You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

College credit elusive for many Ohio veterans

Higher unemployment rate sparked changes in rules.

When Dana Kapp retired from the Navy in 1997 and pursued a degree in business management at Clark State Community College, she received nine credit hours for the training and experience she’d racked up during a 20-year military career.

Despite Gov. John Kasich’s executive order this year emphasizing the importance of giving Ohio veterans college credit for military training, it doesn’t always work as well as it did for Kapp.

Currently, training in the armed forces often isn’t applicable to a veteran’s new major, said Kapp, who now works as Clark State’s veterans services specialist.

The impetus for Kasich’s executive order was a 7.6 percent unemployment rate for veterans in Ohio in 2012, coupled with an unemployment rate of 12.8 percent for post-9/11 veterans.

Kasich in June issued the executive order to increase the number of veterans earning degrees and certificates, said Jeff Robinson, spokesman for the Ohio Board of Regents.

Veterans often enroll in college believing they’ll get a lot of credit, Kapp said, when, in fact, the veterans she’s working with this fall have nothing that applies toward their choice of studies.

That’s led to something of a misconception, she said.

She used the case of an enlisted veteran who left the service with a rank of E-3, which would be a private first class in the Army, a seaman in the Navy and Coast Guard, a lance corporal in the Marines or an airman first class in the Air Force.

“They’ve got some soft skills. They’re disciplined,” Kapp said. “But, as far as their technical skills, they’re not going to have much to transcript.”

A recent infantryman who now wants to become a paramedic through Clark State, she explained, would likely only get a half credit hour for being certified in first aid and would get a PE credit for enduring boot camp, even though no degree at the college requires PE.

But, there’s no standard.

“Every soldier, sailor and airman has had different training, different experiences,” Kapp said.

Kasich directed Ohio’s 14 universities and 23 community colleges to review their policies on how they identify military education and training for credit in an attempt to simplify and streamline the process across the state.

The schools have until Dec. 31 to identify state and federal laws that prevent them from revising those policies.

The order also directed state departments to streamline the licensing process to take relevant military experience into account.

“We’re trying to best determine how to award credit,” said Robinson, spokesman for the board of regents.

Clark State has always evaluated military training for credit, Kapp said, and is working to cater to the area’s vast veteran population even more.

Kapp’s position, while currently only half-time, was created last spring, and the college will soon begin asking applicants for the first time whether they served in the military.

Clark State also has plans to form a student group for veterans, and at commencement last year, unveiled a special red, white and blue honor cord for veterans who were graduating.

The board of regents is going through surveys now that were returned by each of Ohio’s colleges and universities, Robinson said, about how veterans are served on each campus and how they’re awarded credit.

“They served our country,” he said. “We want to do our part for them.”

The scenario Kasich has commonly used — that a military truck driver should be able to get a commercial license with ease — certainly holds true.

Credit is most easily awarded, Kapp said, if a veteran wants to perform the same job they did in the military.

But, most often, they’re in school because they want a change of pace. And that’s where military training often doesn’t count toward their new major or program.

Recalling her own days as a Clark State business student, Kapp received credit for classes in sales and marketing, leadership in organization and public speaking — all deemed applicable from her job as a Navy recruiter.

Computer training Kapp received in the Navy, however, didn’t transfer, she said, because so much time had lapsed, making those skills virtually obsolete.

Kapp said veterans should be realistic when they come to college, but they should still submit their military records “to help them achieve their degree faster and cheaper.”

Clark State, for one, keeps a veteran’s records on file in case they change majors. But, Kapp said, they’re cautious about listing non-applicable military training on college transcripts, even if requested.

“We could put it on there,” she said, “but all it does is make you feel good.”

Even more, it could actually count against the veteran if they need to seek financial aid outside of the GI Bill. Of the 149 veterans at Clark State this fall using education benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, half use a mix of financial aid, she said.

“It looks like you’re just taking classes to take classes and get financial aid,” Kapp said, adding that taking too many non-applicable classes currently raises a red flag with lenders.

“We’re only reluctant to put it on there,” she said, “because it could hurt them.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Community News

Mother with cancer dies a day after delivering twins
Mother with cancer dies a day after delivering twins

A Fresno, California, mother died a day after welcoming newborn twins. KGO-TV reported that Jamie Snider, 30, had been diagnosed with cervical cancer for the second time. She discovered the cancer returned when she learned she was pregnant. Throughout her pregnancy, Snider underwent intensive treatment that included chemotherapy. “They couldn't...
Shooting reported near metro station in northern France
Shooting reported near metro station in northern France

A shooting with multiple injuries in Lille, France, is reported tonight by numerous news agencies and social media reports. Armed police sealed off roads into the city center after several shots were fired near the Porte d’Arras metro station in the northern French city, The Daily Mirror in London reported. French reports say at least three people...
8-week-old boy found strapped to car seat in parking lot; parents arrested
8-week-old boy found strapped to car seat in parking lot; parents arrested

A Texas couple was charged with child endangerment Thursday after a woman told Harris County sheriff’s deputies that she found their 8-week-old child in the middle of a parking lot, according to multiple reports. A woman called police Tuesday night after finding the baby boy strapped to a car seat in a parking space in a Katy strip mall, ...
‘World’s Greatest Leader’ list includes Kasich, LeBron
‘World’s Greatest Leader’ list includes Kasich, LeBron

Who’s a better leader, John Kasich or LeBron James? According to Fortune magazine, the Cleveland Cavaliers star edges out the Ohio governor, but Kasich did well nonetheless, finishing 12th in the publication’s fourth annual ranking of the “World’s Greatest Leaders.” Related: You can call up the list here The list is purposely...
COMMENTARY: Remembering black history is American history

Why don’t we have White History Month? I was recently talking with a medical professional and the subject of Black History Month, which was marked last month, came up. The phrase had barely been uttered when this person I have known and respected for many years quipped, “Why don’t we have White History Month?” The response seemed...
More Stories