After serving in the military, many veterans return to school to get a degree and find a career outside of the armed services, and an Indiana education advocate is hoping to transfer a veteran’s active duty work experience to course credit.
Ken Sauer testified before Congress Wednesday, trying to persuade the Department of Defense and the American Council on Education to release a database that equates certain military experience to college credits.
Sauer is a Commissioner for Research and Academic Affairs in Indiana and says transferring practical skills learned in the military to class credit is not a new concept.
Schools in seven states already offer this type of credit, but Sauer wants every veteran to have this opportunity.
“For example, if you were briefing people as part of your job, that could translate into 3 or 6 hours of undergraduate communications coursework,” he says.
The American Council on Education has already established some equivalency guidelines, but Sauer and his colleagues say they still need to be aligned with universities’ curricula.
Ivy Tech Community College starting offering veterans credit for military service this semester, and Veterans Benefits Coordinator Laura Vest says it made sense to honor the training veterans already have.
“It prevents them from feeling bored and that their classes are unnecessary, because they already know this type of philosophy,” she says.
Vest says this equivalency helps veterans skip introduction classes and sometimes even higher level internship classes.
Vest says she hopes other colleges will offer the same credit so veterans are not using GI benefits for training they have already received.