Moving is a part of our life; according to the Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC), military families move on average every 2-3 years. It makes it challenging to complete a 4 year degree with odds like that. However, there are steps you can take to ensure that the time and financial resources you invest into your courses will PCS with you, wherever you may land.
Find a School with the Proper Accreditation
Not all accreditation is created equal. “Accreditation is the review of the quality of higher education institutions and programs. In the United States, accreditation is a major way that students, families, government officials and employers know that an institution or program provides a quality education.” -Tim Willard, Council of Higher Education Accreditation
Furthermore, the value rating of the education you will receive will not only matter when you try to transfer your courses but also when you are applying to future employers. Research if your school has the proper regional accreditation at http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/Search.aspx or http://www.chea.org/
Maintain Copies of Your School’s Course Catalog and Your Course Syllabi
Course names may vary institution to institution, but the core of the class may be similar. By keeping records of the courses you took, their official descriptions, and the syllabus the instructor used, you will be armed with enough information to allow your new school to make a thorough review.
Research upon PCS
As if planning a move to a new location isn’t stressful enough, you will have to add one more thing to your to-do list: researching schools. Military OneSource can be a useful tool in research brick and mortar schools at your new duty station and comparing them to online schools. You will want to pay special attention to the transfer policy; some schools are more “transfer friendly” than others.
Contact Military OneSource at: 800.342.9647 or visit http://www.militaryonesource.mil/
Fight for Your Education
Countless hours and dollars go into the investment of completing a class; aside from lost sleep and brain power, multi-tasking school and family obligations require a commitment from you and you should reap the rewards of that hard work. Do not allow friction to discourage you. It is possible that your new school doesn’t have a full understanding of your course curriculum, and you will just need to advocate for the course transfer. Additionally, you can utilize installation education centers, the advisors at your previous school, or Military OneSource’s Spouse Education & Career Opportunities (SECO) center to guide you through the process.
Remember, nobody is going to fight as hard for your education as you. In the end, by attending schools with the proper accreditation, maintaining proper records of your coursework, researching schools transferability policies, and staying the course, you will be one step closer to graduation day.