Legislation (S.2741) sponsored by NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. that would ensure New York State veterans are able to receive college credit at SUNY and CUNY for applicable military training has been approved by the Senate Standing Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs.
“Our servicemen and women develop new skills and knowledge every day while serving in armed forces,” said Addabbo, a long-time member of the Veterans Committee. “My proposal will ensure they are able to get academic credit for all they have learned, which will help them complete their SUNY and CUNY degree programs more quickly. As a result, our veterans will be even better equipped to succeed in the labor market when their tours of duty are completed.”
In order for veterans to receive academic credit for their military training or service, the college courses in which they are enrolled would need to meet the standards of the American Council on Education (ACE) or otherwise adhere to equivalent standards for awarding credit to students for life experience. While the ACE is already engaged in awarding credit to veterans through the use of Joint Services Transcripts (JSTs), Addabbo’s bill would make it clear that SUNY and CUNY can accept military transcripts as a source of transfer credit.
Addabbo noted that eligible veterans would need to be enrolled full-time as undergraduates, and have been honorably discharged or furloughed to reserve service. There would be no cap on the number of credits, and qualifying veteran students would not be charged fees for tuition for the credits.
“I am pleased my colleagues on the Veterans Committee joined me in supporting this bill to aid our veterans in their educational pursuits, and to enable them to put their highly-advanced military training and skills to work in civilian settings,” said Addabbo. “It’s a win-win for our former servicemen and women, and we will all benefit from the expertise they bring to our State.”
The legislation, which has passed the full State Senate several times in recent years, will now be scheduled for a vote on the Senate floor before going to the State Assembly for consideration.