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Earn College Credit for Military Learning Experiences
 

American Council on Education

The American Council on Education's (ACE) Military Evaluations Program has evaluated and provided college credit recommendations for more than 10,000 military courses and military occupational specialties (MOS). The information is cataloged in The Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services. Evaluations are available for all the services from 1954 to the present.

The American Council on Education, founded in 1918, is the nation's umbrella of higher education association. ACE is dedicated to the belief that equal educational opportunity and a strong higher education system are essential cornerstones of a democratic society. Its approximately 1,800 members include accredited, degree granting colleges and universities from all sectors of higher education and other education and education-related organizations. ACE is a forum for the discussion of major issues related to higher education and its potential to contribute to the quality of American life. ACE maintains both a domestic and an international agenda and seeks to advance the interests and goals of higher and adult education in a changing environment by providing leadership and advocacy on important issues, representing the views of the higher and adult education community to policy makers, and offering services to its members.

Where do I start?

The first step toward earning college credit for military experiences is the creation of a military transcript. There are two ways to do this:

  1. If you are an Officer or Warrant Officer, regardless of your Pay Entry Basic Date (PEBD), or an Enlisted soldier with a PEBD before 1 October 1981, your military experiences must be documented on an "Application for the Evaluation of Learning Experiences During Military Service," DD Form 295 (click here) ,this document becomes your official military transcript.
  2. If you had Army National Guard or Regular Army enlisted service with a PEBD on or after October 1, 1981, you may receive a JST, Joint Services Transcript (click here); however, it will contain only information related to your eligible enlisted service. Army National Guard soldiers must also have been on the active rolls as of January 1993. Note, the Joint Service Transcript system replaces the AARTS.

What colleges will give me the most credit?

As a GENERAL rule, Guard members are more likely to have college credit awarded for military experiences if they attend a Service member Opportunity College (SOC) (click here) . However, it is important to note that the amount of credit awarded for military experiences can vary considerably between Illinois schools in the SOC network. Soldiers are encouraged to shop for an education wisely. Get the best education possible at the most reasonable price.

To see a list of SOC colleges in Illinois, click here.