Impacting Student Veteran Success Through Military Credit Articulation
A Regional Model for Progress
Katherine J. Giardello
Western Michigan University
Sara E. Appel
The Midwestern Higher Education Compact
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This article briefly describes the historic relationship between higher education and the military in the United States and reviews available literature on shortening academic pathways for veterans through articulated credit for military experience. The article also shares an overview of the promising work of the 13-state Multi-State Collaborative on Military Credit (MCMC) that has led efforts to address this issue since 2012 from the perspective of two of the initiative’s leaders. An overview of issues uncovered in the collaborative’s work, as well as discussion on implications of these issues and recommended strategies for practitioners are provided.
There is a historically complicated relationship between the U.S. military and higher education system (Cate, Lyon, Schmeling, & Bogue, 2017). This relationship dates to colonial times when compulsory military service could be avoided for those enrolled in collegiate education, thus incentivizing enrollment in higher education to avoid conflict (Cohen & Kisker, 2010). Similar provisions continued in the decades that followed, leading up to the massive impact that World War II would have on higher education at large.
In 1944, the United States enacted the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, commonly known as the GI Bill, which provided benefits to World War II veterans for housing assistance, unemployment, and postmilitary education and training costs. This ground breaking legislation formalized a symbiotic relationship between military service and college enrollment with the original GI Bill providing eight million World War II veterans with postwar education and training (Cate et al., 2017). The legislation is often called the antecedent to the college access movement since the funds opened college opportunities to a more general populace where previously only affluent citizens could afford college education. The GI Bill created a significant boom in postsecondary education enrollment nationwide and initiated a mutually beneficial recruitment pipeline between the military and higher education that persists today (Cohen & Kisker, 2010). The GI Bill has gone through several iterations over time, continuing to provide access to higher education for millions of veterans and their family members, all of whom are frequently referred to in the research literature as military-connected students (Cate et al., 2017). The most recent revision to the bill occurred in 2017, known as the “Forever GI Bill,” and further expanded access and flexibility for military-connected students (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 2018).
Ten years after the GI Bill’s passage, in 1954, the United States Department of Defense (DOD) contracted with the American Council on Education (ACE) to create a process by which ACE reviews military training and recommends credit for prior learning on military transcripts (American Council on Education, 2019). Today, ACE credit recommendations are offered for more than 22,000 military courses and 3,300 military occupations. Several states have legislative policy requiring institutions of higher learning to accept ACE credit recommendations found on student veterans’ Joint Services Transcripts (JSTs), which document service members’ military training and education. Unfortunately, empirically based evidence showing that these credit recommendations are shortening time to degree or increasing the likelihood of degree completion for student veterans is absent from scholarly literature. Anecdotal evidence gleaned from Multi-State Collaborative on Military Credit (MCMC) partners suggests that institutions have been inauthentically complying with state policies requiring the awarding of ACE credit for military experience by awarding general credit that does not apply to degree requirements. Not only does this delay these students’ progress to degree, but this practice can also negatively impact students’ financial aid eligibility by impeding their compliance with federal Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements associated with their GI Bill use.
Empirical evidence is lacking in part because, despite the rich history between U.S. higher education and its military forces, accurate data about the academic outcomes of military-connected students have been largely inaccessible. This has made group aggregation for evaluative analysis of the GI Bill, and certainly the ACE military credit evaluation process, difficult (Cate et al., 2017; Molina & Morse, 2017). These data capture complications have been apparent for decades but, in the last decade, the post-9/11 GI Bill has resulted in increases in postsecondary enrollment of military-connected students at colleges and universities across the country. The U.S. Department of Education’s National Center on Education Statistics estimates that between 2007/2008 and 2011/2012, there was a 20% increase in military-connected students enrolled in U.S. higher education (Radford, Bentz, Dekker, & Paslov, 2016). This surge in enrollment has raised both the visibility of this unique cohort of students and interest in understanding these students’ academic outcomes from the perspective of policymakers and the higher education research community. Public interest in this population of college students comes both from patriotic motivation as well as the implications of tax dollars invested in both the GI Bill program and the government-supported ACE credit for prior learning (CPL) military evaluation process.
