Higher Education and Teaching
Science and Mathematics Education
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AbstractBoth the United States and Canada invest a great deal of resources in the training of their military personal. Many of the skills and experiences accumulated by soldiers are those that are highly valued by civilian employers. Further, these skills are often embodied in academic programs, suggesting soldiers would have a comparative advantage in such programs; however, despite the efforts of government agencies, many soldiers are unable to convert their skills and training into meaningful careers. While there are several reasons why individuals leaving military duty have trouble re-integrating into work and education, one of the major obstacles is the difference between the military and civilian models of training and education. The differences create challenges to offering advanced placement or transfer credits for military training in civilian post-secondary institutions. This paper presents the findings from a pilot program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), Vancouver, Canada. The program uses an alternative approach to assessing military training for advanced placement into technology programs. Instead of the traditional course-by-course credit assessment, the program uses an integrated model that gives block credit or "credential equivalence". This block credit is then used for advanced placement. Depending on the structure and field of the program being sought, the reservist receives significantly higher placement than would occur under most traditional models. The model is under review in the United States for application to GI Bill applicants transitioning from military service.