How ACE Military Credits Reward Service Experience

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Students entering college from the military can receive credit toward their degrees for their military experience. Much of the education, training and real-world experience gained in the military aligns with what is taught in college courses, and many colleges have developed programs to recognize that experience, saving you time and money.

The most common method of calculating credits earned is by using credit determinations developed by the American Council on Education (ACE). In this article, we take a closer look at ACE military credits, how they’re determined, and what that process means for you.

What Are ACE Military Credits?

The ACE – in a partnership with the Department of Defense – reviews military experience and training and assigns credit values. This ensures that the information contained on your Joint Services Transcript (JST) not only accurately reflects your experience in meaningful terms for civilian schools, but also that there is consistency among service members across all branches and that schools have a comprehensive baseline to use when evaluating transfer credits for military students.

How ACE Evaluates Military Experience

At the most basic level, ACE looks at military coursework, field training and job duties and determines how many college credits that experience could equal. The process involves a thorough review of all aspects of the course, including:

Essentially, ACE looks at anything related to a course that helps them understand the course and what students who complete it should know and understand.

When evaluating military experience, ACE focuses on three specific areas:

Evaluators pay close attention to the course content, the specific material covered, the difficulty of the course, how well it applies to college programs, and the methods used to evaluate student learning.

Based on this in-depth evaluation, ACE reviewers make a credit recommendation for the course, along with specific recommendations for the subjects where credit might be granted. For instance, someone who is trained as a recruiter might qualify for college credit in the areas of staffing and recruitment as well as sales management. When you apply for credit transfers, civilian colleges can look up each of your courses to learn more about the learning outcomes and other details of the class; they can then compare those courses to their degree requirements and award military transfer credit accordingly.

How to Make the Most of ACE Evaluations

Every college has its own policies regarding military transfer credits, including the maximum number of credits you can receive, what types of courses can be transferred, and requirements for course alignment. Therefore, it’s important to recognize that you may not receive credit for every course you completed in the military, and you may need to take classes that cover familiar information.

There are still ways that you can maximize your military credits to save time and money while earning your degree. As you begin your transition from military to student life, keep these tips in mind:

Conclusion

Serving in the military provides plenty of learning opportunities and experience, and that shouldn’t be overlooked when transitioning into civilian life and earning a college degree. Understanding how colleges evaluate that experience and the ways to best use it to your advantage will help you start off on the right foot and get you on the road to meeting your goals more quickly.

At Columbia Southern University, approximately 40% of our more than 29,000 students are military-affiliated: active-duty, veterans, spouses or dependents. Our dedicated military support staff is comprised of current and former military members who understand your unique needs and connect you with our flexible online education options.

Learn more about our online degree programs.

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