This article reviews the scholarly literature available on the academic outcomes of student veterans and the impact of awarding credit for prior learning on academic success, particularly focusing on the articulation of military learning for academic credit where such data is available. In addition to this research overview, the promising activities of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact’s (MHEC) MCMC will be discussed. The overall purpose of the article is to raise visibility of the important issue of awarding academic credit for military training and offer a potential model for collaborative efforts to structurally improve the higher education landscape for military veterans by describing MCMC’s organizational processes and lessons learned. Closing comments include a call to action for practitioners in higher education.
In one of the first efforts to hear directly from transitioning service members on their experience of moving from the military into higher education, Zoli, Maury, and Fay (2015) gleaned data from 8,500 separating or recently separated service members via survey. Significantly, their study adds a personal voice to the historic “pipeline” relationship between the military and higher education in the United States as described earlier. Their findings indicate that most service members attribute positive experience and skill building to their military service and a large majority (92%) indicate that education should play a role in their postmilitary transition. On the topic of transferable skills from military to higher education, only 53% felt their institutions were appropriately recognizing these skills. A complicated finding is that 55% of respondents indicated they would pursue a civilian career different from their military occupation, potentially reducing the opportunity to articulate credit between like military training and educational programs (Zoli et al., 2015).
Cook, Kim, and King (2009) reviewed programs and services available to veterans at 723 institutions of higher learning. Their study analyzed feedback from focus groups in which student veterans described programs and services offered at their colleges and universities. Though nearly 75% of institutions studied awarded ACE credit for military learning, the student focus groups revealed that ACE CPL policies are inconsistent, and credits earned often do not apply to degree requirements (Cook et al., 2009).
DiRamio and Jarvis (2011) applied several prominent psychological and educational theories to student veteran development to help educators understand how to better support this unique population of students that often experience mental, physical, social, and academic distress as part of their military to academic transition. In their discussion of Tinto’s Model of Student Departures (1984, as cited in DiRamio & Jarvis, 2011), the authors describe common issues veterans experience with applying CPL to their degree programs and position this as a structural barrier to academic success for student veterans. They describe veterans’ concern with receiving CPL as a financial matter since receiving CPL should mean they are not paying for those courses and explain the structural issue with ACE CPL as a lack of training to effectively match ACE recommendations as direct equivalencies that clearly apply to degree requirements (DiRamio & Jarvis, 2011).
In 2017, a public-private partnership between the Student Veterans of America, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and National Student Clearinghouse produced the most comprehensive data set assessing the academic performance of student veterans, called the National Veteran Education Success Tracker (Cate et al., 2017). This project used data sharing between the named entities to arrive at counts of degrees earned that can be attributed to the post-9/11 GI Bill, analysis on average time to degree for veterans, and descriptive data on the types of academic programs pursued by GI Bill users. Results of the analysis indicated that student veterans performed better (53.6% completion rate) than their nontraditional aged peers (39.2% completion rate), although still not as well as traditional students (completing at 59%). Analysis on time to degree was presented, although no relationship with CPL was discussed in this project.
More specific to CPL, evidence from a 48-institution study analyzing records of 62,475 adult students (over age 25), performed by the Council on Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), showed that more than 56% of students awarded CPL earned their degrees within seven years, compared to only 21% of non-CPL students (CAEL, 2010, p. 7). This research also found higher persistence rates for students who earned CPL as compared to those who did not; time to degree analyses also showed positive outcomes (CAEL, 2010). Chappell (2012) similarly found that as the number of credits earned through CPL increased, the net time for students to complete their academic degree decreased for different types of CPL awarded.
The CAEL (2010) study included a small sample of military-connected students and found a higher likelihood of military-connected students receiving CPL credit (67%) than nonmilitary-connected students (40%) (p. 31). Their results also showed graduation rates for military-connected students receiving CPL credits were six points lower than those not receiving CPL, and there was no difference found for time to degree. In discussing these surprising results, the authors were quick to point out sampling issues that may have skewed results and offered discussion on the common process in higher education of awarding general credit that does not apply to degree requirements for CPL, which frequently occurs for military-connected students (CAEL, 2010).
Similarly, although Cook et al. (2009) reported that almost three fourths of institutions surveyed indicated they awarded credit for military experience, focus groups with student veterans revealed these students were confused by a perceived inconsistency in the way these awards were applied to their degree progression. Difficulty understanding credit articulation processes is a common problem for transfer students and may be exacerbated for student veterans who are typically also navigating lifestyle transitions related to their military separation (DiRamio & Jarvis, 2011).
