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Alternative Approach to Assessing Military Training for Advanced Placement into Engineering and Technology Programs

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Innovative Adult and Technology Enhanced Programs

Tagged Division

Continuing Professional Development

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.155.1 - 22.155.10



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Paper Authors


Kevin James Wainwright BC Institute of Technology

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Kevin Wainwright a faculty member in the School of Business at the British Columbia Institute of Technology in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. BCIT has over 50,000 full and part time students and is the second largest post-secondary institute in the province of British Columbia
Kevin has his Ph.D. in economics from Simon Fraser University where his fields of specialization were mathematical economics, industrial organization, law and economics, and environmental economics. He is co-author of the book, Fundamental Methods in Mathematical Economics, the most widely adopted text in North American universities in the field of mathematical economics.
Kevin is the BCIT Program Head for the Bachelor of Business Administration program and the director of the SITE Centre of Excellence, the research branch of the BCIT School of Business. He is the faculty sponsor for both the Reservist Re-Entry Program and SIFE BCIT From 2000 to 2005 he served as president of the BCIT Faculty and Staff Association. In May of 2010 Kevin was appointed to the Board of Governors for BCIT
Kevin’s professional and academic focus has been in Environmental Economics and the Economics of Education. Recent work includes: the economic impact of BCIT on the provincial economy, an analysis of intellectual property policies in Canadian universities and colleges, and forecasting models predicting student success in business schools, and a study of the impact of carbon taxes on regional airports and airlines. He has extensive teaching experience at BCIT and at other universities and colleges. Kevin has taught at the diploma level within the Institute’s business, broadcast and engineering programs, and at the bachelor’s degree level both at BCIT and at Simon Fraser University. At SFU Kevin supervises both master’s and PhD thesis students, and taught economic theory and policy in the Masters of Public Policy program.

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Barbara Ellen Endicott-Popovsky University of Washington, Information School

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Barbara Endicott-Popovsky, Ph.D., is the Director for the Center of Information Assurance and Cybersecurity at the University of Washington, designated by the NSA as a Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education and Research. She holds a joint faculty appointment with the Information School and Masters in Strategic Planning for Critical Infrastructure, following a 20-year industry career marked by executive and consulting positions in IT architecture and project management.

Her research interests include enterprise-wide information systems security and compliance management, forensic-ready networks, the science of digital forensics and secure coding practices. Barbara earned her Ph.D. in Computer Science/Computer Security from the University of Idaho (2007), and holds a Masters of Science in Information Systems Engineering from Seattle Pacific University (1987), a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Washington (1985) and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pittsburgh.

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Sarah A. Rajala Mississippi State University

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Sarah A. Rajala is Dean of the Bagley College of Engineering and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Mississippi State University. She earned the bachelor’s degree from Michigan Technological University and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Rice University. She has held professional appointments at North Carolina State University and Purdue University.

Dr. Rajala’s research and teaching activities are in image and signal processing and engineering educational assessment. She has published numerous technical papers and books in these areas (>120). Dr. Rajala is a Fellow of the AAAS, ASEE, and IEEE and has received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring. She has an extensive record of leadership to professional organizations including serving as president of the ASEE, member of the Executive Committee of IFEES, as program evaluator and member of the executive committee of the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET, and a member of the Board of Governors of the IEEE Signal Processing Society..

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Alternative Approach to Assessing Military Training for Advanced Placement into Engineering and Technology ProgramsBoth the United States and Canada invest a great deal of resources in the training of theirmilitary personal. Many of the skills and experiences accumulated by soldiers are those that arehighly valued by civilian employers. Further, these skills are often embodied in academicprograms, suggesting soldiers would have a comparative advantage in such programs; however,despite the efforts of government agencies, many soldiers are unable to convert their skills andtraining into meaningful careers. While there are several reasons why individuals leavingmilitary duty have trouble re-integrating into work and education, one of the major obstacles isthe difference between the military and civilian models of training and education. Thedifferences create challenges to offering advanced placement or transfer credits for militarytraining in civilian post-secondary institutions.This paper presents the findings from a pilot program at the British Columbia Institute ofTechnology (Vancouver, Canada). The program uses an alternative approach to assessingmilitary training for advanced placement into engineering and technology programs. Instead ofthe traditional course-by-course credit assessment, the program uses an integrated model thatgives block credit or "credential equivalence". This block credit is then used for advancedplacement or transfer credit. Depending on the structure and field of the program being sought,the reservist receives significantly higher placement than would occur under most traditionalmodels. The model is under review in the United States for application to GI Bill applicantstransitioning from military service.

Wainwright, K. J., & Endicott-Popovsky, B. E., & Rajala, S. A. (2011, June), Alternative Approach to Assessing Military Training for Advanced Placement into Engineering and Technology Programs Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17436

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