On average, a member of the military takes seven years to earn an associate’s degree; between training, field exercises, deployments, and a demanding duty schedule, military life can easily get in the way of education and delay completing a degree program. Those factors alone are enough to keep service members from pursuing an associate’s degree, much less a bachelor’s or master’s degree program. 

Purdue University Global created a fairly unique solution to the decades-old dilemma of helping service members balance their careers and pursue higher education simultaneously without compromising either. They translate the robust skillset and training of the enlisted American military member — leadership, small-unit tactics, communication, decision-making, developing subordinates, and so many others — into actual college credits. Then, they set students down on a path to an expedited degree, which can complete in as few as six courses.* Add in the option for stackable degrees and you’ve opened the doors wide to earn an advanced degree in a fraction of the time it would have taken on a traditional education path.

Purdue Global custom-built their Associate of Applied Science in Small Group Management program with servicemembers in mind, offering them a fast track to earning their associate’s degree entirely online. This expedited option works by taking occupational training courses that military members have already completed — such as the Corporals Course, Advanced Infantryman Course, or Basic Infantry Course for Marines, or the Advanced Leader Course, Warrior Leader Course, or Basic Leader Course for Army soldiers — and converting them into class credit. And by class credit, we’re not just talking about PE or Gen Ed classes; you can earn credit for major requirements and electives. If you’re in the Air Force or Navy,  they have options for you as well. Purdue Global always reviews your Joint Services Transcript and civilian transcripts to calculate what your transfer credits look like.†

If you’re looking to shorten your path to a bachelor’s degree, you will greatly benefit from Purdue Global’s stackable degree programs. After earning your AAS, you can transfer those course credits into a Purdue Global bachelor’s degree program using their Advanced Start Credit program. This program is great for people wanting to switch to a different program after completing an associate’s degree because it can help meet the general education requirements for a bachelor’s degree program. After earning a bachelor’s degree, you can also fast track to a master’s degree for certain programs in the same way. Being able to stack degree programs in this way significantly cuts down on the time it takes to earn subsequent degrees. You can talk to an Advisor to see what your options are for various degree paths. If you’re not ready to speak with an Advisor yet, you can check out their Military Credit Calculator to see for yourself how many college credits you already have from your prior military training and education.

But that’s not where the benefits stop. Purdue Global also offers tuition reductions — a 55% reduction for active-duty members and a 38% reduction for veterans.‡ If you’re curious about how much tuition would cost, check out the tuition calculator on their website. Your schedule will also benefit from the flexible course start dates. Rather than confining students to a typical fall or spring semester course launch, Purdue Global offers program start dates every month. This means you can start working towards your degree when it works best for you and your schedule. Purdue Global has a team of dedicated military advisors that can help you navigate your tuition and education options.

Purdue Global’s AAS in Small Group Management program helps remove many of the roadblocks that you may face when trying to pursue continuing education while balancing the ever-changing dynamics of a military career. They capitalize on your training and experience to give you a leg up on attaining a degree while offering stackable options that streamline subsequent degrees. Add in tuition reduction and flexible scheduling, and it truly doesn’t get much better than that. For more information about degree programs or courses from Purdue University Global check out their website here.

* The 6-course determination is specific to Army soldiers and Marines and is based on the transfer of 60 quarter credit hours toward the 90-credit AAS in Small Group Management. Coursework reduction reflects an educational mapping based on the completion of enlisted professional military education (EPME), credit for occupation duties, and credit for additional sources of prior learning (such as functional training, CLEP/DSST exams, and other college credit). Credit awards will vary based on occupation, skill level, completed military courses as listed on your official Joint Services Transcript(s), and applicable prior learning that can apply toward degree requirements. Purdue Global does not guarantee transferability of credit from any of these sources. All credits must be validated on official transcript(s) to be eligible for transfer.† Credit awards have service-level requirements. Exact transfer amount may vary depending on completed military courses and occupations as listed on your official Joint Services Transcript(s). Applicable state-specific program requirements, as listed in the University Catalog, may reduce the available transfer credits. All credits must be validated on official transcript(s) to be eligible for transfer.

‡ Military tuition rates cannot be combined with other Purdue Global tuition reductions or ExcelTrackTM pricing.

This article is made possible with Purdue University Global.