MCMC: A Regional Approach to Progress
The preceding research outlines the impetus for higher education to attend to the work of articulating military training for academic credit wherever possible. This section presents MCMC leaders’ review of the collaborative’s work, including lessons learned for practitioners.
Following the post-9/11 GI Bill’s enactment in 2008, there were small pockets of progress in higher education regarding awarding credit for military training, particularly in states where there was already a natural relationship between military partners and higher education entities. Less progress was realized in the Midwest until representatives from the State Higher Education Executive Officers organizations in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio began informally discussing challenges with military credit articulations in 2012. In July 2012, these professionals met formally to begin discussing how institutions of higher education in their respective states were articulating credit for military experience. A year later, another formal meeting was held and included representatives from six midwestern states as well as organizational partners from the DOD.
In 2014, nearly 40 professionals from 10 states and several partner organizations met for another annual meeting. Later that year, the MHEC was awarded $900,000 from the Lumina Foundation for a period of three years to enhance the collaboration between and among 13 states (the 12-member states of MHEC plus Kentucky that had been previously engaged with the collaborative for several years) (MHEC, n.d.). In addition to these funds, MCMC received $200,000 for a more targeted project around healthcare pathways for veterans from USA Funds, now Strada Education Network (MHEC, n.d.). While external grant funds no longer support this project, MHEC has generously agreed to continue operating the network for continued information sharing and opportunities to convene and progress this work further.
Organizational structure. It is challenging enough to coordinate higher education activities in a single state, let alone between 13 separate states. Nonetheless, MCMC has functioned with a web of interconnections and critical organizational partners. Leadership is provided by a steering committee that includes a higher education leader from an organization responsible for coordinating postsecondary education in their state, although differences in higher education governing and coordinating norms in the states vary widely. Four working groups operated for the duration of the recent grant-funded period to meet specific objectives intended to identify barriers and explore promising practices around these issues: articulation of academic credit; communication and outreach; data, technology, and systems; and licensure and certification.
From working groups to knowledge communities. MCMC leaders have described the four working groups as the lifeblood of the collaborative. At the culmination of MCMC’s recent grant period, the working groups were reorganized as knowledge communities to facilitate ongoing sharing of related information from each state. Cochairs for each knowledge community continue to serve alongside the state liaisons on the steering committee that leads the initiative. These individuals are subject-matter experts in their respective areas and share a commitment to pursuing further research and information sharing on topics of interest. Knowledge communities share information with MCMC stakeholders through listserve messages, the MHEC newsletter, conference sessions, teleconference discussions, public webinars on topics of interest, and updates given during MCMC’s annual convening.
Through these networked communities of practice, new regional and national partnerships have been curated in order to share information between military partners and higher education leaders and improve opportunities for military-connected students in higher education. A description of each knowledge community and the major takeaways from their last few years of work follows.
Articulation of academic credit. This knowledge community is critical to the overall work of MCMC in that it explores policies and promising practices that can facilitate the translation of military training and experience into applicable college credit. One of the biggest takeaways of the knowledge community’s previous work is acknowledgment of the complexity that surrounds the articulation of military experiences with academic courses. There are numerous contributing factors to this complex environment, including language barriers between highly technical military and similarly complicated academic jargon, lack of availability of assessed learning outcomes from certain military experiences, mismatch of military and academic curriculum, awarding of too much general credit such that student veterans experience negative financial aid implications, and onerous processes for validating prior learning assessment generally. These complexities, coupled with a lack of dedicated staffing around this topic at both the state and institutional levels, have resulted in slow progress toward articulating military training with academic credit in MCMC states.
Implications for practitioners. The Articulation of Academic Credit knowledge community explored several promising strategies for accelerating time to degree for student veterans. The group emphasized implementing faculty-involved processes to proactively develop ACE credit recommendations commonly found on JSTs received at the campus. Other academic strategies reviewed included the creation of shortened competency gap refresher courses to bridge the service member into an accelerated pathway where needed as well as the development of degree bridge pathway maps for military occupational specialties that match well to academic programs. Some institutions also award credit or apply waivers toward general education or cocurricular requirements that service members have often met the spirit of in their military experiences. The knowledge community also found posting credit by exam equivalencies for College Level Examination Program and DANTES Subject Standardized Tests exams improves transparency for military-connected students who frequently utilize these forms of CPL. Three MCMC states have worked exceptionally hard to produce credit articulation models that work at scale.
