MU veterans to get college credit for military coursework

Friday, February 26, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Veterans at MU are set to collect the benefits of a plan to accept academic credit for coursework done during active military service.

The proposal, approved last week by MU Faculty Council, states that MU will accept up to nine transfer credits for military coursework taken during service. The policy is set to take effect in the fall semester, said Carol Fleisher, faculty adviser for the Mizzou Student Veterans Association.

Harry Tyrer, a council member and professor in the electrical and computer engineering department, explained why the council approved the plan.

“We’re in a set of wars overseas and these men, when they come back, will want to have training,” he said. “In whatever way we can help them, we should.”

Tom Phillips, former council chairman, said the council will rely partially on the American Council on Education’s recommendations on which courses should transfer, but the final decision will rest with individual departments.

Veterans could also receive credit for introductory-level military science courses for honorable service, he said.

Because the plan will most likely involve lower-level classes, senior secondary education major Nick Kundert said he knows the plan won’t affect him but appreciates the benefits it will give to prospective students.

“I think it will be great for vets who are just coming in and starting their education,” said Kundert, who worked as a radio operator in the Marine Corps and is the internal vice president of the student veterans association.

The group's vice president, Kevin Jones, also said he approves.

“The fact that Mizzou has actually agreed to accept transfer credits is a big step, and I think it will give a good competitive edge to the university,” said Jones, a former sergeant in the Marine Corps.

Tyrer expects the benefits will go beyond simply adding to a veteran’s transcript.

“My experience has been that the more mature the individual, the more focused he or she becomes in their studies, and the more successful they will be,” he said. “Furthermore, if there’s a way to reduce the basic work that they need to take, the greater number of more advanced courses they can take. It’s a win-win.”

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