TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to
academic credit for veterans
PURPOSE: To amend education law to allow veterans, who have completed
military coursework and training, to receive academic credit for that
coursework at state operated institutions.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1: adds a new section 6355 entitled the "Veterans Education
Through SUNY Credits Act."
Section 1: defines the term "veteran" to mean a person, male or
female, who has served in the active military or naval service of the
United States during a war in which the United States engaged and who
has been released from such service otherwise than by dishonorable
discharge, or who has been furloughed to the reserve.
Section 2: requires the SUNY Board of Trustees to develop a policy
requiring each state university of New York and city university of New
York including colleges and community colleges, to award academic
credit to a student, who is also a veteran, enrolled in the
university, for courses that were part of the student's military
training or service and that meet the standards of the American
Council on Education or equivalent standards for awarding the academic
JUSTIFICATION: According September 2012 statistics from the U.S.
Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for Veterans Analysis
and Statistics, just under one million veterans reside in New York
State. Across the nation, over two million U.S. troops have deployed
to Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. It is the
duty of the nation and the state to understand and address our
responsibilities to our returning service members.
Data derived from a 2011 report to the New York State Health
Foundation by the RAND Corporation reported that 36 percent of sampled
veterans (n=913) in New York State were enrolled in higher education,
and 77 percent of veterans expressed that additional training or
college would help to advance their career. Accordingly, colleges and
universities have formed veterans affairs-specifics offices, often
hiring veterans as staff, to accommodate the rising number of veteran
Veteran students have different backgrounds, experiences, and skills
than traditional students, and as such have different needs. Often
times veterans, while attending school, have other obligations
including work and supporting a family. For many, the goal is to
complete their degree as quickly as possible in order to expedite the
transition from soldier to civilian.
This bill seeks to ensure that veterans receive higher education
credits for relevant military coursework and training. The American
Council on Education, in collaboration with the Department of Defense,
evaluates military transcripts from each branch of service and makes
recommendations for appropriate academic credit. Veterans, throughout
their military careers, have received valuable and translatable
education that should be acknowledged at institutions of higher
learning. By giving credit where credit is due, New York State and its
public university system can accelerate veterans' transition into, and
increase marketability in, a competitive labor force. In addition, the
state will continue its longstanding tradition of honoring our
veterans and promoting the State of New York as a welcoming place to
live, work and learn.
War, for the purposes of this legislation, includes but is not limited
to, the Persian Gulf conflicts that took place on or after August 2,
1990 until 2011, and the war in Afghanistan after September 11, 2001
to present and any future wars in which the United States engages in.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.