Minnesota State Colleges and Universities have supported the Veterans Education Transfer System since 2009 (Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, n.d.). It is one of the first online statewide military credit articulation platforms and helps service members and veterans understand how their military training can count for meaningful academic credit. Since the inception of Veterans Education Transfer System, Minnesota State has awarded more than 197,000 credit hours for military courses and occupations saving student veterans more than $37 million and eight million credit hours.
The Ohio Department of Higher Education has developed Military Transfer Assurance Guides (MTAGs), which provide assurance that specific types of military training, experience, and coursework are parallel to existing college and university courses and awarded appropriate credit at colleges and universities in Ohio (Ohio Department of Higher Education, 2019a). The MTAGs legislation was passed in June 2014. In 2018, with 23 out of 36 institutions reporting data, 21,406 undergraduate credit hours were awarded to veterans through Ohio’s MTAGs.
The Kansas Board of Regents developed their articulation program as a cooperative effort between the Kansas Board of Regents and local U.S. Army officials (Kansas Board of Regents, n.d.). Faculty and administrators convened to examine academic course outcomes as compared to the skills, outcomes, and competencies learned in various military occupational specialties. This is an ongoing initiative that will eventually include additional branches of the military and data on outcomes of the initiative.
In addition to focusing on building statewide articulation solutions through policy work, members of this knowledge community also focused on capacity-building, including developing public-facing tools and resources for institutional training (Consortium of Michigan Veterans Educators, 2019; Ohio Department of Higher Education, 2019b).
Communication and outreach. This knowledge community seeks to enhance the ways in which information can be communicated to service members about how their military training and experience can result in progress toward a postsecondary certificate, degree, or professional license/certification. An immediate area of emphasis noted by this knowledge community is the high need for improved support for college literacy in military-connected populations during what can be a stressful transition away from their service life. Although the service branches employ education service officers who provide services to active duty service members and typically offer direction during transition assistance programs for outgoing service members, anecdotal evidence suggests these processes are often rushed and may be ineffective at directing service members toward fulfilling civilian careers and corresponding educational endeavors.
Implications for practitioners. It is resoundingly clear that student veterans are accustomed to clearly articulated hierarchies and regimented procedures. To help veterans navigate the complicated higher education landscape, particularly the issue of credit transfer, transparent processes and direct resources are needed. When possible, institutions or states should support a public website including a database with transparent information about military credit equivalencies available to service members. In addition, a clear, single point of contact is recommended for service in all areas of a veteran’s student life, including VA benefit processing, financial aid, and the opportunity for work-study jobs paid through the VA. Many campuses also offer dedicated space for veterans, sometimes called a veterans’ lounge or center, where student services can be administered and students can engage with one another for peer mentoring and connective belonging on campus (Schlossberg, 1989).
Data, technology, and systems. This knowledge community has researched two critical issues that arose as MCMC’s work progressed: (1) data systems that can accommodate military credit articulations similar to transfer equivalencies and (2) challenges around data capture and success tracking for military-connected students. On the first issue, documenting CPL in methods other than through college credit is not always easy to implement in software programs that house transfer articulation information based on the traditional credit hour, which is used fairly universally to transcript and articulate credit throughout higher education. Even more concerning is the second issue uncovered by this knowledge community: that of gross discrepancies in applied definitions of what comprises a veteran and extreme variation in campus processes used to identify and track military-connected students in order to evaluate their success in higher education. Specific to the notion of awarding credit for military training is the inability of most institutions to collect military occupational specialty information to match with academic credentialing and civilian career choices.
Implications for practitioners. The previous section identified a need for clearly delineated processes around military credit articulation. State or institutional databases of articulated academic credit for military experience improve transparency for veterans pursuing academic degrees. Although these databases come with their own set of complications, even simple communication methods that map credit earned for military experiences can demystify the process.
