The American Association of Community Colleges is committed to helping active military service members, veterans, Reserve and National Guard, and their families pursue their education and careers. Community colleges are uniquely positioned to provide career pathways, prior learning assessment, linkages with industry, scholarships, and other programs and services to support these populations and speed them toward their goals.
As part of this commitment, AACC participated in an innovative three-year project through the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) in partnership with the American Council on Education (ACE) to use Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) methods to accelerate veterans' postsecondary attainment. The project was funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education Fund for Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE). Importantly, this work is an example of how to document and align military experience, as well as other forms of prior learning, with educational credentials and job opportunities.
The goals of the Maps to Credentials project were to:
- Raise veterans’ postsecondary attainment
- Maximize training and experience through degree roadmaps
- Support successful transitions to the college and civilian workplace
- Provide models for replication
- Advance institutional commitment to credit for prior learning policies and practices
To read more about the project design and implementation, visit the Maps to Credentials page.
Three colleges, varying in size, location and student and military student populations, participated in the project. Each college designed and piloted credential road maps for student veterans, streamlined and strengthened veteran services on campus, and developed institutional and faculty buy-in for prior learning assessment activities. Click on the college name to learn more about the strategy, activities, and lessons learned:
In addition to the Maps to Credentials project, the AACC 21st Century Center features resources on prior learning assessment.
Other resources to assist colleges in serving military veterans include: