Senate resolution might help military students earn more academic credit

London Gibson

UT’s Senate of College Councils proposed a resolution in support of instating a program that would give students the chance to receive more college credit based on military experience Thursday night.

Senate Resolution 1706 supports UT participation in the Texas College Credit for Heroes (TCCH), a program for students in the military that helps them get additional college credit for experience. The program was formed in 2013 and is currently being used by 48 Texas institutions, including three in the UT system, according to the Senate.

Kenwoo Kim, a member of UT’s ROTC and co-author of the resolution, said he hopes this legislation will help diversify the military population.

“Sometimes veterans don’t go to UT because they’re not awarded credits,” said Kim, a government and middle eastern languages and cultures sophomore. “To make it a more diverse, more inclusive campus I believe will make it better for UT.”

Becoming a participating university would come at no additional cost to UT and would be as simple as signing up for an online profile for students, said resolution co-author Vinit Shah during the meeting.

“The online program will evaluate their military experience … and convert that into college credit,” said marketing sophomore Shah during the meeting.

The University would have to designate a representative to keep track of transcripts and review and accept recommended credits. Kim said the Office of Admissions and Student Veteran Services Office would have to oversee the implementation of the program.

On average, TCCH recommends 25 credit hours per evaluation to participating universities, but schools typically award around 16, according to the Senate.

Kim said he thought to bring this legislation to UT when his friends sent in their Joint Services Transcript, a document that can give students with military experience college credit. Kim said his friends did not receive education or feedback regarding their credit applications.

“The system itself seemed really informal or at least not very communicative,” Kim said. “To address this issue, I started researching topics and stumbled upon the (Texas) College Credit for Heroes program.”

Raphael Jaquette, middle eastern studies sophomore and co-author of the resolution, said many students in service participate in learning in a different environment that is not always recognized by higher institutions.

“I think this is important to bring to UT because it is important to give veterans and service members recognition for the comparable credit they have received in the non-traditional learning experiences in the military,” Jaquette said.