By Chris McGuinness
Fort Hood Herald
Active-duty military and veterans will have an easier time figuring out how their service translates to college credit, thanks to a new website developed by Central Texas College.
The college launched the College Credit for Heros website Monday, an online web-based application which allows current and former service members find out just how many college credits they can receive for their military experience.
"Our website will serve as a valuable tool for our service members to begin or continue their academic careers and ensure they are meeting the requirements of their degree plans or other educational goals," said Tom Klincar, the college's chancellor, in a statement. "We have a long-standing relationship with the military and we could not be more pleased than to be able to offer this service and be part of this great program."
The website will allow users to sign up for an account, and search the site's databases for recommended credit that can be awarded for military occupations, courses and various trainings.
Users will also be able to request an official evaluation those credits, as well as have a transcript of awarded credits sent to a participating Texas college of their choice.
"Prior to the inception of this site, students would have go to an education center or individual college institutions, and not all of them would be able to perform an evaluation," said John Hunt, the college deputy chancellor of Texas campuses and distance learning operations. "Those colleges that don't have a lot of military students may not have any mechanism in place to assist military members make the transition."
The website will function as part of a larger College credit for Heros initiative, which is administered through the Texas Workforce Commission. The project included seven community colleges: CTC, Alamo Colleges, Houston Community College, Lee College, Lone Star College, San Jacinto College and Temple College, all of which were involved in developing some aspect of the initiative. Their overall goal is to maximize college credits awarded those with military experience in order to expedite their transition into the Texas workforce.
For Central Texas College, more than $1 million was dedicated to developing the website, which officials say will help standardize evaluations of military training and other experience as they are carried over to the world of higher education.
At an Allied Health Medical Programs Symposium at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center last month, Jeff Fritz, chairman of Temple College's Emergency Medical Services department, said that the college was happy to help soldiers skip course content they'd already learned in the military. For example, he said, because many of the school's prior service students with medical backgrounds already have experience dealing with trauma and other complex care, it's useless for them to sit through basic lectures on putting in a IV and patient assessment.
In the end, Hunt said the colleges well-known work with a large number of military students made them good candidates to participate in the initiative.
"I think (Central Texas College) was chosen (to develop the website) because we have a long history of evaluating military experience, and awarding credit for it," he said.
Contact Chris McGuinness at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.
New CTC military website
To view the College Credit for Heros website, go to www.collegecreditforheros.org.