PDA

View Full Version : Plan Turns Green Beret Into a College Degree


Team Sergeant
06-18-2011, 09:24
You gents heard of this?

Plan Turns Green Beret Into a College Degree
June 17, 2011
Military.com|by Christian Lowe


FORT BRAGG, N.C. --- Special Forces Soldiers are some of the smartest, most highly-trained servicemembers in the U.S. military. The elite troops spend years not only learning the lethal art of warfare, but also honing their skills as diplomats, linguists, and cultural experts.

But despite all their training, many are left with few options for employment when it’s time to leave the service.

Recognizing the marketable skills learned in their Special Forces careers, the Army’s Special Warfare Center here has developed a program to apply more of their skills toward a bachelor’s degree.

“The Special Forces Soldier is incredibly well trained, but he’s ‘undereducated,’ ” said Lt. Col. David Walton, the head of regional studies and education at the SWC. “That’s not because he doesn’t want to be. It’s because he’s so busy training and deploying that he doesn’t have time.”

So Walton solicited civilian academia to find programs that could better leverage a special operator’s experience toward college-level credit.

Imagine using a basic land navigation qualification to validate Geography 110 at an undergraduate institution, Walton offered.

Through a rigorous evaluation program conducted by a local community college, SWC officials were able to correlate several of their core training courses with up to 48 credit hours of college-level coursework. If a Soldier wants to enroll in the degree program, he has to take another 17 credit hours of courses through Fayetteville Technical Community College, including English composition, math, and professional research.

Once they’ve completed the community college hours, SF Soldiers receive an associate’s degree and can use that credential to enroll in a North Carolina state college degree program as a junior.

For its part, the Army wanted to get a return on its investment by requiring Soldiers take courses for college credit that help them as Green Berets.

During missions, SF team members often have to brief officers and staff on operations, but the SWC doesn’t offer a course that teaches public speaking, for example. So Walton made it a requirement for the associate’s degree program.

“Here’s a classic way that an education for college students can help you be a better special operator,” Walton said.

The program is also open to Green Berets returning to the schoolhouse between deployments, or even civilian contractors at the school who are SF alums.

“I knew a college degree would be important once I retired and even while I’m still in for promotions,” said Sgt. 1st Class Mike Gruver, a communications NCO and Special Forces operator who’s studying for a degree in applied physics. “This is really the first time I’ve ever had an opportunity realistically to get a college degree instead of just floundering.”

While it might not seem like much of a rest after years of deployments and high-level warfare schools, Gruver said the schedule is focused on helping Soldiers knock out the associate’s degree requirements in less than three months.

“It was very time consuming. … It was a bit of an adjustment for my family,” Gruver said. “But it was no worse than being back on a team.”

And with as much as two years towards a bachelor’s degree completed well before retirement, the program is worth all the extra time and effort.

Some operators “can go from having no college degree at all to within a very short time having their bachelor’s degree,” Gruver said. “And all they have to do is go through this program to get that degree to tie it all in.”

© Copyright 2011 Military.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

http://www.military.com/news/article/plan-turns-green-beret-into-a-college-degree.html

hotshot
06-18-2011, 09:38
TS,

I start this degree program on Aug 15. 22 Weeks to my AA, then on to the BS.

CH

mojaveman
06-18-2011, 10:18
A twenty year career in Special Forces should be worth at least a Bachelors in Military Science.

Dozer523
06-18-2011, 11:24
A twenty year career in Special Forces should be worth at least a Bachelors in Military Science.Sure. and 20 years behind an excavator makes you an engineer.
Nope.
If an employer cares more about a 4 yrs of learning to do then 20 years of doing, I suspect most QP applicants will be frightfully unhappy working that job. The hiring criteria might be doing them a favor.

18C4V
06-18-2011, 11:27
Is this only for Bragg guys or is this online for the other Groups?

Peregrino
06-18-2011, 11:37
Yes. It's for everybody. There are a number of intitiatives being explored, some reguire more development, all will face some degree of difficulty if not supported by productive participation. Thank MG Sacolick. FWIW - I think it's a great idea and he's got the 90% solution; more than good enough to get the program off the ground IF the Regiment gives him buy-in. I like it because I'm always on my soapbox about the difference between training and education. If SF is going to advance, we've got to get better about educating our Soldiers (and giving appropriate recognition for the associated achievements).

wet dog
06-18-2011, 11:37
Sure. and 20 years behind an excavator makes you an engineer.
Nope.
If an employer cares more about a 4 yrs of learning to do then 20 years of doing, I suspect most QP applicants will be frightfully unhappy working that job. The hiring criteria might be doing them a favor.

