Veterans in Colorado will get credit for college courses under bill signed into law Thursday

Author: Joey Bunch - June 2, 2017 - Updated: June 5, 2017

veterans in Colorado
Thousands turn out for the Colorado Springs Veterans Day Parade in 2015. (Photo by Daniel Owen/Colorado Springs Gazette file photo)

Colorado Politics has been telling you from its start about House Bill 1004, which will grant veterans college credits for military training and experience. Thursday Gov. John Hickenlooper signed it into law.

The bill was sponsored by Reps. Jessie Danielson, D-Wheat Ridge, and Dafna Michaelson Jenet, D-Commerce City, with Sens. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, and Owen Hill, R-Colorado Springs.

“We have an obligation to our veterans to honor the American dream they fought for,” Danielson said in a statement. “And part of that is taking concrete steps to give veterans access to good-paying jobs. One significant obstacle that veterans face when transitioning to civilian life is not being able to convert their service into college credit. This new law will remove that barrier so that their service is honored and they save time and money when seeking a college degree.”

The new law requires the state’s colleges and universities to figure out a policy in place to translate service into college credits using the American Council on Education‘s recommendations and other sources.

Colorado is home to nearly 400,000 men and women who have served in the military. Both Persian Gulf wars represent about 12 percent each and Vietnam veterans account about 33 percent, according the 2015 U.S. Census estimate.

About one-third of Colorado’s veterans have at least a bachelor’s degree, compared to a 26 percent national  average. About 6 percent of veterans in Colorado are currently enrolled in higher education programs, compared to about 5 percent national average.

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.