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Fighting For YOUR Education

Bianca Strzalkowski
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tagged: education
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In July 2011, while serving as the 2011 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year, I created an advocacy plan called the Military Spouse Education Initiative (MSEI). The core of the plan is to create a program that works with the challenges of military life, not against them. Incorporated into the MSEI, are ALL military spouses, not just “wives,” not just the 4 branches that fall under DOD, and not just certain ranks… simply ALL spouses.

What are its intentions?

First, let’s go with the grain, not against it. We move.  We move often, and amidst those moves are college transfers. Throughout my travels in speaking with military spouses many, including myself, often lose college credit going from school to school.

Action 1: Volunteer Experience to College Credit Program (VECC)

Military spouses volunteer within their branch family readiness programs, within nonprofit organizations, and within their communities. Often, that volunteerism equates to valuable skillsets that can be translated to college credit. I have sent a policy letter to the Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Army encouraging them to adopt this program through the American Council on Education.

Action 2: Encourage the Department of Education to adopt a transferability policy for its institutions to accept credits for military spouses who transfer due to PCS orders.

While all classes may not translate to an exact course, at the very least they can be accepted as a completed elective. It will save military families time and money.

Action 3: Create a Military Spouse Service Grant

Since the rank structure was changed for the Department of Defense’s MyCAA program, many senior spouses have felt left out of funding options. My goal is to work with the private sector to create a grant for all military spouses seeking any level of education. We do not wear rank and neither should our programs.

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