Bill S6137-2013

Relates to academic credit for veterans

Relates to academic credit for veterans with regard to credit for SUNY and CUNY college credits for courses that were part of the student veterans' military training.

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  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO VETERANS, HOMELAND SECURITY AND MILITARY AFFAIRS

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S6137

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 credit.

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 students.

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.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6137 IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 8, 2014 ___________
Introduced by Sen. KENNEDY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Veterans, Homeland Securi- ty and Military Affairs AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to academic credit for veterans THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "veterans' education through SUNY credits act". S 2. The education law is amended by adding a new section 6355 to read as follows: S 6355. EXPANDING VETERANS' EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES ACT. 1. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, "VETERAN" SHALL 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. 2. THE STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK'S BOARD OF TRUSTEES SHALL ADOPT A POLICY REQUIRING EACH STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AND CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK, INCLUDING COLLEGES AND COMMUNITY COLLEGES, TO AWARD ACADEM- IC CREDIT TO A STUDENT, WHO IS ALSO A VETERAN, ENROLLED IN THE UNIVERSI- TY, 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 CREDIT, IF THE AWARD OF ACADEMIC CREDIT IS BASED UPON THE UNIVERSITY'S ADMISSION STANDARDS. EACH UNIVERSITY SHALL ADOPT THE NECESSARY RULES, REGULATIONS, AND PROCE- DURES TO IMPLEMENT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION. 3. NO FEE, TUITION OR OTHER CHARGE SHALL BE ASSESSED AGAINST A VETERAN WHO QUALIFIES FOR SUCH CREDIT PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.

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