If you've spent time in the military, you've learned valuable skills and put them to good use. So why does the civilian world seem to have trouble recognizing that? Certification programs rarely account for military experience in their curriculum, and universities that do so are even scarcer. But according to the Miami Student, Ohio is taking a step toward officially recognizing veterans' abilities by assisting them in the realm of higher education.
The recently passed Bill 488 allows veterans to count their military experience towards earning college credits. The Military Transfer Assurance Guide creates a baseline of standards, procedures, and tools for granting college credit for military experience. This will apply to any public college and university. Allowing veterans to use their military experience as college credit can be a huge boon to them by lightening their academic burden and potentially allowing for a shorter stay in college.
Not only are schools required to adhere to these standards, but they must allow veterans to obtain these credits for free and receive priority registration.
The Director of Communications for the Ohio Board of Regents, Jeff Robinson, stated that Bill 488 will assist veterans as they explore the civilian education system.
"In some cases, a veteran may not know the first point of contact on a campus for help, or that there is even help available specifically for them," Robinson said. "Campuses may not be equipped to effectively evaluate a veteran's prior training and experience, or such an evaluation may come at a cost to the veteran. With the new legislation, this evaluation would come at no cost to the veteran."
Although institutions of higher learning are typically geared towards fostering their student's success, veterans may feel out of the loop. To address potential gaps in experience, the bill requires the Chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents to continuously analyze veteran support programs and make changes if needed.
"It is our hope that this legislation will make it easier for all veterans and service members, who have given so much for our country, to pursue higher education and a successful career here in Ohio," Robinson said. "We hope the word will get out that Ohio places a high priority on veterans and service members."
Beyond a simple exchange of experience for college credit, Ohio's Bill 488 provides a comprehensive plan of action to assist veterans in their transition. Earning college credits for free means more options in taking classes or the ability to graduate faster, and ongoing evaluations of veteran programs on college campuses will help former service members engage and flourish in institutions of higher learning.
For more information, call the Ohio Department of Veterans Services at 614-644-0898 or contact your county service officer.