I hope it works for the many involved. If I were still AD, I'd be considering staying in until the economy turns around, but then it might be even tougher.

18C4V
06-18-2011, 11:55
Peregrinio,

Thanks for the info. How will the info be passed when this comes official for guys to sign up?

Peregrino
06-18-2011, 14:17
Peregrinio,

Thanks for the info. How will the info be passed when this comes official for guys to sign up?

I'm not sure yet. If I see something concrete, I'll pass it on. It's a SWCS program and becaues they are the schoolhouse, they have legal authorities to do things (in the education realm) that we can't; e.g., some of the initiatives tied to language training. There have been several recent articles in the SWCS magazine explaining the intent and it's been in the works for several years (LTG M's sit-down with UNC to give an example).

mojaveman
06-18-2011, 14:23
Sure. and 20 years behind an excavator makes you an engineer.
Nope.

Ok, well at least an honorary.

When I left the military and went to school I didn't have to take any physical education classes because I was given credit for my military experience. I suppose credits for management & organization could be awarded for attending leadership schools. Who learns more about cultural geography, a student in a semester or quarter class or a young SF soldier on a year long depolyment to a foreign country?

I learned valuable lessons in the military that weren't taught in college. It was an education in itself. ;)

spottedmedic111
06-18-2011, 21:25
I took part in one of the pilot programs for this. It's been stretched from an 8 week to 16 week program but that's for the best. It's easy to manage at this point, only a few hours a week.

The primary focus is on Q-Course students but it's open to anyone if their unit cuts them the time to attend. My class had one guy on TDY from Carson. All of the classes have online components, but several are mostly resident e.g. math, English, and public speaking. I swapped the combatant course for another computer course, so there is some flexibility.

CSM-H
06-19-2011, 15:41
All I can say is it's about time!! I went to the AF SrNCO Academy as a guest speaker while assigned as the J-3 SGM from SOCOM ('97-98) It amazed me that the Air Force had/has almost ALL of it's enlisted/NCO training attached to college credit at the ANCOC level they acheive an Associates in Applied Science...Once they graduate their "SGM" academy couse they recieve a Bachelors degree. This was in the '98 time frame.

Anyone can say what they want, 20 years is great, most is not going to be SF time (unless you're an SF baby) but add in a Management degree and you are golden...SFC or above, SF, security clearence AND a degree!!! This is a good thing...And it is great that SWC has taken this on vs. the big Army, hope ALL that can take advantage of this program. Good luck to all, CSM-H

f50lrrp
06-20-2011, 17:46
When I left active duty in '72 after 8 years active duty. I had 60 semester hours from USAFI and the CLEP exam. Monterey Peninsula College wouldn't accept either and all that I got was a waiver from taking the health course. I took German 110 (I speak German) because the college wouldn't grant credit to native speakers or graduates of DLI.

The 1st day of class, My German teacher asked a question in German of the whole class...I answered her in German and she asked me where I had learned it. I replied that I had learned it as a child from our German maid, that I took German for four years in HS and that I had attended DLI to learn German. She exercised her perogative as the German Department Chair, and gave me 16 semester hours of credit. I completed MPC in one year!

I later transferred to Golden Gate University which gave me 127 Semester units of credit but it was all lower division.

Using the GI Bill, I was able to get a BS in Criminal Justice and a Masters in Public Administration (MPA)

I wish that I had the opportunity to get credit for my SF training!

MIKE

craigepo
06-21-2011, 08:54
This is a really big deal. I am very proud that SWC has done this for the guys.

When I got out, language proficiency transferred a few credits(not the school surprisingly), other schools kept me from having to take PE classes. Otherwise, all that army time didn't do much in regards to college credit.

I realize that this program is in its infancy. The tough part of getting this idea going will be accreditation. North Carolina schools will be an easier sell, as this will be a money-maker for schools there. Getting credit from colleges and universities in the other 49 states (where a lot of guys will PCS to) will be a different beast.

If I recall correctly, when I was trying to get credit for army stuff, Missouri State University ran everything through a "American College Equivalency" (ACE) book. If the military course was in there, you got the prescribed credit. If not, too bad. I'm not sure if colleges still use this book/program. If they do, the trick will be to get all the cool schools to transfer to hours of specific, not elective, credit, as "Elective" credits don't get you very far on your way to a degree.

Nonetheless, MG Sacolick and everybody working on this program just earned major cool points.

BrianH
06-21-2011, 11:28
We got briefed on it at ANCOC by the CG, and it sounded good. I hope it works out, although it does narrow the gap considerably about what makes officers, um, officers.

I can't believe they interviewed Gruver.

1stindoor
06-21-2011, 12:51
A college degree does not make an Officer...anymore than weapons training turns one of them into an 18B.

Masochist
06-21-2011, 13:37
If I recall correctly, when I was trying to get credit for army stuff, Missouri State University ran everything through a "American College Equivalency" (ACE) book. If the military course was in there, you got the prescribed credit. If not, too bad. I'm not sure if colleges still use this book/program. If they do, the trick will be to get all the cool schools to transfer to hours of specific, not elective, credit, as "Elective" credits don't get you very far on your way to a degree.

craigepo,

The ACE Military Guide (http://www.militaryguides.acenet.edu/) is still used by schools to translate courses from the military and other non-traditional learning into credits that fit into their system. ACE has done a decent job fitting military schools into neat little transferable packages for college advisors (complete with descriptions of what the student actually did at the school), but not everything will get you college credits.

In addition, just because the ACE manual says you should get "X credits in lower-division baccalaureate/associate degree category" doesn't mean the school will award it. As a former MP, I was told by my school's education department that my military training was "hands on" while the criminal justice taught at this school was "classroom" and they couldn't transfer the multiple schools I had attended. After working with an advisor (who was a vet), he was able to correlate much of my military training into general criminal justice and leadership credits, saving me a semester.

HTH

wet dog
06-21-2011, 15:54
A college degree does not make an Officer...anymore than weapons training turns one of them into an 18B.

What credits could I get for advanced SERE, or ASOT III, IV? Jokingly of course!

hotshot
06-21-2011, 20:03
The AA is from FTCC, which is a nationally accredited institution.

This is a really big deal. I am very proud that SWC has done this for the guys.

When I got out, language proficiency transferred a few credits(not the school surprisingly), other schools kept me from having to take PE classes. Otherwise, all that army time didn't do much in regards to college credit.

I realize that this program is in its infancy. The tough part of getting this idea going will be accreditation. North Carolina schools will be an easier sell, as this will be a money-maker for schools there. Getting credit from colleges and universities in the other 49 states (where a lot of guys will PCS to) will be a different beast.

If I recall correctly, when I was trying to get credit for army stuff, Missouri State University ran everything through a "American College Equivalency" (ACE) book. If the military course was in there, you got the prescribed credit. If not, too bad. I'm not sure if colleges still use this book/program. If they do, the trick will be to get all the cool schools to transfer to hours of specific, not elective, credit, as "Elective" credits don't get you very far on your way to a degree.

Nonetheless, MG Sacolick and everybody working on this program just earned major cool points.

exsquid
06-21-2011, 22:01
Believe it or not, SERE is actually ACE evaluated.

x/S

wet dog
06-22-2011, 00:17
Believe it or not, SERE is actually ACE evaluated.

x/S

Let me guess, credits for Civil Engineer for constructing shelter, Biology for water contaminate pathogens, etc., Communications for negotiating with Cadre. Anatomy/Physiology,....

PaladinJim
06-23-2011, 11:58
The DLI has a similar setup. With a few math and science credits, they can award an associate's degree at graduation. I know this applies to me as a 35p recruit. Is it the same for the SF language pipeline?

hotshot
06-23-2011, 12:04
The DLI has a similar setup. With a few math and science credits, they can award an associate's degree at graduation. I know this applies to me as a 35p recruit. Is it the same for the SF language pipeline?

If you would have read the first post, you wouldn't be asking this question.

CH

PaladinJim
06-23-2011, 19:10
What I mean to ask was, did SF soldiers get college credit for DLI courses before this program, given that they go through things a little differently. After re-reading I realize it's irrelevant since the program is already in effect. Apologies.

ODA 226
06-24-2011, 07:24
The 1st day of class, My German teacher asked a question in German of the whole class...I answered her in German and she asked me where I had learned it. I replied that I had learned it as a child from our German maid, that I took German for four years in HS and that I had attended DLI to learn German. She exercised her perogative as the German Department Chair, and gave me 16 semester hours of credit. I completed MPC in one year!

MIKE

Mike,
I had a very similar experience but I was kicked out of the class when I told the professor I was a German DLI graduate! :mad:
Craig

greenberetTFS
06-24-2011, 07:36
Really sounds like a great idea,only wish some thing like that was available when I was originally in service............:cool:

Big Teddy :munchin

Utah Bob
06-24-2011, 17:23
IF managed properly I can't see any downside.

Big IF though.