Veterans and military students now have an easier time earning credit for prior learning thanks to a new online tool launched by the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) the day before Veterans Day. The Credits2Careers Veterans Portal allows students to upload their joint services transcript to see instantly how many academic credits their work experience could translate into more than 1,700 community college programs.
Woodbridge Provost Sam Hill, Alexandria Provost Annette Haggray and Associate Vice President of Student Services and Enrollment Management Elizabeth Harper accepted the plaque on behalf of the Woodbridge and Loudoun Veteran Centers.
Military and Veterans Services Director Takesha McMiller and NOVA’s Military Registrar Latoya Sivells worked tirelessly to help create the portal. Sivells developed many of the course equivalencies included in the portal.
The portal also provides real-time employment information and enables veterans and service members to explore civilian careers related to their area of expertise or interest.
“Today’s announcement means our community colleges are the only college system in the nation with this comprehensive, patent-pending tool,” said Carlos Hopkins, Virginia’s secretary of veterans and defense affairs. “The Credits2Careers online tool will make it easier than ever before for our men and women in uniform to find a career path to transition from their service to civilian life. This portal will save individuals time, money and hassle as they look for an accelerated way into the civilian workforce.”
NOVA’s military and veterans population is 6,700. The college registrar in the Office of Military and Veterans Services has awarded credit to over 4,592 students. “The new portal will provide service members with immediate recommendations on how many possible credits can be received from their military service, which will allow students to make a more informed decision about their education and future employment timeframe,” said McMiller.
“Awarding credit for prior learning is something that always sounded better in theory than it was in practice, until today,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of the Virginia Community College System. “Military service is increasingly a technical experience. And thanks to the hard work of hundreds of people across our community colleges and other state agencies, we are in a position to reward that in-uniform service in an unprecedented way.”
The Credit2Careers portal debut coincided with the dedication of Veterans Resource Centers at seven of Virginia’s community colleges. The colleges are part of the commonwealth’s VERITAS (Veteran Education Resource Initiative for Transition, Advising and Success) program. In addition to Northern Virginia, other VCCS institutions include: Germanna in Fredericksburg, J. Sargeant Reynolds and John Tyler in the Richmond area, Tidewater and Thomas Nelson on the Virginia Peninsula, and Virginia Western in Roanoke.
“These centers are a central hub for all veteran activities on campus. They are a quiet place for students to study; and they enable veterans to connect with each other, helping them renew the bonds of military service,” said DuBois.