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SEP/OCT/NOV 2018 Vol 600


Best Practices Across the VolEd Enterprise

Special Edition

In this issue:


VolEd Strategy in Action


Army VolEd


Marine Corps VolEd


Air Force VolEd


Navy VolEd


Coast Guard VolEd

4 20

DANTES Website Redesign


Recognition Page

26 6

Hot News

4 28

Troops to Teachers Article


VolEd Strategy in Action: Innovations and Initiatives Taheesha Quarells, VolEd Enterprise Support


he 2015-2020 Department of Defense Voluntary Education (DoD VolEd) Strategic Plan laid the foundation for improving the quality and value of educational opportunities for service members. This plan focused on championing policies, programs, and strategic partnerships that: • • • •

strengthened oversight of over 2,800 academic institutions increased VolEd transparency empowered informed decision-making among service members executed research projects that drove data-informed decisions among stakeholders

• • •

fostered student development of personal and professional pathways restructured programs that align to current and emerging education and workforce opportunities cultivated a VolEd community of practice

Major changes to the VolEd landscape through policy and program modernizations over the past few years have resulted in positive impacts to education access, outcomes, and student advocacy. The implementation of these strategic reforms has culminated in a culture of effectiveness. This issue focuses on the latest innovations and initiatives from across the VolEd enterprise that have put the DoD VolEd strategic plan into action.


VolEd, Force Education and Training: Supporting Informed Decision Making through New Tools VolEd’s strategic direction has focused on four primary areas: • • • •

promoting quality educational opportunities for service members ensuring readiness and success enabling a viable VolEd Community cultivating a culture of organizational effectiveness

To promote quality education opportunities, VolEd focused on a variety of initiatives. Some of these initiatives were aimed at better informing service members’ selection of education opportunities and shaping personal and professional pathways. When the VolEd program launched the TA DECIDE tool a few years ago, for the first time, military students were able to compare tuition assistance eligible academic institutions based on the actual outcomes of their peers. Each day, service members are provided with accurate, complete, and intuitive information required to properly evaluate 4

and compare available educational opportunities. Earlier this year, during the Council of College and Military Educators (CCME) Symposium, the Director of DoD Voluntary Education announced a new decision support tool planned for release during late fall 2018. The new tool continues DoD VolEd’s emphasis on shaping meaningful personal and professional pathways, in support of both near-term service member skills development as well as longer term lifelong career success. To provide service members, as well as counselors across the VolEd Community, with a more unified and personalized career pathway and education advisement capability, DoD VolEd has developed and recently launched the Career Path DECIDE tool, which is available at Career Path DECIDE is designed to deliver an easy to understand and streamlined advisement experience that brings together numerous and trusted government/DoD data sources into one place.

The tool allows service members to explore career fields three different ways, based on: • • •

fit to their military occupation and experience high-growth and in-demand career fields personal interests, through the self-directed search option

Career Path DECIDE uses their experience and prior learning to identify current qualification levels and/ or gaps for a given career field and provides them with prioritized and actionable steps they can pursue to improve their qualifications and prepare for that career. Career Path DECIDE then identifies available and relevant programs which they can then sort and filter to easily compare schools and decide which college makes the most sense when considering student success outcome measures, and other factors like typical costs, student completion rates, students’ ability to repay their loans, and their future earnings. Recently, a pre-launch pilot was conducted that included participation by (Education Services Officers) ESO’s and counselors from across each of the Services and involved them using the tool for themselves as well as incorporating it into advisement sessions with service members. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive and included counselors commenting on the value and flexibility of Career Path DECIDE to support counseling service members no matter what branch of Service or where they were within the Military Lifecycle. The following are a few highlights of how counselors incorporated Career Path DECIDE into their advisement approaches and engagement with service members: •

“One soldier visited me and was seeking career advice. His main concern was that as a Private First Class, Automated Logistics Specialist (92A), with no higher education, could he even find a job. He sat down and used Career Path DECIDE and stated, “Wow, I see jobs that I can do now and support my family!” “He then used the filters and reduced the jobs to four options to explore further. He left the session feeling a greater sense of empowerment.” (Education Services Specialist, Colorado ARNG) “When an Airman visits our office, we usually open these large occupation books from the College Board and begin searching for information with the Airman. It is a time-consuming

