Student Spotlight: From Missiles to UMUC

June 23, 2015

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Welcome to the first installment of our new Student Spotlight series, featuring the stories of students who have used ACE credit recommendations for military and corporate training.

During her time serving as a missiles and munitions specialist in the Maryland Army National Guard, Private Kevin Burton would spend evenings in a computer lab completing online modules in basic electrical skills. It was here that she first became familiar with ACE credit recommendations.

dol-podium3-3Burton was always looking to the future. Despite the pressures of her work maintaining and repairing missile and ammunition-tracking radar equipment, she realized that these courses, along with her military training and experiences, could result in college credit recommendations that would move her more quickly toward a degree and boost her subsequent career options.

Upon returning home, Burton was offered an apprenticeship with a local electrical union, IBEW-26. She worked full-time at the union while simultaneously working part-time towards her degree in humanities at the University of Maryland, University College (UMUC).

She was able to apply 17 credits from her military training and 18 credits from her apprenticeship to her studies at UMUC—all from ACE credit recommendations—totaling 35 credits and saving over $9,000 in tuition and two years in classroom time.

As a first-generation college student, Burton became the first in her family to receive a bachelor’s degree. She now serves as an assistant director in the apprenticeship program where she worked after her service.

“I would estimate I have encouraged about 50-100 students in the apprenticeship program to utilize the potential benefits of ACE credit recommendations,” Burton says. “Without these recommendations, I may not have been able to achieve my degree.”

But she has not stopped her pursuit of learning.

Now a part-time student at George Washington University’s School of Law, Burton plans to go into labor and employment law to give back to those in the serving military and working in unions.

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