An occupation evaluation is an assessment of the “job” assigned to the service member to determine if the learning that has occurred above and beyond formal military training warrants college-level credit recommendations. This learning is more experiential in nature, but ACE executes a rigorous process in determining whether job knowledge, skills, and abilities are of postsecondary expectation.
Step 1: Team Meeting
The team meets the morning of the review to analyze the occupation documentation, identify any nuances with the review, underscore the process, and discuss the questions team members have. If the schedule doesn’t permit a team meeting the morning of the review, the team may meet the evening before for a business dinner.
Step 2: Review Process
Occupation reviews are focused on validating the job standards and expectations as established by the branch of service. The process includes interviews with the service members currently working in the occupation to support that validation. Before the interviews begin, faculty evaluators review the occupation description, occupation standards, job task analysis, promotion exams (when available), and manuals used on the job.
During the visit, the team will conduct a panel interview and conversation with several service members representing a variety of ranks (or skill levels) within each enlisted occupation. Due to the unique nature of the warrant officer community, the team interviews representatives from the community as a whole and credit recommendations are not broken out by pay grade.
Occupation interviews are typically scheduled at one-hour intervals; each session lasts approximately 50 minutes for enlisted occupations and 90 minutes for warrant officers. (Times for the interviews may be adjusted depending on the service and the panel size needed.) The purpose of the interviews is to validate the responsibilities, functions, duties, and skills outlined by the service. Not only should team members inquire about tasks performed on the job, but also the percentage of time spent performing these tasks. For your reference:
- The evaluation of the occupation should focus on the general occupation requirements that all service members must demonstrate.
- The service members on the panel have been selected to represent the entire occupation population of each enlisted pay grade. Individual educational attainment, goals, and experiences may not be reflective service-wide.
- Many occupations have specializations. Service members receive additional training to hold specific specializations. This training is evaluated separately.
The interview process is a key component of the occupation review. Consider these questions as you review the official documentation provided by the service and when formulating your questions for the panel interview.
- How does the military on-the-job training reflect college-level learning?
- Identify key components of the responsibilities, skills, and requirements associated with each occupation and how they relate to learning outcomes found in postsecondary curricula.
- Do the learning outcomes vary between pay grades?
The service members participating in the interviews should be prepared for the discussion. They typically receive a letter outlining the process. However, last minute substitutions, changes, and other issues frequently arise, so the service members who show up may not be familiar with the ACE occupation review process.
Step 3: Documentation
After the interviews are over, the team meets to share their thoughts, voice concerns, review their notes, and identify potential subject areas for credit recommendations.
When the team comes to a final consensus on the alignment of credit recommendations, collaboratively, they produce the final documentation, including crafting the subject area credit recommendations and supporting learning outcomes.
Step 4: Exit Briefing
At the end of the review, the team meets with military points of contact to discuss its unofficial findings. The ACE representatives will work with the team to prepare for the briefing; all evaluators should be prepared to account for their decisions, including those not to recommend credit.
Step 5: Final Report
After the evaluation, ACE staff conducts an internal review of the Team Consensus Sheets, enters the review results into a database, and prepares the draft final reports.
The organization will receive a draft final report within 30 working days of the evaluation and will have two to three days to correct any errors or ask questions. In case of any questions, KEEP YOUR OCCUPATION REVIEW NOTES FOR AT LEAST 30 DAYS!
Once the corrections are made, the final reports will appear in the Military Guide.