process and feels overwhelming for the Airman. Having just received training on Career Path DECIDE, I asked the Airman, “would you like to try something different, there is a new website that may help you out.” “He sat at a computer, opened Career Path DECIDE, and in just a few minutes found the information he was looking for. He even said he wanted to come back later in the week, explore further, and discuss the results with me. I think this is a great resource.” (Education Services Specialist, Hurlburt Field-Florida) “A Soldier came to my office. He was an 88M (Motor Transport Operator), however he was not interested in continuing in that field and wanted to get into the medical field because of the field’s higher potential pay and job growth. He also wanted to go back home and live in Illinois after he transitioned from the Army. Using Career Path DECIDE, in a short amount of time, he was able to pull schools and programs in Illinois in the field of Occupation Therapy. He left supported, knowing the amount of pay in Illinois and the time commitment to get ready for this job.” (Education Services Specialist, Fort Wainwright-Alaska) “The Navy College Virtual Education Center participated in a webinar to review and try Career Path DECIDE. The virtual counselors had a chance to interact with the tool and commented that it has a lot of potential to add more fidelity and value to virtual counseling sessions and should be included in our counseling checklist. We look forward to working with OSD to further incorporate Career Path DECIDE into our counseling toolkit.” (Virtual Education Capabilities Director, Navy College Virtual Education Center)

The results of this pre-launch pilot were presented to Mr. Fred Drummond, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Force Education and Training, who when seeing the results commented, “This is exactly the kind of streamlined information that all service members need and something that our counselors can begin to incorporate into the advisement process.” DoD VolEd is excited to make this valuable advisement capability available to both service members and VolEd Counselors! Access the Career Path DECIDE tool at 5


Voluntary Education Force Education & Training Service Member Career Investment Programs

Programs & Services: Professional Education Counseling High School Completion/Diploma Programs Tuition Assistance (TA) for Postsecondary Degree/Certificate Programs Certification & Licensure (C&L) Assistance Apprenticeships College Credit Examination Program Military Evaluation Program/Joint Service Transcript DoD SkillBridge Troops to Teachers Shaping quality voluntary educational experiences to foster better service members today, better citizens tomorrow 7







Soldiers can: »» plan their career with tailored education options through VIA

The Army prepares its future workforce by helping Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) cadets at over 1,100 colleges and universities

Army Career Tracker (ACT) helps civilians plan their professional development, apply for training, and track all aspects of their progress

»» work with an Army Education Center Counselor to learn about options for their future »» apply for tuition 8

Army VolEd: Promoting Quality Educational Opportunities through Increased Awareness


he Army Continuing Education System (ACES) has taken a different approach to promoting quality educational opportunities by focusing their efforts on increasing Soldier awareness. Each ACES initiative discussed below aims to increase Soldier knowledge and participation in available education programs. A. Outreach is a Team Sport: The ACES Marketing Collaboration Center The ACES operates through a variety of strategic partnerships. Headquarters (HQ) ACES implemented the Marketing Collaboration Center to foster teamwork among various stakeholder groups, such as, Army Installation Management Command (IMCOM), Army National Guard Bureau (NGB), United States Army Reserve Command (USARC), United States Army Recruiting Command (USAREC), United States Army Cadet Command (USACC), United States Military Entrance Processing Command (USMEPCOM), and DANTES. The ACES Marketing Collaboration Center is hosted within milSuite’s milBook section and can be accessed with a CAC card via https://www.milsuite. mil/book/groups/aces-marketing-collaboration-center. Currently, more than 220 Army educators from around the globe are members of the site. By accessing the platform, VolEd personnel can work together and share projects and ideas to help spread the word about education programs, services and benefits, as well as provide results that will help shape future efforts that are effective in raising Soldier awareness and increasing

participation in voluntary education programs. In conjunction with the Human Resources Command’s Knowledge Management Team, HQ ACES has held multiple milSuite training events to assist the field in familiarization with the platform. HQ ACES initiates weekly milSuite platform discussions to maintain open communication among education personnel from different components to spark creativity and innovation. This keeps education professionals engaged, active, and informed in collaborative efforts. DANTES has worked with ACES to develop a site connected to the Marketing Collaboration Center. VolEd personnel can visit https:// defense-activity-for-non-traditional-education-services to stay up-to-date on new information, ask questions or leave comments, share information, and access downloadable information on education programs and the 2018 DoD VolEd Professional Development Institute presentation slides and handouts.

