SHB 1858

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

As of April 1, 2013

Title: An act relating to awarding academic credit for military training.

Brief Description: Providing for awarding academic credit for military training.

Sponsors: House Committee on Higher Education (originally sponsored by Representatives McCoy, Appleton, Morrell, Ryu and Ormsby).

Brief History: Passed House: 3/13/13, 97-0.

Committee Activity: Higher Education: 4/02/13.


Staff: Katherine Taylor (786-7434)

Background: Prior Learning Definition. Prior learning is defined as the knowledge and skills gained through work and life experience; through military training and experience; and through formal and informal education and training from in-state and out-of-state institutions including foreign institutions.

Prior Learning Assessment. Legislation enacted in 2011 directs the Washington Student Achievement Council (Council), the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC), the Council of Presidents of the four-year public baccalaureate institutions, the private independent higher education institutions, and the private career schools to collaborate to increase the number of students who receive academic credit for prior learning that counts toward their major, degree, or certificate, while ensuring credit is awarded only for high quality, course-level competencies. Statute specifically charges the agencies and institutions to:

The Council and SBCTC jointly staff the Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) workgroup. In 2013, the PLA workgroup completed a draft statewide policy for prior learning assessment that provides an operational definition and guidance on tracking credits earned through the PLA workgroup that would apply to public two-year and four-year institutions of higher education. In addition, the PLA workgroup was added to an existing reciprocity agreement between community and technical colleges. The expanded agreement allows for individual courses that meet certain requirements at the sending college to be considered to meet the requirements at the receiving college for a similar transfer degree.

Guides for Awarding Credit for Military Training. There are three national associations that develop guidelines for acceptance of military training and experience for transfer and the award of credit:

Colleges and universities in Washington use the ACE Military Guide recommendations as a starting point to evaluate the award of credit toward certificates and degrees.

Summary of Bill: Each public institution of higher education must adopt a policy to award academic credit to individuals for certain military training courses or programs before December 31, 2014. The individual must be enrolled in a public institution of higher education and have successfully completed any military training course or program as part of the individual's military service that:

Each public institution of higher education must:

Each public institution of higher education must submit its policy for awarding academic credit for military training to the PLA workgroup. The PLA workgroup must evaluate each policy and make recommendations.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Committee/Commission/Task Force Created: No.

Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.