Veterans in Colorado will get credit for college courses under bill signed into law Thursday

by Joey Bunch
June 2, 2017
Article originally appeared on Colorado Politics here: https://coloradopolitics.com/veterans-college-credit-colorado/

Colorado Politics has been telling you from its start about House Bill 1004, which will grant veterans college credits for military training and experience. Thursday Gov. John Hickenlooper signed it into law.

The bill was sponsored by Reps. Jessie Danielson, D-Wheat Ridge, and Dafna Michaelson Jenet, D-Commerce City, with Sens. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, and Owen Hill, R-Colorado Springs.

“We have an obligation to our veterans to honor the American dream they fought for,” Danielson said in a statement. “And part of that is taking concrete steps to give veterans access to good-paying jobs. One significant obstacle that veterans face when transitioning to civilian life is not being able to convert their service into college credit. This new law will remove that barrier so that their service is honored and they save time and money when seeking a college degree.”

The new law requires the state’s colleges and universities to figure out a policy in place to translate service into college credits using the American Council on Education‘s recommendations and other sources.

Colorado is home to nearly 400,000 men and women who have served in the military. Both Persian Gulf wars represent about 12 percent each and Vietnam veterans account about 33 percent, according the 2015 U.S. Census estimate.

About one-third of Colorado’s veterans have at least a bachelor’s degree, compared to a 26 percent national  average. About 6 percent of veterans in Colorado are currently enrolled in higher education programs, compared to about 5 percent national average.