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HB3701

  • Clayborne helps service members get college credit for military courses

    clayborne 050217SPRINGFIELD — Service members looking to obtain college credit for military courses may soon have an easier process when transferring credits to a public university or community college in Illinois.

    The proposal, sponsored by State Senator James F. Clayborne (D-Belleville), passed the Senate Higher Education Committee Tuesday. 

    “Providing our service members accessibility to higher education should be a priority of our state and our nation,” said Clayborne. “It is important we continue this trend by offering students a clear understanding of how their military courses transfer into our state’s universities and community colleges.”

    The measure would create the Educational Credit for Military Experience Act, which  would require the state’s public universities and community colleges to develop a policy for awarding college credit for military courses taken through the Armed Forces.

    House Bill 3701 will now be considered by the full Senate.

  • Hastings’ law to streamline credit transfers for veterans signed into law today

    Sen. Michael E. HastingsTINLEY PARK - One of the biggest challenges returning servicemen and women face is figuring out how military training credits transfer to college credit.  

    To tackle this hurdle, State Senator Michael E. Hastings’ measure House Bill 3701, to direct Illinois higher education institutions to establish a policy for awarding academic course credit for military training, was signed into law today.

    “Illinois’ veterans have valuable on-site educational experience,” Hastings said. “It’s our duty and honor to ensure returning veterans receive credit for the life and academic skills they learned while serving our nation.”

  • Illinois colleges to have a uniform policy to accept military training

    TINLEY PARK- Starting hastings 011017Jan. 1, Illinois universities and colleges must establish a policy for awarding academic course credit for military training, thanks to State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park).

    One of the biggest challenges facing returning servicemen and -women is figuring out how military training credits transfer to college credit. The new law will help standardize the process.

    “Illinois’ veterans have valuable on-site educational experience,” Hastings said. “It’s our duty and honor to ensure returning veterans receive credit for the life and academic expertise they gained while serving our nation.”

    Under the current system, universities and community colleges attempt to translate military experience into college credits, with confusion arising from inconsistencies such as descriptions for military training and college courses that don’t always match up perfectly. A military acronym on a transcript may also refer to a different class or curriculum depending on which branch of service uses it.

    Often a credit transfer becomes a matter of the higher education institution’s willingness to research ways to find equivalent civilian academic courses. A standardized system would end confusion and create an easier transition for our military personnel, Hastings said.

    According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, over 773,000 veterans are now using their GI Bill benefits to go to college, spending a collective $11 billion a year.

    “Requiring veterans to take repetitive and redundant academic classes is a waste of time and money,” Hastings said. “The entire process can be discouraging. We need to help streamline the process to promote an easy transition for veterans into civilian life by cutting out the bureaucracy.”

    Hastings believes returning veterans may be the key to solving workforce shortages in Illinois.

    “The quicker our military men and women complete their college degrees; the faster they can enter the workforce,” Hastings said. “Our veterans have real life in the field training. Their experiences in high pressure situations make them ideal candidates to fill vacancies as registered nurses, EMT’s and other medical professions.”

    House Bill 3701 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support.