Central Texas College (CTC) announced the official launch of a website to help military service members obtain information about receiving college credit for their military experience. As part of the College Credit for Heroes (CCH) program, the website allows active duty military and veterans in Texas the ability to learn how many college credits they can receive for their military experience. The website, http://www.collegecreditforheroes.org, is now live and may be accessed at any time.
CTC was one of seven community colleges chosen to help military veterans return to the classroom and workforce through the College Credit for Heroes program. Administered by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) last summer, the $3 million workforce development program was designed to recognize the exceptional knowledge and skills gained by military service members and award them college credits for their military experience thus allowing these veterans to more easily re-enter the workforce. Specifically through CCH, experience, education and training obtained during military service will be evaluated for college credit in order to expedite the entry of veterans and military service members into the workforce.
“We are certainly proud to be one of the schools selected to initiate this program,” said Dr. Thomas Klincar, CTC chancellor. “Our website will serve as a valuable tool for our service members to begin or continue their academic careers and ensure they are meeting the requirements of their degree plans or other educational goals. We have a longstanding relationship with the military and we could not be more pleased than to be able to offer this service and be a part of this great program.”
First, users must set up a CCH account to include a user name and password. Then they can search the CCH databases for recommended college credits that may be awarded for military occupations, military courses, Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) courses and designated nationally recognized examinations (CLEP, DANTES and Excelsior). They can request an official evaluation of their military experience and training through CCH and may also request an unofficial evaluation before initiating the formal process if they have a copy of their military transcripts.
Users can also request a transcript of awarded credits be sent to a participating Texas college of their choice. The receiving college will review the transcript and determine which credits can be applied towards the degree or certificate they wish to pursue. If the users attended other colleges, they may be asked to provide official transcripts from those schools. The advisor at the selected college then determines what credits will be accepted toward a degree or certificate program.
The CCH account can also be used to communicate with CCH staff, check the status of an evaluation and/or transcript request and to upload, view and download military evaluation results and related documents.
For CTC, $1,053,000 was dedicated through College Credit for Heroes to develop a web-based application and database for veterans and service members to receive additional college credit hours. The initiative will standardize evaluations of military training and experience to ensure maximum credit hours are awarded across selected Texas institutions.
To receive college credit for military experience, users must complete the Official Evaluation Request accessible through their CCH account and request a military transcript such as AARTS (Army), SMART (Navy or Marine Corps) or CCAF transcript be sent to the address on the form.
If a service member is not eligible to receive an AARTS or SMART, he or she can still obtain a military evaluation. The Navy provides copies of a sailor’s DD 214 and certificates for training not listed. The Marine Corps provides copies of the DD 214 and certificates for training not listed and a copy of the ITSS and MATMEP if held 6000 series MOS. The Army provides copies of a soldier’s DD 214, certificates of training not listed and submits a DA 1059 in lieu of certificates. The Army also provides a NCOER or Commander’s Certification for each MOS held. Proof of proficiency is required. And the Air Force provides an official Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) transcript.
If CLEP, DSST and/or ECE exam test scores are on the AARTS or SMART, the results will be evaluated. The user may also request official transcripts from the testing agency be sent to CCH via CTC. However, exams must have been taken within seven years. Once all documents are received, the service member should receive the results in two- to three weeks. Users can learn the status of their request through their CCH account. Once the number of military credits is determined, the credits will be posted on an official transcript that can be sent to any Texas college and/or to the service member by accessing the transcript request form through their CCH account.
College Credit for Heroes, which began as SB 1736, was established to maximize academic credit awarded by higher education institutions to veterans and military service members. Signed into law in July 2011, the program enables the participating schools to provide models for awarding college credit by evaluating military training, including testing and prior learning assessments which other Texas colleges may replicate. There will be a focus on allied health careers, and the initiative will partner with the Military Education Training Center (METC) in San Antonio to provide current active duty service members with an accelerated degree plan.