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The College Credit for Heroes initiative seeks to maximize college credits awarded to veterans and service members for their military experience in order to expedite their transition into the Texas workforce. The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is committed to honoring veterans and service members by helping them enter the Texas workforce with the recognition of the skills they earned while honorably serving their country. To help veterans and service members translate their military service skills into college credits and certifications, seven Texas community colleges were selected in 2011 to help create standards for assessing military training that can then be used by any college in the state.
Texas veterans and service members can receive an official evaluation based on the training they received through the military by visiting Central Texas College's College Credit for Heroes website.
Administered by TWC, this workforce development initiative is designed to recognize the exceptional knowledge and skills gained by veterans and service members and award them college credits for their military experience, allowing them to more easily re-enter the workforce.
Since 2011, College Credit for Heroes has focused on three primary aspects of the program: the online web portal, network of partner schools, and accelerated curriculum.
In April 2012, Central Texas College launched www.CollegeCreditforHeroes.org, an online application and database through which veterans and service members can receive an official evaluation of credit to be used at colleges and universities throughout the state. As of July 1, 2015, the website has received over 70,000 visits, with 50,000 veteran and servicemember account holders who have requested more than 10,000 evaluations for college credit. Results from the first three years show that Texas veterans and service members have been recommended an average of 25 credit hours per evaluation issued through the College Credit for Heroes website.
Since the award of academic credit is contingent upon approval of the receiving Texas college or university, increasing awareness and encouraging participation is imperative. Schools sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to review College Credit for Heroes evaluations and make a commitment to award as many credits as possible and as applicable. To date, the number of College Credit for Heroes partner institutions has grown from 7 to 42.
Thirteen Texas colleges and universities have created a total of 76 acceleration curricula in fields such as emergency medical services, surgical technology, respiratory therapy, health information technology, nursing, cyber security, information technology, firefighting, advanced manufacturing, logistics, wind engineering, and oil field technology.
Launched as a pilot program in 2011, College Credit for Heroes was designated as a permanent program with the passage of SB 806 in the 84th Legislative Session. Unique to Texas, College Credit for Heroes has achieved success by establishing a standard evaluation process used across the state for veterans to receive classroom credit by growing its network of partner schools and supporting the development of 76 fast-track programs to help veterans translate their military experience into civilian careers.
The following colleges laid the groundwork to create standardized practices for awarding veterans college credits or certifications based on their military experiences:
Alamo Community College District
Veterans Associate Degree Programs
Alamo Colleges developed an Associate of Applied Sciences degree in health professions to streamline transferable credit and accelerated attainment of the degree for service members and veterans. Alamo Colleges also developed a career mobility track program providing active duty service members and veterans an accelerated path to an Associate of Applied Sciences in nursing.
Accelerated Associate’s Degree in Respiration Technology and Health Information Technology Specialty Tracks
The District (ACCD) added an accelerated associate's degree in respiration technology and certificates in information security and assurance. ACCD also continued implementation of health information technology specialty tracks in occupation therapy, radiology and medical laboratory, and accelerated registered nurse career mobility track training. For more information about the Veterans Associate Degree Programs at Alamo Colleges, please contact Dr. Lula Pelayo at 210-486-5897 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Angelo State University
Accelerated Pathways to Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Security Fields
Angelo State University developed five articulation agreements with select community colleges to create accelerated pathways to bachelor's degrees and master's degrees and fast track certificates in academic areas such as border security, cyber security, intelligence, and security studies and analysis. The Veterans Educational and Transitional Services (VETS) Center helps veterans and service members transition to university campus by providing academic, social and financial aid support. For more information about any of the programs developed at Angelo State University, please contact Susan Williams at 325-486-6682 or email@example.com.
Austin Community College District
Accelerated Pathways to Certifications in Advanced Technology Fields
Austin Community College developed streamlined curricula for four of the school's certification programs in energy, information technology, manufacturing and advanced technologies and computer technology. ACC also standardized and streamlined the evaluation of military training for all veteran students. For more information about any of the programs developed at Austin Community College, please contact Stephan A. Keltgen at 512-223-7671 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Central Texas College
Online Military Training Evaluation System
Central Texas College developed a web-based application and database for veterans and service members to receive additional college credit hours with an official evaluation that can be used by colleges throughout the state. For more information about www.collegecreditforheroes.org, please contact Brigitte Flynt at 254-501-3000 or email@example.com.
