Leverage Your Military Experience in College
Chances are one of the things that made military service attractive was the opportunity for post-secondary education either while in the service or post-discharge. Many aspects of military life have helped you prepare to continue your education. Here are some ways you’ve likely grown and become prepared to successfully complete your post-secondary education:
- Experience to credit: You may be able to save time and tuition costs by asking for advance credit based on your military training, coursework and occupational specialty. To request a credit evaluation, work with CTU's Military Department and request a transcript from your branch of the military, which can provide unofficial personal copies and send schools an official copy of your transcript.
Commitment: You know what you got yourself into when you signed up for the service, and you need to know what you’re signing up for when you enroll in college.
- Self-discipline: Though we all sometimes feel like we don’t want to get out of bed, there’s no choice when reveille is sounded. So chances are you’re already conditioned to show up for class. In the military, there is no choice when a superior officer orders a task. So you’ll be prepared to tackle the assignments. Unlike high school when you may have had a parent keeping you on task, you’ve learned through the military to asses your needs and work a plan without outside direction.
- Time management: Procrastination isn’t an option when you’re in the service and lives are in the balance. You know how to meet deadlines, which will come in handy as you turn in assignments. You’ve probably taken on the philosophy that any thing worth doing is worth doing right the first time, saving everyone time and energy. And you’ve probably developed the discipline to organize your priorities to maximize your efficiency, which will help you plan and manage your workload as you juggle school, family and work obligations.
- Teamwork: The military is all about group effort. The communication and organization skills you’ve developed will help you absorb the contributions of your classmates and make you an effective team leader for group projects.
- Conforming to rules: You value rules and understand the efficiencies that can be gained from them. This will help you follow instructions for assignments and get the best grade possible.
- Distance communication: If you were sent abroad, chances are you’ve compiled an arsenal of tools - from texting, to email to Skype - to communicate with your family or your commanding officers. Your ability to communicate remotely will make you more comfortable if you opt to take distance learning classes. Use these skills to communicate with your instructors and classmates to be a responsible student.
- Pressure and stress: Having the weight of responsibility for the safety of your country on your shoulders has prepared you to take on the pressure you may face as you complete assignments.
The good news is that you should be able to translate the skills, knowledge and habits gleaned from your military service into an effective college experience.