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Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

Prior learning is learning gained through life or work outside of structured higher educational courses. Veteran and Adult Learner Programs works with UNG students in regards to PLA by evaluating military transcripts, assessing ACE Credits, providing study materials for CLEP and DSST exams, and by assisting with the creation of portfolios.

A total of 45 hours may be awarded toward a bachelor’s degree program and 30 hours toward an associate degree program.

For more information consult the PLA Student Handbook.

Joint Services Transcript (JST)

The JST system is setup to send your official electronic JST to UNG once you have setup a free JST account. UNG will only evaluate JST’s for students who are currently accepted into UNG.

Evaluations may take up to two weeks. You will be emailed at your UNG email account with updates or a completed evaluation. Questions? Email transfer@ung.edu.

JST FAQs

UNG's Evaluation Process of a JST
How do I send my official JST paperwork to UNG?
  1. Register for a JST account.
  2. Click on the 'Transcripts' tab at the top of the page, then click the 'Official Transcript Request' tab.
  3. Type in University of North Georgia
  4. Acknowledge Consent Statement:
  5. If the location is correct, you will need to click the box at the bottom of the screen stating you have read and agree with the consent statement, then click ‘Yes’.  You will receive a confirmation page stating the request has been completed. 
  6. If the location is incorrect, click ‘No’ at the bottom of the page and you will be returned to the list of institutions to allow you to select the correct location.
What is my next step after I electronically submit my JST?
  1. Speak with your VA Representative/Financial Aid Counselor regarding how military credits could affect your account
  2. Go to Banner Web to request your review
    1. Student Tab/Student Records
    2. Military Transfer Credit Request
    3. Read entire form
    4. Fill out fully & submit
Please note: Evaluations can take up to two weeks. You will be emailed at your UNG email account with updates or a completed evaluation.
How much does it cost to send my JST electronically to UNG?
There is NO cost for JST transcripts via the Joint Services website or to have UNG review your JST.
What UNG department receives and reviews my JST?

The Registrar’s office receives and posts any approved credits from your JST.

Email transfer@ung.edu any questions concerning approved credits from your JST.

Campus Contacts:

  • Blue Ridge, Cumming and Dahlonega Campus:  Suzanne Jabaley, Associate Registrar
  • Gainesville and Oconee Campus:  Rebecca Spearman, Transfer Credit Evaluator
Where can I find military equivalencies that are already approved?

To find specific approved military equivalencies:

  1. Visit the Transfer Course Equivalencies web page
  2. For “State” select “GA – Georgia” and click “Submit State”
  3. For “Select School” select “Credit for Military Experience” and click “Submit Institution”
  4. For “Select Report” you may click “Full Report” to show all Approved Military Credits, or you may click “Subject Report” and select a specific branch or occupation code
If I print out a copy of my unofficial JST, will UNG accept it for credit?

UNG will not accept a printed copy of your JST, it must be sent electronically via the JST website.

 

Ordering a JST

What does JST stand for? What is a JST?

JST is the Joint Services Transcript that has replaced the Coast Guard Institute Transcript, the Army/American Council on Education Registry Transcript System (AARTS) and the Sailor/Marine American Council on Education Registry Transcript (SMART). JST is an academically accepted document approved by the American Council on Education (ACE) to validate a service member's military occupational experience and training along with the corresponding ACE college credit recommendations.

Who is eligible for JST?

All enlisted, officers and warrant officers, both active and veterans from all Army components, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy. Note that JST receives its data from underlying Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy personnel systems. 

Air Force personnel should contact CCAF to receive transcripts.

How do I register for a JST account?

If you currently have a CAC card and were prior enlisted, you do not need to register for a JST account (JST should already have your personnel record).

If you do not have access to a Common Access Card (CAC) or a CAC reader you will need to register for a JST account.

How do I view and print my personal/unofficial transcript?

Once you have logged into the JST website, click on the link at the top that says "Transcripts". From there, you can view your transcript by using the "Transcript" link. This page also has links that allow you to view your transcript. The transcript contains sections for Military Course Completions, Military Experience and College Level Test Scores. You can print or save the transcript for your records.

I received the message "This account has been disabled." What should I do?

Your account will be locked after three unsuccessful login attempts or if the account has not been logged into within the last 30 days.

If you are locked out due to unsuccessful login attempts send an email to jst@doded.mil and request to have your account unlocked. They will need your full name and the last four digits of your social security number (SSN). Do NOT send your entire SSN. Do not register for a new account, it will be locked out as well.

If you are disabled due to 30 days of inactivity you will need to register again for a JST account.

I have forgotten my password and/or username, how can I get this information?

You will need to register again for a JST account. If you have problems establishing an account send an email with your first name, your last name, and the last four numbers of your SSN to jst@doded.mil and request your username and password.

I received the message "Unable to locate your personnel record." What should I do?

This message is shown if JST does not have your personnel records or if they can't match what you entered to a person in their system. Before you email them, please double-check the information you have entered into the registration form.
Note: Air Force personnel should contact CCAF to receive transcripts.

Some common data entry issues:

  • do not accidently put a space after your name
  • do not use any punctuation (such as apostrophes or dashes)
  • verify that you have entered the DOB in the MM/DD/YYYY format.

For example, if your name is O'Donnell, it may be in their system as ODonnell and if you were born on December 25, 1950 you should enter your DOB as 12/25/1950.

Also, if you have recently had a name change, that change may not have gone through the system yet and you may want to try registering with your previous name.

