Gov. Perry: College Credit for Heroes Helps Get our Best and Brightest Back into the Workforce
Gov. Rick Perry touted Texas' efforts to help veterans enter the workforce more quickly, highlighting Central Texas College and other community college districts around the state that have implemented the College Credit for Heroes program. The governor first called for the creation of the program in June 2010, when he established a comprehensive veterans' initiative in advance of the legislative session.
"Our veterans are an underutilized resource, a highly trained, talented and dynamic group of individuals, whose character has been demonstrated time and again in hotspots around the globe," Gov. Perry said. "College Credit for Heroes helps our veterans save valuable time and money on tuition as they work toward a degree, getting America's best and brightest into the workplace as quickly as possible, which benefits our veterans, their families and the state's entire economy."
Senate Bill 1736 by Sen. Leticia Van de Putte created College Credit for Heroes, a partnership between the Texas Workforce Commission and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board that allows colleges and universities to award course credit for experience, education and training obtained during military service. This helps veterans save time and money as they pursue degrees, and helps speed their transition into the workforce.
"Through the development of individualized degree programs that recognize prior learning and existing skills of veterans, and the creation of an easily accessible online portal, the efforts of all who are participating in the College Credit for Heroes initiative are leading the way in enhancing academic and employment opportunities for our Texas heroes," Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Andres Alcantar said. "The men and women of the military have the skills and determination that our employers are looking for and through College Credit for Heroes we honor that military training and put it to work."
The community college participants are generating common standards for assessing military training that can be used by any college in the state. Seven community college systems have since created innovative pilot programs, including Central Texas College, whose website allows active duty military and veterans to determine how many college credits they can receive for their military experience, and generate a credit list that will count toward a degree plan at a community college. Other community college systems, including Houston Community College, Lee College, Lone Star College, San Jacinto College, Alamo College and Temple College, are developing education plans that will help count military training toward degree programs.
"Central Texas College has spent our entire existence serving the education needs of military members along with the needs of our communities," Central Texas College Chancellor Thomas Klincar said. "Our college is not alone in this work, but until College Credit for Heroes, there has not been a coordinated effort among Texas colleges."
Gov. Perry is committed to ensuring our service men and women receive the opportunities and benefits they deserve. Last session Gov. Perry was proud to sign legislation making it easier for active-duty military members to vote while overseas, legislation extending the property tax exemption for fully disabled veterans to their surviving spouse, and legislation ensuring the property tax exemption follows disabled veterans to a new property if they move.
For more information about College Credit for Heroes, please visit https://www.collegecreditforheroes.org/.
Chairman, Texas Workforce Commission
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board