System Procedures
Chapter 3 - Educational Policies

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for Board Policy 3.35


Part 1. Purpose
To establish consistent practices and procedures among colleges and universities for awarding undergraduate and graduate credit for learning assessed from military courses and military occupations.

Part 2. Authority
Minn. Stat. §197.775 Higher Education Fairness requires the colleges and universities of Minnesota State to recognize military courses and award credit when they were part of a student’s military training or service.

Part 3. Definitions

American Council on Education (ACE)
ACE is a major coordinating body for colleges and universities and provides leadership and a unifying voice on key higher education issues. ACE influences public policy through advocacy, research, and program initiatives.

American Council of Education (ACE) credit recommendation
ACE offers a nationally recognized assessment service providing standardized reviews and credit recommendations for college-level learning achieved through third-party study/exam programs, professional and certification trainings and assessments, and military training and assessments.

Credit for prior learning (CPL)
Academic credit awarded for demonstrated college- and university-level learning gained through learning experiences outside college or university credit-bearing courses and assessed by academically sound and rigorous methods and processes.

Military Courses
A curriculum with measurable outcomes and learning assessments that service members are required to successfully complete based on their military occupation.

Military Occupation(s)
A service member’s job(s) while in the military.

Part 4. Background
Formal military courses must meet contract criteria to be evaluated by the American Council on Education (ACE). Part of the criteria includes individual assessment of the learning. The scope of military courses may include lecture, small group work, case studies, skills lab, clinical, practical exercises, computer-based delivery, and discussion boards. Successful course completion is measured using various assessment tools that include case studies, summative examinations, performance tests, papers, group projects, and oral presentations. ACE only reviews courses with individual assessments. A team of teaching faculty from accredited institutions with experience in higher education conducts the ACE course review. The ACE recommendations are based on the content, scope, rigor, breadth, and depth of the course as compared to current college curricular standards.

ACE does not conduct evaluations of courses that align with regional accrediting military institutions, such as Community College of the Air Force (CCAF). Air Force courses have a limited scope under the ACE review process. Because CCAF is regionally accredited those transcripts and credit recommendations are treated the same as courses from other regionally-accredited colleges or universities in System Procedure 3.21.1.

ACE does not conduct evaluations of Air Force occupations.

Service members must complete a series of formal training courses to be assigned to a particular military occupation, and they also have the opportunity for on-the-job learning. The ACE occupation review process assesses the learning that occurs on the job, above and beyond the formal classroom training. Examples include, but are not limited to, Electronics Technician, Hospital Corpsman, Infantryman, Military Police, and Intelligence Specialist.

Part 5. Credit for Military Courses and Military Occupations
Colleges and universities shall recognize and award credit for courses and occupations that were part of military training or service and that meet the standards of ACE or equivalent standards for awarding academic credit. When awarding credit, consideration must be given to all aspects of the training, course, or occupation, and must not be limited solely to the physical fitness or activity components.

Colleges and universities shall offer students the opportunity to demonstrate college-level learning for military courses and military occupations that include the components listed below.

Subpart A. Credit award
College or university faculty evaluate a military course or military occupation and determine a credit award and level. Once a credit award and level has been determined, students who provide documentation that they meet the military course or occupation requirements must be awarded the credit(s).
Subpart B. Credit awarded
Colleges and universities shall award credit for military courses and military occupations as a course or as an individualized subject area. Minnesota Transfer Curriculum goal areas may be designated for military courses and military occupations when there are no equivalent general education courses at the college or university. Credits awarded for prior learning may fulfill general, technical, Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC), program/major/minor and/or elective courses.
Subpart C. Residency credit
Colleges and universities shall award credit for military courses and military occupations consistent with the residency and graduation requirements in Board Policy 3.36 and System Procedure 3.36.1 Academic Programs. Credit awarded for military courses and military occupations does not apply toward residency credit requirements.
Subpart D. Record the credit awarded
Colleges and universities shall record the credit awarded for military courses and military occupations as transfer credit on the official student transcript. The source of the credit award must be designated and the course equivalency, when applicable, must be designated on the official student transcript.
Subpart E. Credit limit
Colleges and universities shall not limit the total number of credits students may be awarded for military courses and military occupations.
Subpart F. Tuition and fees
Colleges and universities shall not charge tuition for the award of credit for military courses or military occupations and shall not charge fees for assessment or evaluation services.

Part 6. Transfer of Credit Awarded for Prior Learning
A student who is awarded credits based on military courses and military occupations and transfers to another college or university within the Minnesota State system must have their transcript evaluated by the receiving college or university pursuant to System Procedure 3.21.1 Transfer of Undergraduate Courses, Credit, Associate Degrees, and the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum. When a course equivalency has been designated by the sending institution, a receiving college or university may honor the original course equivalency.

Part 7. Implementation

Subpart A. Student responsibility
  1. A student must be admitted to the college or university to be eligible for the award of credit for prior learning through CPL external assessments.
  2. Students seeking credit for prior learning through CPL external assessments are responsible for seeking information and advice on the use of that credit in college or university programs, including understanding processes, expectations, and assessment criteria, academic and financial aid implications, and any applicable pre-requisites or limitations based on degree program, major, minor, MnTC criteria, etc.
  3. Students may choose to submit documentation for all, some, or none of their CPL external assessments.
  4. In order to receive credit for military courses and occupations, a student must request that an official military transcript be sent directly to the college or university. Students should request military transcripts as follows:
    1. Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Coast Guard: active duty, guard, reserve, and veterans: Students who are serving or have served in these branches of the armed services may request an official military transcript through the Joint Services Transcript (JST) webpage and have it sent directly to the college or university.
    2. Air Force: active duty, guard, reserve, and veterans: Students who have earned credit through Air University (AU), Community College of the Air Force (CCAF), and/or Air Force Institution of Technology (AFIT) may request an official transcript from the respective regionally-accredited intuition(s).
  5. Students shall adhere to the college or university policies and procedures for the award of credit through CPL external assessments.
Subpart B. College or university responsibility
Colleges and universities shall establish procedures for assessing and awarding credit for military courses and military occupations that will include, but not be limited to the following:
  1. Each college or university shall publish opportunities for CPL for military courses and military occupations in its print and electronic media catalog and related publications. Published information must include CPL policies and procedures, and CPL appeals;
  2. Colleges and universities shall provide students with information about CPL assessment processes, applicable policies, required documentations, appeals process, transfer information, and the impact that credit awarded for prior learning may have on financial aid eligibility.

Part 8. Appeals
Each college and university shall establish an appeals process that may be used by students who are denied credit requested for military courses or military occupations. The appeals process may utilize current college or university established processes, such as the academic appeals process.


Related Documents:

To view any of the following related statutes, go to the Revisor's Web site (http://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/). You can conduct a search from this site by typing in the statute number.

  • Minn. Stat. §197.775 Higher Education Fairness

System Procedure History:

Date of Adoption: 06/19/18
Date of Implementation: 06/19/18
Date of Last Review:

Date & Subject of Amendments:

No additional HISTORY.

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