B. Outreach is a Result of Strategically Planned Actions Over the past year, ACES has taken a very strategic approach to marketing its VolEd programs. Below are a few highlighted activities: • Formation of focused working groups. HQ ACES formed two working groups to address outreach. The Marketing Working Group collaborates on ACES events and activities, while the HQ ACES STRATCOM Team focuses on the design and implementation of the new Army Voluntary Education Campaign. • Development of a marketing campaign for American Education Week (AEW). The Army used AEW to launch new outreach assets (i.e. video announcements, flyers, slideshows, etc.) that were designed to attract new students by showcasing voluntary education opportunities across the globe. • Measuring customer engagement and satisfaction. To ensure that ACES outreach events are delivering their intended outcomes, the Education Event Survey and corresponding Education Center Engagement Dashboard are used to help the Army monitor event satisfaction, participants’ level of interest, and the likelihood soldiers would refer others to the event. • Leveraging social media and videos to generate awareness. Through a partnership with the Human Resources Command’s Public Affairs Office, ACES developed and implemented social media content schedules to increase brand awareness. ACES also produced and distributed videos on GoArmyEd, TA Policies, Transfer of Education Benefits, Loan Repayment, and other topics. • Equipping educators with marketing skills through training. Regular professional development events for VolEd professionals provides training to increase involvement, understanding, and support at all levels. 9


Marine Corps VolEd: Leveraging Tools for Student Readiness and Success The Marine Corps education centers creatively work with a variety of stakeholders to help Marine students learn about available resources, prepare for college entrance, and get support while they complete their schooling. A. Face-to-Face Interactions Support Student Success Marine Corps education center personnel place a premium on faceto-face education counseling. Taking the time to understand their customers’ goals, concerns, and needs, education counselors help Marines

develop and begin to execute a plan for of future success. From impromptu hallway conversations to deep dive counseling sessions, counselors uniquely tailor the tools and techniques they use for each situation. According to Education and Career Specialist, Bart MacMillian, “The 1:1 consultation is the key to getting started in the right direction with each individual student Marine”. In Okinawa, Japan, education counselors schedule follow-up communication activities after counseling appointments. This ensures that

Marines know that they have the support they need throughout the pursuit of their education. They also send newsletters on a regular basis to share education related information, upcoming events, and school deadlines. To support this focus on individual student attention, some education centers created additional tools to augment counselor services. The Iwakuni education center in Japan created a College Comparison work sheet that contains a number of resources to help select schools, majors, find additional college funding, access the JST, and use study guides. In Albany, Georgia, the staff developed education assessment/intake forms to better understand the education backgrounds and needs of their customers. Personnel at Parris Island developed a Web TA Checklist to ensure that service members have a quick reference guide to help while submitting their requests for tuition assistance.


Marine Corps VolEd B. Resources & Tools Augment Counselor Services Education center personnel use a variety of tools while providing individual and group academic counseling to help Marines begin to use self-service resources. These resources include: • Kuder Journey • My Next Move • TA DECIDE and the GI Bill Comparison Tool • Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook • College Navigator • Marine Corps Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (COOL) • United Services Military Apprenticeship Program (USMAP) • Career One Stop • O*Net Code Connector and Interest Profiler • Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) • Online exam study resources from CLEP, DSST, and Modern States • Online Academic Skills Course (OASC) Sometimes through the counseling process, personnel realize that the Marine they are trying to help may be in need of other services beyond what is available online. On a routine basis, service members are referred to Career Transition Advisors, Personal Finance Management, and Personal & Professional Development Advisors.


B. Education Events & Workshops Maximize Face-to-Face Interactions All across the government, programs have been operating with less manpower and smaller budgets. Marine Corps education centers have overcome this crunch by using meaningful workshops and education related events to help them better serve Marines. Some education centers cover large geographically dispersed areas. In these regions, personnel make themselves available to students outside of standard office hours, use constant communication, and ensure they respond to inquiries quickly. These regions work directly the commands, by way of group briefs and staged Marine Family, Personal & Professional Development (P&PD), and/or education information fairs/events, coordinated through a unit education officer/ enlisted coordinator-liaison. Education center staffs at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California developed the Classroom Acculturation and College Success workshop. This program offers students a VolEd certificate that prepares both traditional and nontraditional students for success at any community college, public or private university. The curriculum covers every facet of college preparation, including collegiate writing styles, federal and state aid programs, library resources, and personal assessments. Through the use of self-guided exploratory activities, classroom lectures and hands-on laboratory requirements, individuals are prepared to face the challenges of becoming a first-

