Getting college credit for military training is a big issue for veterans. The ACE has created a guide to help colleges evaluate military training, but most vets receive no credit for their prior learning, concludes a 2011 study, "Completing the Mission."
However, some colleges are helping vets build on previous experiences to earn credits. Clackamas Community College in Oregon has created 21 bridge courses to help student veterans combine their military training with traditional coursework to earn credits in law enforcement, business administration, mechanics, human services, English, and the humanities.
[See four things to know about community colleges.]
For-profit colleges are more likely than community colleges to help veterans earn credits for military training, according to Jennifer Steele, a policy analyst at the RAND Corporation who surveyed student veterans in a 2010 study.
Student veterans also complained of being shut out of crowded classes at public two- and four-year colleges—but not at for-profit colleges.
Veterans chose for-profit colleges for "classes that meet on evenings and weekends and focus on career-relevant skills," as well as for the choice of face-to-face or online classes, Steele writes. Tuition didn't exceed their G.I. Bill benefits, so vets didn't need to borrow.
In the battle to enroll G.I. Bill beneficiaries, for-profit colleges are gaining ground.
Joanne Jacobs writes Community College Spotlight for The Hechinger Report, an independent nonprofit education news site. Jacobs also blogs about K-12 education and is the author of Our School: The Inspiring Story of Two Teachers, One Big Idea and the Charter School That Beat the Odds.