CEI looking to give student veterans credit for military training

CEI Armed Forces Center

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - The College of Eastern Idaho has added a new resource center to their campus, and the room has been set up as an asset to our community.

CEI states, "This room will be used as an extra tool to attract and serve veterans in eastern Idaho."

CEI has a small population of students, veterans and employees. 

As a new community college, CEI plans to attract and serve more eastern Idaho veterans and active Guard and Reserve members.

The center is made possible by the Maeck foundation, and the school hopes that community vets will find a benefit to this room.

"Having a veteran center brings an automatic sense of community for veterans," Todd Wightman communications and marketing director said. "It's a place where they can come and share commonalities relax from the stress of school and the stress from the outside world. It's just an automatic place to come and enjoy one another's company as they get through school."

There is a movement going on across the country to recognize the training of military people that they get during the military and a lot of it is college-level training.

Right now it is being evaluated by an organization called ACE- American Council on Education.

"ACE sends qualified experts and they evaluate all the curriculum and they determine whether it's college equivalent," Marjorie Price vice president of student affairs said. "Then they recommend college credit for that training."

Jacinda Moreau is a past vet and an assistant to the vice present of instruction and student affairs.

She helped come up with the idea to establish the CEI Armed Forces Center and says she has already seen the benefits from this center.  

"It does benefit me because we found out that we get credit for military service," Moreau said. "Some of the instruction that I had while in the Air Force is going to be able to turn into college credit. That is crucial to finishing college and getting a degree for some people. Here is a small environment, at CEI, makes it a more comfortable environment to talk with people to learn more about what we offer here."

The room has been open for less than a month and some students are already feeling right at home.

"Students have come in just for social interaction, snacks, drinks and I also had a lot of students come in just for advising and counseling purpose," Michael Goschate, veterans adviser at CEI said. 

The school has launched a pilot program this year, with 50 veterans on their campus.

They found that by adding up the dollars, some vets saved at least a credit or two on classes that they didn't have to retake.

Some even saved up to a year of schooling. 

If you are a local veteran looking to go back to school, CEI will be launching their summer session on May 28 and the fall session will be August 19.

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