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The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

UNC system streamlines military credit conversion for college degrees

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Tuesday, April 30, 2024   

For active-duty service members and veterans eyeing a college degree, the march to academic success just got easier. The University of North Carolina system now has a tool that simplifies the conversion of military expertise into university credits across 16 campuses.

Bradley Wrenn, program manager for military and veterans education with UNC, described the system's Military Equivalency System as a way to streamline what used to be a rigorous process for people looking to find out how much of their military service translates to a college degree.

"The real challenges fell in the students not really knowing where to submit the information. There wasn't really a system-wide mechanism for them to input their military training and experience information, and so they were doing it at the university level," Wrenn said.

He noted that there was inconsistency among universities regarding who provided information to potential students. Now, anyone with an American Council on Education joint services transcript can easily input their information to find out which courses they will receive credit for.

The impact of this initiative extends beyond individual students. North Carolina ranks as the fourth-largest state for military members, and Wrenn said the UNC System aims to leverage this tool to address critical workforce needs. By credentialing military members, Wrenn added they will have the opportunity to fill needs in high-demand fields such as health sciences, business, education, and STEM.

"We see these folks who are coming out of the military as being key to being able to fill those workforce needs by credentialing them in such a way that they're able to take those jobs because our end goal is not only to graduate our students and to credential them but to keep them here in the state, " Wrenn added.

There are about 7,000 course matches in the tool's database, but Wrenn says it will expand to include more courses. More than 21,000 military-affiliated students enrolled in UNC institutions, representing nearly 10% of the student population.

Disclosure: Lumina Foundation for Education contributes to our fund for reporting on Education. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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