Even more pressing, campuses must give attention to their military student data capture processes. Counting student veterans by VA benefit usage alone is not wholly accurate. It is becoming increasingly important to differentiate between types of military-connected students and helpful for the campus to be able to intervene if success is assessed as at risk for students in this population. Campuses in MCMC states are using categorical questions on the admissions application to classify military-connected students, often cross matching these with data that they are required to submit to the VA and the federal government’s integrated postsecondary educational data system. As the literature review revealed, aggregated data on student veterans has been difficult to derive because of inconsistencies in definitions applied to the term veteran and variable processes used to identify various types of military-connected students. Once these inconsistencies in data capture methodologies are addressed, campuses should routinely track success measures for their military-connected students, including year to year and overall retention, time to degree, graduation rates, and enrollment patterns that lead to academic success such as remedial courses taken, part or full time, stop out enrollment, success in gatekeeper courses, and the like.
Licensure and certification. The licensure and certification knowledge community has focused more explicitly on linking military training, education, and other experiences to civilian licenses and certifications in order to accelerate the veterans’ track to similar employment upon their military separation. The work was most productive when it focused on workforce structures, such as state and occupational licensing and regulatory boards. Progressive partnerships have been a hallmark of MCMC’s work; and in this area, Solutions for Information Design, a consulting group, has worked alongside the DOD to develop the service branches Credentialing Opportunities On-Line digital tools, which proved invaluable to understanding the linkages between civilian and military occupations. Along these lines, opportunities to work with regulatory agencies to accelerate qualifying veterans’ pathways to employment by obtaining comparable civilian credentials more quickly have been productive. A deliverable of this knowledge community is the MCMC Bridge Program Inventory (Multi-State Collaborative on Military Credit, 2018), which details the program areas where accelerated military specific pathways exist in MCMC states.
Implications for practitioners. Several states have become involved in other external efforts to award academic credit for industry-based credentials, such as the national Credential Engine project and other state-specific efforts at creating “laddered” academic credentials that could include credentials earned in the military (Credential Engine, 2018). Along these lines, MCMC’s partnership with the Defense Health Agency’s Medical Education and Training Campus (METC) has institutions in MCMC states applying as new degree completion partners through METC’s established articulation process (Medical Education and Training Campus, n.d.). This area of work toward the articulation of credentials extends beyond veterans to other adult learners with on-the-job, apprenticeship, or career-technical training and warrants further exploration on higher education campuses. Finally, involving state and national professional licensing boards can be helpful for educational programs linked to the occupations. For instance, the National Council on State Boards of Nursing coordinated a review of several military medical occupations for alignment with national standards for licensed practical nursing, which progressive academic programs have used to develop competency-gap courses that fill in competencies not fully covered in military training to accelerate degree completion for veterans in these occupational areas. These overlapping efforts have allowed for integration and expansion of the MCMC impact.
What began as a “hallway” conversation between educational leaders from three states has grown into an expansive and evolving network of multisector professionals collaborating for the successful postmilitary transition of our nation’s veterans. Milestones from MCMC’s recent grant work include the following:
- Visibility of the topic. Although many campuses claim to be “veteran-friendly,” progress toward articulating academic credit for military experiences has been slow across the board. The “start-up” funds available to MCMC states helped to put this topic on the map for single institutions and state systems.
- Enhanced understanding. The growing network has worked collaboratively to uncover and better understand complicated issues around DOD data security clearance, higher education articulation procedures, implications of credit awards for VA certifying, and significant issues with data capture and success tracking for military-connected students.
- New partnerships. MCMC’s most prolific success is the formation of relationships between leaders in each state for information sharing and the organization’s opportunity to interact with other national organizations vested in the academic success of student veterans. Such organizations include the American Association of Admissions Officers and Registrars, the ACE, the American Legion, Army University, the Association for Institutional Researchers, CAEL, DOD, VA, Student Veterans of America, and a host of other veteran advocacy organizations within the MHEC states and in other regions of the country.
- Data access. The project allowed MCMC states to access DOD data to project the volume of service members separating with their state as address of origin. The data was matched with civilian employment codes to project the career and academic areas these separating service members’ may enter following their military transition. MCMC has also been able to work directly with the ACE for reports on JSTs requests sent to their states. In addition, states and institutions alike are working toward more consistent procedures for data capture and tracking of military-connected students, improving opportunities to evaluate the success of these students.
- Aggregated data. As campuses in MCMC states become better able to aggregate accurate data about military-connected populations, it is hoped that better data about what is working for military-connected students will become available for evaluative purposes. In the meantime, a benefit of the MCMC network has been its efforts to gather and publish data on accelerated pathways for veterans in MCMC states in its Bridge Program Inventory.
