What is a Joint Services Transcript?

Military and ex-military personnel who want to enter a college or university will be assisted by the newly-released JST or Joint Services Transcript. This is a valuable tool for students and schools alike, offering a standardized form that enables schools to see a student’s test scores, experience and training. Using the tool, schools are able to give the service person course credits for skills and knowledge acquired in the military.

What is Included in the Transcript

The JST begins with the official seal of the service branch represented by the student. That is because each JST is owned by the appropriate service. “Dantes/ Joint Service Transcript” says the document is divided into six sections. The first lists military courses completed and employment history. It also recommends which courses at college level are approximated by the military classes and their credit values. The second section is a compilation of college-level test scores. These include the CLEP, Excelsior, DSST, NCPACE and ACT/PEP scores. The next section details military occupation experience. Jobs are evaluated by the American Council on Education and matched with the appropriate college courses. Although not all occupations have been evaluated, the ones that have will show job duties and skills acquired and recommend the courses and credits that should be awarded. Other pertinent data follows, including a list of actual college courses taken by the service member, dates completed and credits earned. The document ends with a summary page that allows fast and easy interpretation of the information.

Why The JST is Important

The transcript is a standardized form that is used by all military services to help students earn credits for the thigs they have learned in the military. It, like regular transcripts, helps schools assess the academic level of incoming students to determine graduation requirements. The JST is certified by the American Council on Education and is accepted by more than 2300 colleges and universities. The ACE accreditation means that military learning is evaluated in light of existing college courses and then the commission recommends which courses should apply and how much credit is entailed. The transcript even gives recommended course numbers and titles. Without this standardized transcript, schools would have to make their own decisions about how to credit the military experience and the policies would differ between institutions. That means transfer between schools would be difficult, if not impossible.

Cost for the JST

The transcript says, near the top, whether it is official or unofficial. Students may create an account and access the digital, or unofficial, document at any time, but they must order the official JST through the website for a fee.

Besides making college admission simpler for military and ex-military students, the JST is a more cost-effective way for them to use their educational benefits. It reduces or eliminates redundant classes and allows the service person to earn a degree in less time. It also makes the university process of awarding life experience credits more fair because the recommendations are standardized. That makes the Joint Services Transcript, accredited by the American Commission on Education, a valuable tool.