New online resource helps community colleges grant veterans credit for prior learning
As U.S. government agencies and educational institutions strive to close the nation’s cybersecurity talent gap, military veterans are receiving special attention as potential recruits.
Veterans understand defense tactics and have worked in team environments; some already have security clearances that can help them obtain federal positions. Many acquired transferable technical skills or received specialized training during their military service.
CyberWatch West has launched a new online tool for community and technical colleges that grant credit for prior learning (CPL) to veterans studying information technology (IT) and cybersecurity.
MOS Pathways is a crosswalk that can be viewed on the CyberWatch West website or downloaded as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. It’s based on a list of Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) related to technology, IT, and security. MOS is the military terminology for job types in any of the branches of service, and each MOS is assigned a code to identify it.
The crosswalk correlates each MOS with specific skill sets and job descriptions, which are then translated into specific courses offered at Whatcom Community College (WCC), where CyberWatch West is based. A veteran who served in Cyber Transport Systems in the Air Force (AFSC-3D1X2), for example, could apply CPL for six courses in Computer Information Systems (CIS) toward a degree or certificate at the college.
Each WCC course name is translated into more commonly understood course name (e.g., a course called “Computer Fundamentals” at another college is generally equivalent to CIS 100, Computer Literacy, at WCC). College faculty and administrators needing to make an accurate comparison between mapped WCC courses and courses offered at their own institutions should refer to the Course Outcomes chart at the end of the document.
- MOS Pathways on the CyberWatch West website (Faculty Development section)
- Credit for Prior Learning from the Student, Campus, and Industry Perspectives (PDF publication from the American Council on Education)
- Veterans Cybersecurity Training and Education Toolkit (PDF publication from the Department of Homeland Security)
- Veterans Cybersecurity Training and Education Guide (PDF publication from the Department of Homeland Security)