Dallas County Community College District
Veteran Success Through Accelerated IT Career Pathways
The Dallas County Community College District developed accelerated career paths for industry certification in information technology and an optional internet marketing specialist certificate, allowing qualified veterans to complete an associate's degree in 18 months and earn workforce certifications in as little as 10 months at all seven DCCCD colleges in the Greater Dallas area. For more information about any of the programs developed at Dallas County Community College, please contact Joyce Williams at 214-378-1746 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Houston Community College
Accelerated Alternate Delivery Program
Houston Community College developed and implemented an accelerated refresher program for surgical technicians who were trained in the military to sit for the national accrediting exam and receive credit toward an Associate's degree in Allied Health. For more information about the Accelerated Alternate Delivery Program, please contact Christine Castillo at 712-718-7362 or email@example.com.
Grayson College developed a cross-matching system to award course credit for military training to accelerate degree and certification programs for veteran students in high-demand areas, such as advanced technologies and manufacturing. For more information about any of the programs developed at Grayson College, please contact Kathleen Connor at 903-415-2606 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Model Program for Individual Education Plan for Veterans
Lee College developed an Education Plan for Veterans in which they identified, developed and supported methods to maximize college credit for veterans and service members using prior learning assessments and credit by examination.
Accelerated Manufacturing and Logistics Certifications and Associate’s Degree Programs
Lee College developed a new associate's degree and certification program in accelerated manufacturing skills standards for council logistics and supply chain management. For more information about the programs developed at Lee College, please contact Ehab Mustafa at 832-556-4302 or email@example.com.
Lone Star College System
Texas Inter-College Council on Veterans and Best Practices
Lone Star College convened and organized the Texas Inter-College Council on Veterans, composed of representatives from the seven colleges participating in the College Credit for Heroes program, and outlined their findings in fall 2012.
Fast Track Field Service Technician Marketable Skill Award Toward Oil Field Certification
The Lone Star College System developed and implemented a fast track engineering technician marketable skills award certification program to prepare veterans for jobs in the oil and natural gas industry. For more information about programs developed at Lone Star College, please contact Alisa M. McLendon at 281-290-2897 or Alisa.M.McLendon@lonestar.edu.
San Jacinto College
Allied Health Programs Analysis Project and Summit
San Jacinto College developed a comprehensive analysis of allied health profession offerings at all Texas community colleges, and in spring 2012 outlined its analyses of training gaps, existing and needed transfer credit opportunities, barriers to awarding credit for military experience, and external barriers such as certification, licensing or accreditation processes. For more information about the Allied Health Programs Analysis Project and Summit, please contact Amy Ammerman at 281-459-7175 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Veterans’ IT Fast Track to Employment Program
The San Jacinto Community College District developed and implemented the Veteran's Information Technology Fast Track to Employment project to provide credentials supporting the information technology career cluster. SJCCD established an articulation agreement with Western Governor's University to accept credits awarded to participants to continue their studies toward a bachelor's degree. For more information about any of the programs developed at the San Jacinto College District, please contact Alison Briscoe at 281-478-2784 or email@example.com
Tarrant County College District
The Tarrant County College District developed a streamlined basic firefighter and advanced firefighter certification and associate's degree program for fire investigation technology and fire production technology. For more information about any of the programs being developed at the Tarrant County College District, please contact Ryan Kelly at 817-515-7570 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Accelerated Emergency Services Program for Veterans
Temple College developed and implemented an accelerated program in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) for veterans and service members with military medical experience. For more information about the Accelerated Emergency Services Program for Veterans, please contact Jeff Fritz at 254-298-8563 or email@example.com.
Texas State Technical College–Harlingen
Texas State Technical College (TSTC)–Harlingen developed a streamlined Level II certification and an associate's degree in wind energy technology. TSTC is also creating a new streamlined Associate of Applied Science Degree based or the Ford Maintenance Light Repair Certification. Well-qualified veterans have the opportunity to translate military skills into college credit for up to one full semester under the proposed program. A Veterans Resource Center was created to help transition veterans and service members to college campus and the civilian workforce. For more information about any of the programs developed at TSTC Harlingen, please contact Steve Guevara at 956-364-4338 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC)
TTUHSC developed the TTUHSC School of Nursing's “Operation RevUp,” which will begin the implementation phase of a new accelerated one-year Veteran to Bachelor of Science Nursing in (VBSN) Pilot Program designed specifically for veterans. For more information about the program, please contact Melinda Mitchell Jones at 806-743-9229 or email@example.com.