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College Credit for Training

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  • College Credit for Training


    • The Army uses the AARTS system, which automatically captures your academic credits from military training, and Standardized tests. The AARTS system is available to enlisted soldiers only. AARTS Home Page
    Navy and Marines

    • The Navy and Marine Corps use the SMART system. This system automatically captures your training, experience and standardized test scores. SMART Homepage
    Air Force

    • The Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) automatically captures your training, experience and standardized test scores. Transcript information may be viewed at the CCAF web site.
    Coast Guard

    • The Coast Guard Institute (CGI) requires each Servicemember to submit documentation of all training (except correspondence course records), along with an enrollment form, to receive a transcript.

  • #2
    Great info, WarVet!

    The military associated with ACE - the American Council on Education - who look at training and rip it apart from an academic viewpoint. They then make recommendations to colleges for how many credits that this training should receive. These recommendations may be in a single area, or in several (or many) areas. The military started out slow, but when it saw how it benefited the troops, they jumped on the ACE bandwagon whole-heartedly, and now nearly every course the military offers (for all five branches) has been reviewed by ACE.

    Who cares?

    YOU SHOULD!! When you apply to a college (which nearly everyone will at one point or another), the college will ask for any transcripts or course completion certificates, and ACE will have done most of your job for you. All you have to do is print out your AARTS/SMART/CCAF transcript (Coasties have to get their transcript from PeopleSoft or the Institute), and hand it over to the admissions folks. Since ACE has already done their job, the college will just plug the names of the course or course code into ACE and they'll get the recommendations - and then the college will give you official college credits for what you've already done!!

    Some stuff is redundant... Basic/BMT/Boot will give you a(n estimated) recommendation of 3 lower level semester hours for physical training. SERE school will also give you 3 lower level semester hours for physical training MOST colleges will only give you "credit" for ONE version of "lower level semester hours", so you'll be given a grand total of 3 lower level semester hours for gym/physical training/athletics. Still, most colleges require at least one gym class to graduate... and guess what - that one class is 3 credits... so you don't have to take a gym class! Yeah, it sounds juvenile, but when you are paying out the wazoo for college, it's nice to know that those three credits were earned for free.

    Depending on your MOS/AFSC/Rating, for a four-year stint in the military, you can be granted a couple of credits (like 6-8), or you could get upwards of 20 or more (those folks have highly technical career fields). I was an Infantryman when I started my military career, and ended up with about 10 credits before I ever took a college class. At today's prices, that's a savings of about $2500 or more. Not too shabby!

    Also, when it comes to college, do NOT forget that you can also take CLEP and DANTES exams for college credits. CLEP is basic education stuff - math, history, humanities, while DANTES is more spread out with lots more topics. There is no "pass/fail" with these - you take the test and get a score. You send the score to the college and they award you credits for that subject according to a "secret" table they use. Let's say you take basic algebra and score a 325 on it (scores run from zero to around 600, depending on the test). You want to go to college, but don't know where - so you submit the score to County Community College and Harvard University (yeah, THAT Harvard!!). Tri-C looks at your 325 score compares it to their table. Their table says (using imaginary numbers):
    Under 199 = zero credits
    200-274 = two credits
    275-374 = three credits
    375-475 = four credits
    476-549 = five credits
    550-600 = six credits
    With the 325, you just earned three college credits for spending two hours taking a test... and since it's a math class, you won't have to take Algebra 101 to graduate. Not bad if you are majoring in English!!!

    Harvard University, on the other hand, has a different scale.
    Under 299 = zero credits
    300-399 = two credits
    400- 499 = three credits
    500-600 = four credits
    You only get two credits for the CLEP test at Harvard... and if you need three math credits to graduate, you'll either have to take another class or re-take the CLEP and pray you score higher.

    Please keep in mind that these tables use made-up numbers - almost every college is different.

    These CLEP and DANTES tests cost anywhere from $75-200 in the civilian market - and you can take them FOR FREE in the military!!! I ended up with a FULL YEAR of college from my CLEP and DANTES scores - and you can, too!! Just remember that for most of you, you are young and were just in high-school a little while ago. If you take these tests early, the odds are that you'll score higher on them than if you wait until you are old and senile at the age of 35 and try to take them!! ALSO, the scores don't expire... so if you take them when you are 19 and don't apply to college until you are 30, there's no problem at all.

    Personally, I believe that if you don't take advantage of the ACE program (which you don't really have to do anything to do!), and CLEP/DANTES tests, you are an idot. That's someone that is too stupid to even spell "idiot" correctly!!

    Brian Raini