year or continuing college student. Locations such as Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii conduct a monthly, 4-week, face-to-face Military Academic Skills Program (MASP) to capture those Marines whose test scores prevent them from using TA. Most Marines attend MASP workshops to either prepare for college, or to take the SAT or ACT. Marines who successfully complete MASP gain both the academic skills and confidence required for college-level success. Other workshops the education center offers include Jr. Marine Briefs, GI Bill Briefs, Welcome-Aboard Briefs, the Corporals and Sergeants Courses, and Accessing Higher Education seminars. At San Diego, the education center: They speak directly with new Recruits. This connection is probably the most effective orientation brief. They explain the Lifelong Learning idea concept, whether the Recruit will be a career Marine, or a one term veteran. This first contact brief preps them on how to use their educational benefits. Personnel also brief at the Recruiter School. This is important because the Marine Recruiters will have first access to the civilians desiring to enter military service. In Okinawa, Japan: The education center hosts Open Houses by partnering with contracted schools, as well as participates in other events such as College Nights at local high schools, community symposia, and Job Fairs. They also started a Semester Prep Class to help prepare new students for their first term in college.

Understanding that college and career readiness extends beyond academic readiness in core subject areas, Marine Corps education centers use various workshops to help Marines get ready for college. Camp Pendleton hosts events such as Tailgate for Education, Leadership Scholar Program Forum, Education and Interest Workshop, College Application Boot Camp, Master’s Degree Workshop, Higher Education 2-day tracks, and Warriors to Campus tours. So how do these education centers promote all of their education related events? At the bottom of emails, below their signatures, education center personnel list upcoming events and encourage patrons to attend. They work closely with installation partners, such as the base library and Marine Corps Community Services (MCCS) Marketing community to use traditional and digital tools to help service members become aware of their education opportunities. Education programs and events are also promoted through the use of other

tools and resources such as social media, base marquees, email blasts, TV monitors within buildings and office areas, installation websites, free online services such as Eventbrite and the “REMIND ME” app. The Albany, Georgia education events are promoted using flyers with QR codes sent directly to the MCLB and LOGCOM Career Planners, flyers displayed throughout the base, all-hands email blast, information posted on installation marquees, and word of mouth. In addition, other locations establish connections to and leverage lists of Command Approving/Unit Education officers for tuition assistance to send information about upcoming events and champion education initiatives C. Saving Service Member’s Time and Money Even though tuition assistance is provided to all eligible service members, there are still additional costs associated with going to college. Marine Corps education centers work to save service members money through a variety of ways.

At Miramar, the education center conducts routine Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Workshops so that students can learn about other sources of paying for their course work. They also work to provide on-base tutoring and other free or low-cost study resources for Marines. The center has free textbooks, readily available to Marines. Through the base library they also refer students to cheap, online reputable rental companies. At Camp Pendleton, in addition to providing information on federal financial aid, education center personnel make sure they help student, navigate available scholarships and state-specific college funding sources such as the California Promise Grant. Defense sponsored programs such as CLEP and DSST examinations for college credit recommendations are also encourage to save students both time and money while they pursue their education. 13


Air Force VolEd: New Initiatives Across the Globe


program, at units’ request, to brief available education opportunities.

At Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota, the Education on the Move program takes voluntary education to individual units to help Airmen pursue their goals. The education center staff also partner with on-base schools to visit units in remote locations prior to every term to provide personalized assistance with registering and paying for classes. Furthermore, monthly commissioning briefings provide Airmen an overview of the different avenues to obtain a commission.

At Hill AFB, Utah, the VolEd personnel take a top down approach when helping Airmen reach their personal and professional goals. Education center staff attend Commanders’ Calls, Top Three briefings with senior leadership, monthly First Sergeant meetings, and quarterly Commanders’ Status of Training briefings to help senior leadership stay informed of available education benefits, special events, and testing schedules. Staff members not only use these forums to push information, they also advocate for changes and bring education related issues to the senior leaders who can bring about change.

rom sea to shining sea, the Air Force education centers located around the world have instituted innovative ways to help Airmen reach their personal and professional goals.

At Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, forward thinking personnel worked to gather the resources to establish four virtual classrooms. These classrooms have cameras and interactive audio systems that enable students and instructors to connect in real time, removing the obstacles associated with Mountain Home’s remote location. The virtual classrooms expand the opportunity and flexibility for Airmen to take both lunchtime and evening courses in a classroom based learning environment. The Mountain Home education center also creates opportunities for Airmen to prepare for transition into the civilian workforce through the Career Skills Program (CSP). Service members receive accredited training and relevant work experience through internships that prepare for various technical fields by obtaining certifications and licensure. At Aviano AB, Italy, a variety of initiatives have been implemented that resulted in increased student enrollments. Using the Force Support Squadron App to socialize testing and class schedules, pushing information through social media platforms such as Snapchat and Facebook, placing posters outside of all the high traffic facilities on base, leveraging the Armed Forces Network, and regularly sending emails to senior leadership are among the ways VolEd personnel at Aviano have increased Airmen’s awareness of available education opportunities. The education center also coordinates with academic institutions to offer the SNACK and CHAT

