There is no “magic” formula
• Varies by individual student (as appropriate to his/her
degree requirements)
• Requires knowledge of what was learned (depth
and breadth of content, learning modalities, outcomes)
• Often involves faculty/departmental involvement in
those credit decisions (setting the stage for success
with sufficient ACE Guide information)
• Goal of the decision process is to find the “best fit”
Transfer Decision Resources
• Full Course exhibits from the ACE Guide (instruction,
outcomes, length of course)
• “Related Competency” descriptions in the ACE Guide
military occupation exhibits
• SOC DNS Credit Evaluation Supplement
• Alternative methods for demonstrating acquired
knowledge and skills:
— Portfolio Review (EERs, OERs, certificates)
— Challenge examinations
— Nationally recognized testing programs (CLEP,
DANTES SST, or Excelsior College Exams)
• Combining credits from other military experiences
Ensuring Consistent Credit Awards
• Establishing standard procedures
(institutional and departmental level)
• Creating institutional tracking mechanisms
• Automating credit award “look up” function
• Building your database incrementally (as
evaluations needed)
• Collaboration, rely on “experts” to guide
policy and procedural development
• Where state-wide articulations exist,
leverage work of other institutions with
established military evaluation processes
ACE Resource Tools for Colleges
and Universities
• Centralized repository for
colleges and universities
• Sample transcripts
• Rank charts
• Quick links to other
Resources: ACE Military Brochures
Resources: A Transfer Guide
•Written specifically for the
service member
•Released March 2009
•Provides simple, straightforward
guidance on understanding
military credit recommendations
and transcripts
•Includes definitions of common
terms, answers to frequently
asked questions, and a transfer
credit checklist
• On ACE Web site
SOC Resource Tools for Colleges
and Universities
SOC DNS Credit Evaluation
Purpose: academic placement
guidelines for optimizing the
application of non-traditional credit
toward degree requirements
• Credit mapping of ACE credit
recommendations for military
training and occupational
specialty experience
• CLEP/DSST/ Excelsior Exams
• CCAF courses
• DANTES Independent Study
American Council on Education
One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 250
Washington, DC 20036
Toll Free: 866-205-6267
Military Programs
202-939-9470 or [email protected]
Opportunity Colleges
1307 New York Avenue, NW
Fifth Floor
Washington, DC 20005-4701
Phone: 800-368-5622; 202-667-0079
Fax: 202-667-0622
E-mail: [email protected]

Dr. Kathryn M. Snead - Servicemembers Opportunity