Sharpen Your Skills before Transitioning

Has it been a few years since you’ve tackled an algebra or geometry problem? How about chemistry? When was the last time you wrote an essay?

For veterans and transitioning service members who are considering college, the thought of facing any of these subjects might be enough to dissuade them from pursuing their education. That’s why the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Education have a number of college preparation resources in place. Because for most vets and service members, it’s not a matter of being incapable of handling these academic adventures – it’s just a matter of getting a little practice.

Below is an overview of four programs designed to help vets and service members get their skills assessed, practice and prepare for their college education.


The Online Academic Skills Course

The Department of Defense’s Online Academic Skills Course gives all service members, regardless of activation status, all and their families are access to study guides, resources, articles, and practice tests to help them practice their academic skills and even prepare for placement exams like the LSAT, GRE, and GMAT.


The Kuder® Career and Transition System

The Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support website features the Kuder Career and Transition System, which is a tool that was designed especially for the US Military. This comprehensive online resource helps veterans and service members learn skills and build a career plan.



Featured on the Department of Veterans Affairs GI Bill website, CareerScope® is a new tool that measures aptitude and interests by evaluating a students’ responses to an online test. At the end of the 60-minute test, the tool provides the student with potential career paths based on their responses.


Free Educational and Vocational Counseling

Chapter 36 – otherwise known as the VA’s Educational and Vocational Counseling program offers several services for transitioning service members who:

  • •  Are within six months prior to discharge from active duty.
  • •  Are within one year following discharge from active duty.
  • •  Currently receive educational assistance under Chapters 30, 31, 32, 33, 35, 1606, 1607.
  • •  Are Veterans and qualified dependents who are eligible for and have entitlement to education assistance under Chapters 30, 31, 32, 33, 35, 1606, 1607.

Services include career counseling, educational and vocational counseling, training program development, and academic and adjustment counseling. The goal is to identify and remove barriers to successful employment.


Veterans Upward Bound

The Department of Education offers the Veterans Upward Bound program to help veterans prepare for a successful college career. It is a free program, designed to help participants refresh their academic skills, including basic skills development, short-term remedial or refresher classes for high school grads and much more.


There’s no reason not to take advantage of the resources that have been created to help veterans and service members prepare for their college education. For student veterans and service members, there are people who want to help and whose purpose is to see you succeed. More information on these programs can be found at

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