At Eglin AFB, Florida, VolEd staff members recognize that, sometimes, members need a little nudge accompanied by a plan of action to begin their education journey while in the military. The Eglin Education Center conducts a monthly Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) processing line with four stations to get Airmen interested in completing their CCAF degrees. With the help of “Airman ED”, the Operation CCAF Completion events serve as a one stop shop for receiving mentoring from senior enlisted personnel, guidance counseling to determine degree completion requirements, advisement on available on base credit by examination counseling, and the development of a plan of action At Joint Base-Andrews NAF, Washington DC, the education staff partnered with the Company Grade Officer Club to mentor enlisted Airmen who are interested in learning more about commissioning opportunities. During these commissioning briefings, enlisted service members can hear first- hand accounts of the officers’ experiences, lessons learned and what they would do differently. The education staff also partnered with the Andrews Credit Union to create the CCAF Excellence Award, presented each October to the unit with the most CCAF graduates. The award includes a $250 cash prize received by the selected unit’s Booster Club. 15

Air Force Volun

- Academic Testing - Professional Education Counseling - Financial Assistance - Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) - General Education Mobile (GEM) - Associate to Baccalaureate Cooperative (AB) - Air Force Credentialing Opportunities On-line


ntary Education

) e (AF COOL)




Navy VolEd: Improving Self-Service Capabilities & Virtual Counseling


ailors are getting faster service and more personal connections to education counselors through the implementation of new technology tools. The Navy College Program’s Web Tuition Assistance (WebTA) initiative uses courses uploaded by 126 academic institutions to automate processing of Sailor’s TA requests. Since its implementation, more than 65,000 member requests for TA have been processed allowing Sailors to have their college courses funded sooner. The automation of this process has not only saved time for service members, it has also led to a 28% increase in virtual counseling sessions because VolEd staff members spend less time processing funding requests and more time

helping Sailors plan their personal and professional career pathways. By adding this self-service capability, Sailors are able to navigate through their education journey more quickly. The Navy is also working hard to expand its connections with their clients. In response to requests for more personalization during the Navy College counseling experience, Skype for Business has been implemented to facilitate face to face connections between counselors and service members. Using commercially available webcams and mobile devices, Sailors are able to receive face to face individual counseling and group college planning workshops from the Navy’s Virtual

Education Center personnel. In order to continue their VolEd improvement efforts, Navy College has established a customer service feedback survey. Sailors are encouraged to provide insights on their experiences with education support and counseling services so that the Navy College Program can routinely adjust policies, practices, and procedures that meet students’ counseling, administrative support, and information needs.



Coast Guard VolEd: Ensuring Student Success through Collaboration and Mentoring


he Coast Guard’s motto, “Semper Paratus” (Always Ready), is best demonstrated through their approach to servicing military members’ VolEd needs. They readily support service members by leveraging partnerships to find solutions that help students succeed in reaching their personal and professional goals. Collaboration Education Service Officers (ESOs) collaborate with a variety of stakeholders such as local colleges, school liaison officers, local academic institutions, and state-sponsored Advisory Council on Military Education (ACME) to maximize education outreach to service members and their families. ESOs participate in all base sponsored activities from newcomer briefs to Coast Guard

Day to ensure that service members are familiar with their education options. ESOs also use regular base leadership meetings and communication outlets such as the Plan of the Week to highlight top Coast Guard VolEd items that service members need to know. Mentoring The Coast Guard has demonstrated how mentorship can serve as a force multiplier for VolEd. To increase student support and academic success, several Services have members in uniform that serve as either collateral duty or fulltime ESOs. On a continuous basis, many Coast Guard ESOs reach out to all uniformed, collateral ESOs through emails, the Coast Guard ESO Portal, and individual and unit/ cutter briefings. Collateral duty

ESOs are provided with program and policy updates, as well as fully supported as they develop the knowledge and skills to serve the education needs of their unit. Coast Guard ESOs in certain locations have implemented an Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) Mentoring Program. This program matches senior services members with newer members who need to improve their academic skills. Newer members are able to benefit from the experience of more senior personnel while they strive to improve their skills and ASVAB scores. By gaining additional skills to improve their ASVAB scores through this mentorship program, newer members are able to increase occupational/rate eligibility.



ften times, the easiest place to find opportunities for innovation is by listening to customers and stakeholders. DANTES spent considerable time analyzing thousands of questions and comments from service members, veterans, and VolEd professionals as well as website analytics to determine customer information needs. This needs assessment was a vital beginning step in redesigning the DANTES website. The new DANTES website was launched September 1, 2018 to meet the needs of various audience groups, address frequently asked questions.

