Veterans hope to set national bar

By Katelyn Freil

Katelyn Freil

When a veteran comes to The University of Akron, many of them hope to get class credits for skills they have gained while in the service. To do so, the application for credit must go through many different people: Starting with the admissions at the university, to the dean of the college the credit is available in and finally to the department through which the credit is offered.

Even then, the credit can be denied. According to Victoria Barrientos, president of UA’s Military Veterans Association, this all comes down to articulation.

“Two soldiers with the same backgrounds, the same job description in the military, can go. One will articulate what they did better than the other. The faculty member will give credit to that soldier, but not the other because they couldn’t articulate as well what they did,” Barrientos said.

Veteran groups on campus are working to create a first-of-its-kind standard that will give veterans with the same experience and background the same credit: regardless of whether or not they can articulate their skills well and without having to go through so many levels.

They are planning on doing this by getting the university to accept American Council on Education (ACE) transcripts for credits. These transcripts show the university what transcripts a veteran should get based on their experience. If this standard is set at UA, it could be recognized not only statewide, but nationally. UA is not the only college fighting to do this. Barrientos said that Kent State University is also working on their own program.

On the legislative end, Barrientos said Steven Hume and Concerned Veterans of America are pushing to make this a bill.

“The University of Akron, or whatever university does it first, will be used as a model to show that this is how ACE should be accepted,” she said.

A meeting will be held at the end of this month that will either congratulate UA on the standard the university has set or talk about the progress made by that time.