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Old 07-17-2013, 20:34   #4
Quiet Professional
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Clarksville, TN
Posts: 1,112
Three of the best kept secrets of Army education that shouldn't be so secret:

1: Many Army service schools have been evaluated by the American Counsel on Education (ACE) and are recommended for the award of college level credit to servicemembers who complete the service schools. Example: Officer Candidate School = Personnel Management; Combat Engineer = Construction Engineering. While it is up to each individual college or university to determine whether or not to award school credit based on graduation from service schools, the recommendations are highly respected and generally followed.
(Warning: Be very specific with respect to which school, which course, and which program of instruction applies; as the army changes the scope of MOS and ASI generating schools from time to time. And sorry, Ranger generates no college credit ... but Special Forces does).

2: The Army offers free testing of the College Level Examiation Program (CLEP) and Credit by Examination Only subject tests. In short, you can sit down at an Army Education Center and take a standard examination on a field of study. The field may be general (English Literature and Grammer), or specific (police science , crime scene investigation). The test is "normed" against college students who actually took the class. Again, while it is up to each college or university to set their standards for "passing" and the maximum credits that may be awarded by examination only, general rules are:
(a) If you can out score 50% of the students who attended the class, they will award you credit. (sometime the number is 70%, or 80%).
(b) No matter what, there is often a limit, they will not allow you to "test out" of more than one year of college, i.e. 30 hours of credit or about ten classes.

3: Some colleges and universities, especially the Serviceman's Opportunity Colleges, are generous in the waiver of school requirements and the award of constructive credit for soldiers with years of active duty. For example, it is not unusual for a college to waive the requirement for Physical Education (hey, the Army gives you a double dose of that), or may award a student 2 or so hours of college credit for years of honorable active duty as "military science, in lieu of ROTC" up to a maximum of perhaps six hours.

If you are a soldier without a college degree, you really should beat feet down to the education center and request an evaluation, and an introduction to CLEP and the programs I've mentioned above.

I did, as a not very bright prior Sergeant E5 OCS graduate, then a 1LT with a high school diploma (the last on active duty in the U.S. Army). I was surprised to discover my AIT, NCO school, OCS, SF, CLEP scores and waivers put me into college as a second semester junior. A few extra classes, then two 12 hour (4 class) semesters and I had a genuine bona fide college degree. Good enought to get me into law school, but that's another story.
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