What does Redesigned mean?

The redesigned DANTES website offers a straightforward and easy-to-find format - with the military student and military education professional in mind. Defense education programs can help the military student meet goals in every stage of their military career and beyond. Military education counselors and career advisors are there to help students find the most efficient ways to reach those professional and educational goals. DANTES is one Defense education resource available 24/7 and at no-cost to the military student. Our organization strives to ensure the Services and its’ military members know the education benefits available to them. In that endeavor, DANTES has restructured its website to help both students and counselors easily locate the information needed to take advantage of and share the wide variety of Defense education programs available. Some of the changes to look for on the newly, redesigned website are: • Contact and Seach capability centrally located at the top • DIB Newsletter and Social Media icons easily accessible on the left side • DANTES Help Desk always available in the lower right • Service seals on the bottom take you directly to Services Voluntary Education resources • Counselors and School Reps have their own section of counseling resources 22

Redesigned DANTES Website With You In Mind Let’s Tour the Website • Top Navigation Panel delivers easy access to the following: οο Direct link to the MyVolEdPath Mobile Application page οο Education counselors can be found by entering a Service, region, or postal code information, all within a selected radius of 50 - 100 miles οο Contact DANTES and ask a question with one click οο Search the entire website • Left Icon Panel is available throughout the website, on every page, for access to the following: οο DIB Newsletter – Monthly information for Sevice education counselors. οο Contact a Counselor – This is so important, we have it located in various places throughout the website. οο Find a Test Center – This information is always easy to locate. οο Social Media Buttons – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn • Bottom Right for Help: The 24/7 Help Desk is always there to answer your questions. • Bottom Navigation Panel with Service seals: This offers easy access to the Military One Source VolEd page and all of the Service VolEd pages • Home Tab: DANTES’ defense education programs are separated into each stage of the Voluntary Education (VolEd) journey and each section is clickable to reveal more information. • About Tab: Offers two selections to choose from - About and Leadership. The About section helps visitors learn about the VolEd mission and provides important links to the Post secondary Education Complaint System (PECS), Service VolEd pages and Military One Source VolEd information. The Leadership section introduces visitors to DANTES leadership. • Education Programs Tab: This tab looks just like the Home tab. As stated previously, Defense programs are separated here by the stages that military members may take during their career with relation to education and professional development. It starts with Prep for College and ends with the Defense program for transitioning to the classroom in a second career as a teacher. • Program Bars: As you click on each program bar, you will find the programs that are most beneficial to the military member at this stage of the education journey.


Steps to Follow: At the bottom of the program pages, there are steps to follow to help a military student easily access and understand how to proceed. Videos: On the right of most program pages, a visitor will find videos providing a quick visual summary of the program. These videos can all be found under the Resources tab as well. “Need Help?� Blue Boxes: Help boxes are also located to the right on each program page as well. These are blue boxes are found throughout the program pages and provide a point of contact (POC), phone number, and email information if the visitor has further questions. Financial Assistance Tab: The cost of pursuing a college education and/or career credentials can vary significantly from school to school and student to student. This page includes resources available to military 24

members to help cover education costs. Counselor and School Reps Tab: This page was created specifically to assist military education professionals. As an Education Services Officer (ESO), education counselor, education specialist, and school rep, you have the distinct privilege of assisting military members with their education and career path. On this tab, DANTES has provided a variety of program tools and resources to help you stay informed and up to date on Defense education support programs. It includes everything from support tools and program materials to publications and how to establish a national test center. It also includes an active feed for the DANTES Facebook page. Resources Tab: Whether setting career goals or pursuing a college degree, military members will

undoubtedly have questions throughout their journey ahead. The resources available on this page will help to answer a variety of questions from finding an education counselor and frequently asked questions (FAQs) to finding a teaching job with Troops to Teachers and the DIB newsletter. You’ll notice that these resources also have links in other places on the website, but they are all accessible in this one location for ease of use. Blog Tab: The DANTES4military blog or service member blog is now part of the DANTES website. The blog is a tool that education counselors can use to find answers to questions and to send military students to for additional program information. The blog is also set up in the same VolEd stages that service members may take during their career when it comes to education and professional development goals. Members have the option to search via the individual sections or see all of the articles at once.

