Michigan Governor Rick Snyder recently signed a law directing state colleges and universities to give Veterans and active duty students college credit for their military experience. While many schools already do this, and a Michigan law passed last year required community colleges to grant credit, the purpose of this law was to ensure all state schools give Veterans the maximum credit they deserve.
The American Council on Education (ACE) collaborates with DoD to review military training and experience and recommend appropriate college credit for members of the Armed Forces. See our "College Credit for Military Experience" page for more information.
While the ACE program has been around for several years, Veterans and servicemembers often report that they are seldom notified of its existence when enrolling in college, and even when they are made aware of it, they must do much of the legwork to gather required information themselves. Even after submitting the proper information to colleges, many Veterans report they are are lucky to get a few Physical Education credits towards their degree.
Recognizing the inconsistency among colleges in granting credit to Veterans and military members, the Michigan law stipulates that each public university must inform Veterans and active duty students that they may may receive academic credit for college-level training and education received while serving in the military by submitting either their Joint Service Transcript or Community College of the Air Force transcript.
“Bridging the gap between military service and civilian life is one way we are constantly striving to do better for our veterans and active duty members of the armed forces,” Governor Snyder said in a statement. “There are many areas in which military experience overlaps with education taught in college courses, and this new law will help ensure that credit is granted for that knowledge, allowing service members to receive their degree in a shorter period of time so they can embark on their new career.”
Veterans and Active Duty students should be able to use this program to their advantage, by reducing the number of entry level or elective courses they need to take towards a degree. This will result in less GI Bill benefits used and a shorter amount of time needed to get a degree.
The Director of the Michigan Veteran Affairs Agency, Jeff Barnes said "A lot of our Veterans coming back are making that transition using their GI Bill, and what this really does, is reduces the amount of courses that a Veteran might have to take, that they've taken a very similar course in the military, and that way it preserves their GI Bill and lets that apply to more advanced training and educational opportunity later in their academic career."