The purpose of the occupation site visit is to evaluate and validate on-the-job training for occupation designations to recommend postsecondary educational credit where appropriate.
ACE uses review teams composed of faculty members to formulate the credit recommendations. These individuals, faculty members from colleges and universities, serve as ACE consultants.
To make their recommendations, reviewers must first identify the skills, tasks, competencies, and knowledge associated with a given occupation. Prior to the visit, the military point of contact (POC) should provide a written description of the occupation, a progression chart showing the different levels or ranks within the occupation, a population count of the number of service members by pay grade being reviewed, and the official documentation highlighting the duties and skills.
The above information is validated by conducting interviews with service members working in each occupation. Each interview panel session lasts approximately 60 minutes for enlisted service members and 90 minutes for Warrant Officers.
Before the Review
Approximately 90-120 days before a scheduled review, ACE will alert the service point of contact (POC) about the review and the requirements for submitting documentation materials.
Approximately 60 days prior to the onsite visit, the official occupation documentation should be provided to ACE via firstname.lastname@example.org.
This documentation is service-specific, but may include:
Occupation/Rating/MOS manuals that include duties, qualifications, and expectations.
Technical guides/training manuals.
Other official military documentation.
Agenda and Directions:
ACE will provide a draft agenda for the evaluation visit The onsite POC will provide a completed agenda by the date requested and should address any scheduling concerns with the ACE field coordinator or the senior program manager.
Directions from the appropriate access gate or the hotel to the building location should be added to the agenda by the onsite POC. With that, please advise ACE staff of security requirements for access to the installation. ACE will provide the necessary information for access. Any passes that can be issued in advance are appreciated. If appropriate, please provide advance notice to the security gate/office personnel of the team’s arrival to expedite access.
Due to installation security issues, or for convenience, some POCs prefer to arrange van transportation to and from the hotel for the team. This courtesy is greatly appreciated by the review team.
Approximately 30 days before the scheduled site visit, the ACE field coordinator will schedule a telephone conference to review the list of occupations and draft agenda and to address any questions or concerns regarding the onsite visit.
The POC should invite anyone responsible for arranging the occupation interviews to the conference call.
The onsite POC will confirm that at least two service members per pay grade for enlisted occupations (with the appropriate skill levels) will be available for interviews (either physically or via phone) during the agreed-upon dates. For Warrant Officer occupations, credit recommendations apply to the community as a whole, so adequate representation from community managers and junior and senior Warrant Officers is necessary.
It is preferable to interview service members face-to-face when possible. It is recommended that back-up participants be available should an individual cancel. The team must interview at least two service members from each pay grade/skill level for enlisted occupations. If two members per pay grade are not available to participate, the interview and review will be cancelled. Due to the time limitations, please do not schedule more than three service members per pay grade. Only service members from the occupation and pay grade under review may participate in the interviews.
Because participants on the panel interviews convene together, the team will need a conference room or appropriate classroom that can hold 10–16 individuals. The service members are seated (according to pay grade/skill level) across from the team around a table or group of tables. Additionally, a table should be provided for the ACE staff to sit and work. If possible, a computer with Internet access and a telephone should be available.
Please provide pads of paper, #2 pencils, and an electric pencil sharpener for the reviewers. The team will also need a whiteboard or an easel with chart paper.
The order of the interviews may be changed to accommodate scheduling conflicts. For each interviewee, the name, rank, time in service, and time in grade should be provided in the schedule information. Substitutions may be made onsite if necessary. The completed schedule should be sent via email to ACE no later than two weeks before the visit.
If service members will be participating via telephone conference, it is important to have an appropriate telephone system, such as a POLYCOM. Cell phone and basic office telephone speakers do not work well in a large group.
Preparing Service Members:
ACE recommends that the onsite POCs communicate with and prepare the service members participating in the interview/validation process. A copy of the “Dear service member” letter should be distributed to the interviewees prior to the interviews. The letter provides background information on ACE and the purpose of the interviews, as well as some sample questions.
Service members should also be provided copies of or a list of the official documentation being provided to the team. Because the interview process is a validation of the job task knowledge, skills, and abilities, the service member should have a thorough understanding of what is being documented. The interview members should also be encouraged to reflect on the percentage of time they spend on tasks, the scope of responsibilities, and level of authority to make decisions.
During the Review
In-Briefing (approximately 20–30 minutes):
A general presentation and overview by the POC and any other appropriate personnel helps the team understand the occupations being reviewed. The presentation should cover such topics as force structure, density, population by pay grade, career trajectory, and description of the occupation. In addition, any unique nuances should be pointed out to the team at this time.
The in-briefing should also include introductions of key personnel involved in the review.
The ACE field coordinator will briefly describe the background and goals of the American Council on Education and the Center for Education Attainment and Innovation, with particular emphasis on military occupation reviews. The field coordinator will be available during the site visit, if there are further questions.
If available, the service members scheduled in each group should report to a ready room near the conference room. Otherwise, service members should convene in the hallway outside the conference room. The interviews cannot begin until all interviewees on the panel are present.
The questions asked during the interview session focus on the duties expected within a particular designator and enlisted pay grade/skill levels. The individual is not being evaluated during this process. Responses to the questions give the reviewers valuable insight into the scope of the required duties, enabling them to write a comprehensive subject area credit recommendation with supporting learning outcomes.
The service POCs may not be present during the interviews, but should be available to the team at all times. If interview participants fail to arrive on schedule, the POC should immediately contact those individuals or their replacements, as appropriate.
Exit Briefing (approximately 30 minutes):
The exit briefing is an unofficial evaluation report conducted to discuss some initial findings. At that time, the ACE field coordinator will provide the unofficial credit recommendation totals.
After the Review
ACE will submit a final report to the point-of-contact no later than 30 working days after the visit.
If the POC does not raise any issues about the occupation data in the final report, the occupation exhibits will appear on the ACE Military Guide
three days after the report submission to the service.
If there are questions that require clarification, the results will not be released until they are resolved.
There is no rebuttal option.