Desktop, Pad, or Mobile Device: It is important to note that the website is accessible on all devices. We hope you will access the website on various devices to become familiar with its usability and to determine which works best for you. DANTES redesigned the website with you, the education professional, and the military student in mind. It is our goal to provide accessible Defense program information all in one place to help make your jobs easier and increase website traffic. More website traffic means more service members are learning about their no-cost education benefits. We encourage you to review the website and give us your feedback. If we can make it easier to find information, we will certainly try. Please send your comments to or use one of the tools available on the website.


A Special THANK YOU! This special VolEd Best Practice issue was made possible by the support of numerous personnel across the VolEd enterprise. Thank you to all who contributed their ideas and initiatives. We are sure that your efforts will inspire others to continue to think of innovative ways to serve the voluntary education needs of the Force.

Anthony Goodsell, Marine Corps Caryn Lukasek, Marine Corps Chasity Duke, Safety Research Corporation of America Craig Lockwood, Marine Corps Cynthia Nothstein, Marine Corps Dawn Hemming-Rich, Air Force Debra Stancliff, Coast Guard Demetra Anderson, Marine Corps Diane Gillaspie, Marine Corps Donna Malone, Air Force Ed Barker, Navy Edith Redfern, Air Force Edward Hodge, Air Force Erin Keeran, Marine Corps Erin Roberts, DANTES Giacomina Tardio, Air Force Gordon “Gordy” Yowell, Coast Guard Harmony Cadien, Marine Corps Irena Rader, Army James Brooks, Marine Corps Josh Gage, Vantage Point Consulting, Inc. Karen Bird, Marine Corps


Kirstin Savage, DANTES Leslie Dickey, Navy Linda Beattie, Marine Corps Lora Flinn, Air Force Marie Hill, Marine Corps Mark Story, Marine Corps Matt Mason, Air Force Michelle Alexander, DANTES Natalie Knox, Marine Corps Orinzo Collado, Ed.S, Coast Guard Taheesha Quarells, DANTES Retta Smith, Air Force Rubie Blue, Marine Corps Sam Bagwell, Marine Corps Sandy Robinson, Marine Corps Sharen Richardson, Navy Ted Byerly, Air Force Teresa Allen, Marine Corps Timothy Crisp, Marine Corps Tom Smith, Navy William “Bart” MacMillan, Marine Corps Yolanda Sapp, Air Force


Unofficial CLEP® College Composition Score Reports No Longer Mailed


s of October 15, 2018, unofficial paper copies of CLEP® College Composition score reports are no longer being mailed to test takers. Military personnel who took the College Composition exam on or after October 5, 2018 will instead receive an email once their scores are available on the CLEP My Account Registration Portal. To view revised scoring and score availability dates, visit the College Composition Scoring and Score Availability page. College Composition scores are typically available online one to two weeks after the exam date, so test takers no longer need to wait for scores to arrive through the mail. To view scores, candidates must log in using the same information they used to register. Once logged in, they click on My CLEP Account and then select My CLEP Exam Scores. If test takers would like paper copies of their scores, they need to click on the Print button above the score table on the My CLEP Exam Scores page. For official CLEP transcripts, military personnel must download the military transcript order form and mail the completed form to the address on the form, along with a certified check, money order, or credit card payment of $30 for each transcript requested, payable to Prometric. If you have any questions, email


Hot News


he Department of Defense Voluntary Education Pilot for tutoring services ended on September 30, 2018. Tutoring services for Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Service members will continue with funding provided by the respective Service. Service members are being directed to contact their Education Center with questions about tutoring session. Visit for more information.

ACT Reminder


efore placing an order for ACT test materials, look in your safe. The 2017-2018 ACT test booklets expired on October 31, 2018 and cannot be used after that date; obsolete test booklets must also be postmarked for return to the testing agency prior to October 31, 2018. Per the DANTES Examination Program Handbook (DEPH) Part II, ACT Chapter 2, TCOs are reminded to ensure obsolete and unused answer folders are destroyed properly per service destruction guidelines. The following also apply: ACT exams are: • not automatically distributed each year • not distributed until all previous years materials are received and cleared at ACT • Reusable only at stocking DANTES test sites. • Ordered using the ACT DANTES Order Form