If you are still unable to register please send an email with your first name, your last name, and the last four numbers of your SSN to jst@doded.mil and let them know that the system was unable to locate your personnel record. They will then research the issue and provide you with further instructions.

What benefit does JST provide me?

It provides a description of military schooling and work history in civilian language. It serves as a counseling tool for academic and career counselors in advising service members and veterans. It serves as an aid in preparing resumes and explaining Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, National Guard and Navy work experience to civilian employers. It also saves time and money by awarding academic credits, which means less tuition to pay and less time spent in the classroom.

If an applicant has served in more than one branch of the Armed Services, can all the information be consolidated into one transcript?

Yes. The Joint Services Transcript (JST) includes consolidated information for the Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard.  The Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) is regionally accredited and therefore issues its own transcripts.

Do I have to be active duty to access the JST website?

No, you do not have to be active duty to access the JST website and your transcript. Active duty, Reserve, Veterans or National Guard personnel can use JST. You will need to first register for a JST account. Air Force personnel should contact CCAF to receive transcripts.

Is there a limit to the number of official transcripts I can have sent out?

Delivery method (indicated on screen when you order) determines how many transcripts can be ordered/sent out. If the delivery method is electronic then there is no limit. Army and National Guard can only order to institutes that have electronic delivery.

If the delivery method is US Postal Service (USPS) then only 2 transcripts can be ordered within a 30-day period due to the cost associated with generating and mailing.

How far back does the data on JST go?

The data can go back as far as 1976 but data older than 1994 may be missing or incomplete. We can include training on your transcript that was taken prior to 1976. The older the data, the greater the chance something could be missing.

DANTES data (CLEPs, DSSTs, etc.) goes back to 1975; if taken before 1975 or taken at other than a military test center, the data will never be displayed. If the test was recent, it may not yet appear.

How do I request an official transcript for employment?

Please complete an Official JST Consent and Request Form with the employer information and email to jst@doded.mil.

ACE Recommendations on a JST

What does ACE stand for?

ACE stands for American Council on Education.

How does ACE assist with JST’s?

ACE evaluation teams are sent to military locations and reviews military courses and occupations. The evaluation team consist of subject-matter experts and ACE staff. The team recommends the equivalent college credits you will find underneath each military course/occupation on your JST. 

What does the ACE ID mean on a course exhibit and the JST?

All courses reviewed by ACE have a corresponding ACE identification number (ACE ID). The ACE Military Guide, can be searched by ACE ID number to view additional data about a course, such as related competencies and learning outcomes. Course ID numbers have two-letter codes that identify the service: AR is Army, NV is Navy, MC is Marine Corps, AF is Air Force, and CG is Coast Guard.

What does the version number mean after the ACE ID on a course exhibit?

The version number for the course is listed to the right of the ACD ID.  ACE tracks the history of curriculum changes and credit recommendations for courses with the same ACE ID by using version numbers. The course populates the JST based on when the service member started the course and successfully completed it and aligns it to the exhibit dates covered by the appropriate version.

Most MOS exhibits do not carry a specific credit recommendation for Skill Levels 10 and 20. Why is that?

One of ACE's criteria for evaluating an occupational system is that it must provide for the assessment of the individual. Since the Army no longer offers a standardized testing system, ACE recommends credit only for Skill Levels 30, 40, and 50. For Skills Levels 10 and 20, colleges and universities may grant credit based on an individualized assessment of the student.

 

How can you determine the end date of a particular rank on the JST?

The end date of a particular rank can be determined by viewing the date of the next occupation entry on the JST. An end date for a particular rank is not provided on the JST as end dates are not recorded in the service member’s personnel record.

Study Materials and Assistance Available

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) helps you receive college credit for what you already know.

The UNG Testing Center coordinates the administration dates for the examinations. View available CLEP test dates.

The Testing Center and Veteran & Adult Learner Programs provide study guides and test preparation books for most subjects. 

Dantes Subject Standardized Test (DSST)

The Dantes Subject Standardized Tests (DSST), formerly DANTES, is a national credit by examination program recognized by the American Council on Education.

The UNG Testing Center administers all DSST exams. View available DSST test dates.

The Testing Center and Veteran & Adult Learner Programs provide study guides and test preparation books for most subjects. 

Foreign Language Achievement Testing Service (FLATS)

The paper and pencil test is taken by correspondence. The test will be sent to the Testing Office where an appointment will need to be scheduled for you to be given the proctored exam.

For current information and cost please visit the UNG FLATS testing web page

Portfolio

Students use the PLA portfolio development process to document their prior learning. This process requires students to prepare and submit a collection of documents that establish and support their claim that they have specific relevant skills, knowledge, values, attitudes, understandings, achievements, experiences, competencies, training, and certifications that align with specific course objectives. The portfolio developed in the documentation course should not only describe the relevant experience but should also identify the particular learning outcomes.

Students must also offer a critical self-assessment of what college-level learning has been acquired through selected non-traditional experience. This experience might include a variety of work, training, reading and research, civil and military service, or life learning.

Once students complete and submit the PLA portfolio, assessors will evaluate it to determine if the portfolio provides evidence which ties those skills to a specific course objective. If the portfolio does so, credit may be awarded when assessors determine that the prior learning is acceptable for credit.  A separate portfolio must be prepared for each course for which a student is seeking credit.

Detailed information concerning Prior Learning Assessment through Portfolio development can be found in the PLA Student Handbook.

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