- Outreach publications. Working with CAEL, MHEC published Valuing Military Learning: A Guide to Military Prior Learning Assessment and More, which lays out information that is useful for service members and educators about pursuing postsecondary education and receiving credit for military experience (CAEL, 2016). Other documents from MCMC meetings, webinars, and state information-sharing reports are available for public review on the project website.
- Annual convening. MCMC’s annual convening is its signature event and will continue to bring vested higher education stakeholders together to emphasize organizational partnerships, data and information sharing, and productive dialogue toward overcoming obstacles that stand in the way of academic success for military-connected students.
This article intended to review literature on the impact of articulating military experience for academic credit to improve educational success of student veterans and demonstrate the importance of this topic for higher education leaders. As the literature review section revealed, there is some evidence that awarding credit for military learning can have a positive impact on student veteran success, although not many scholars have studied this specific issue. Scholar practitioners are encouraged to review the literature, consider their own campus practices around articulation of military learning, and apply the implications for practitioners from MCMC’s knowledge communities to their own context to improve the ability for student veterans across the country to complete educational credentials following their military separation.
One of the most productive aspects of the work of this collaborative has been the ability to inspire and energize state agencies and institutions and to find the champions who will go above and beyond to do what is needed for service members in their postsecondary pursuits. Although much work has been done by MCMC members in the area of improving the articulation of military education to meaningful college credit and other areas, there are still substantial gains to be made. MCMC looks to the future as a continued credible resource for advocates committed to seeing progress in this area throughout the MCMC states and the country.
American Council on Education. (2019). Guide to the evaluation of educational experiences in the armed services. Retrieved from https://www.acenet.edu/news-room/Pages/Military-Guide-Online.aspx
Cate, C. A., Lyon, J. S., Schmeling, J., & Bogue, B. Y. (2017). National veteran education success tracker: A report on the academic success of student veterans using the post-9/11 GI Bill (NVEST Report). Washington, DC: Student Veterans of America. Retrieved from https://nvest.studentveterans.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/NVEST-Report_FINAL.pdf
Chappell, J. M. (2012). A study of prior learning assessment in degree completion (Paper 410). Marshall University, Huntington, WV. Retrieved from http://mds.marshall.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1410&context=etd
Cohen, A. M., & Kisker, C. B. (2010). The shaping of American higher education: Emergence and growth of the contemporary system (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
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Council on Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL). (2010). Fueling the race to postsecondary success: A 48-institution study of prior learning assessment and adult student outcomes. Chicago, IL: CAEL. Retrieved from http://www.cael.org/pdf/PLA_Fueling-the-Race.pdf
Council on Adult and Experiential Learning. (2016). Valuing military learning: A guide to military prior learning assessment and more [online version]. Minneapolis, MN: Midwestern Higher Education Compact. Retrieved from https://www.mhec.org/sites/default/files/resources/20160803MCMC_Guide_to_Military_PLA.pdf
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Radford, A. W., Bentz, A., Dekker, R., & Paslov, J. (2016). After the post-9/11 GI Bill: A profile of military service members and veterans enrolled in undergraduate and graduate education. (NCES 2016-435). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Educational Statistics. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2016/2016435.pdf
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U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2018). Forever GI Bill–Harry W. Colmery Veterans Education Assistance Act. In Education and training. Retrieved from https://www.benefits.va.gov/GIBILL/FGIBSummaries.asp
Zoli, C., Maury, R., & Fay, D. (2015). Missing perspectives: Servicemembers’ transition from service to civilian life. Syracuse, NY: Institute for Veterans & Military Families, Syracuse University. Retrieved from https://surface.syr.edu/ivmf/7/
Katie Giardello is a doctoral student in educational leadership in higher education at Western Michigan University. From July 2015 to 2018, she served as the director of Veteran and Transfer Initiatives at the Michigan Community College Association’s Center for Student Success. Giardello holds a BS in human ecology and an MA in educational policy and leadership from The Ohio State University.
Sara Appel serves as the manager for the Multi-State Collaborative on Military Credit and the Midwest Student Exchange Program at the Midwestern Higher Education Compact. Prior, she was the academic programs manager at the Indiana Commission for Higher Education and an outreach specialist for the Military Family Research Institute’s Operation Diploma initiative at Purdue University. She has an undergraduate degree in secondary education and a master’s degree in history from Southeast Missouri State University.
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