DANTES stocking test sites will need to amend their inventory to reflect the return of testing materials. Remember, new test materials will not be sent until ACT reconciles your inventory. To order 2018-2019 ACT materials, see page II-1-7 of the DANTES Examinations Program Handbook (DEPH) , ACT Chapter 2. The current year version of test booklets and orders forms no longer reflect a combined 3-digit number/letter code. Questions about returning and ordering ACT test booklets may be directed to

Updates to Packaging and Distribution for the ACT® Test DANTES Testing


s of September 1, 2018, ACT has modified processes regarding packaging and distribution of materials. Due to these updates, you may notice some small differences in your shipping materials, such as, changed packing lists, shipping labels, and boxes, as you receive test material orders for DANTES testing. Please continue to follow all material receipt and return processes as normal. Once the new testing year begins, please review instructions regarding returning of materials as provided in The ACT® Test Administration Manual DANTES Testing and the DEPH. If you have concerns upon receipt of materials, please feel free to contact



All Active Duty, Guard, and Reserve military members who possess a valid Geneva Conventions "Uniformed Services" Common Access Card (CAC) are eligible for DANTES-funded and reimbursable testing.


[1] ACT and [1] SAT are funded per lifetime of service, when taken at a DANTES Test Site. Contact a military education center to learn if they sponsor a DANTES Test Site (locations and support are limited). A valid CAC ID is required at the time of testing. Service members are responsible for all fees associated with retesting at a DANTES Test Site and will not be reimbursed by DANTES.



Test fees for the first administration of each computer-based CLEP and DSST exam title are funded when taken at an authorized National or International Test Center.

Test fees are reimbursed when scores are required to meet a Service or education requirement.

Additional administration fees are only funded. Service members are responsible for the additional administration fee at all other test centers. A valid CAC ID is required at the time of testing. Service members are responsible for all fees associated with retesting at all test centers.

Valid only for exams administered at National or International Test Centers. All requests must be submitted via the Electronic Reimbursement Request. Use a CAC-enable computer to access the Electronic Reimbursement Request system. A valid DEERS profile is required Apply within 90 days of test completion Apply within 90 days of your separation date Address must be valid for 90 days after submission


DANTES Exams Program Manager


Troops to Teach

Military Members Have the STEM Skills Needed in U.S. Classrooms By Kim Day, Director, Troops to Teachers

STEM he Department of Defense (DoD) has been at the cutting edge of our nation’s most advanced technological breakthroughs for decades. The legacy of defense innovation includes the Internet, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), virtual reality, voice recognition technology, autonomous vehicles, and cloud computing. Today, more than ever before, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is critical to the success of U.S. military missions. In fact, the unparalleled technical skills and hands-on training that service members gain in the military cannot be matched anywhere else. Whether an Officer or enlisted service member, specialized STEM skills are part of every service members job. Commissioned Officers are managers,



problem solvers, key influencers and planners who lead service members in all situations. Enlisted members perform a wide variety of functions that require the application of analytical thinking and problem-solving to ensure the success of their mission.

MILITARY SERVICE TO COMMUNITY SERVICE But what happens to these acquired skills once a member retires or separates from the military? Many service members find these skills naturally transfer to a career in teaching STEM. For instance, Air Force veteran, Dan Ganoza, recently named the 2018 Teacher of the Year by the Colorado Association of Science Teachers, continues to serve his community and tomorrow’s youth by providing learning experiences that engage students in the real world applications of science.

hers Spotlight


classroom, especially in STEM. TTT staff are eager to help identify the best path to teaching a STEM subject by providing counseling and guidance with meeting education requirements, employment facilitation, and financial assistance, if eligibility is met. Visit the TTT website for more information, Once a TTT participant becomes a teacher, the Defense Department has many programs designed to help spark student interest in STEM areas. These programs connect STEM education in the classroom to the exciting careers and challenging opportunities that come with safeguarding our country. Learn more about the following teacher/ student classroom DoD resources by visiting: about

With the help of the Troops to Teachers (TTT) program, which prepares military veterans for teaching careers, Ganoza became a biology, environmental science, and global science teacher, who is discovering the beauty of science along with his students. His enthusiasm for science inspires and helps his students make sense of those difficult concepts in science. Read the article‌ https://gazette. com/news/air-force-veteran-awarded-classroom-medal-science-teacher-of-the/article_ 47b630a8-d249-11e8-8bc8-6bcf92c960d8.html TTT AND STEM There is always a need for great teachers like Mr. Ganoza and for STEM teachers. TTT is standing by to assist eligible military members in transitioning to a career in teaching. Members are encouraged to partner with TTT to discover how the skills they have gained in the military can transfer to the


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