In June 2013, Governor John R. Kasich signed Executive Order 2013-05K to support Ohio’s veterans by ensuring they are receiving the appropriate credit and credentialing for their military training and experience. The Executive Order seeks to streamline the occupational licensing process for veterans and ensure that their relevant military education, skills training and experience are taken into account when determining equivalency for issuing licenses and certificates. The Governor also charged the Chancellor of the Ohio Dept. of Higher Education to work with the presidents of Ohio's public colleges and universities to conduct a thorough review of current institutional policies and practices and to make recommendations for simplifying and improving the process for awarding college credit for military training, experience, and coursework. In December 2013, the Chancellor released Ohio Values Veterans: Awarding Credit Toward College & Professional Licenses for Military Experiences – Executive Order 2013-05K Recommendations.
Embracing H.B. 488
Amended Substitute House Bill Number 488 from the 130th Ohio General Assembly is a reflection of a strong desire to make Ohio a great place for veterans and service members to live and work. The widely supported bill passed both the House and Senate unanimously and was signed into law by Governor John Kasich on Monday, June 16, 2014. Many of the recommendations from the Ohio Values Veterans Report are included in H.B. 488, as well as a few additional items. The majority of the H.B. 488 requirements for Ohio's public institutions of higher education must be implemented by December 31, 2014.
The Military Strategic Implementation Team (MSIT) has been hard at work researching promising practices within both Ohio's Public Colleges and Universities and nationally. The MSIT is comprised of individuals from USO institutions who were appointed by the Chancellor to move forward with the implementation of the recommendations in the Ohio Values Veterans Report and subsequently H.B. 488 because of their established expertise and leadership in working with service members and veterans issues in higher education. As discussion continues within Ohio's public colleges and universities, and as new ideas are created and new promising practices come to light, a means to communicate and disseminate information will become increasingly important. The Ohio Values Veterans Toolkit is intended to be a living testament to the ongoing commitment within Ohio's public colleges and universities to serve veterans and service members.