Military Academic Credit Review Board

Military Academic Credit Review Board (MAC-RB)


Bloomsburg University's Military Academic Credit Review Board, commonly called the MAC-RB, is a body comprised of faculty, staff, and students committed to serving those who have served — or who are currently serving — in U.S. armed forces. MAC-RB operations follow a process that insures a focused, analytical review of all occupations, trainings and deployments an individual military student experienced over the course of their career in the armed forces.

The process determines appropriate, but only academically justifiable, BU credit equivalencies. The MAC-RB will be responsible for ensuring military service and experience is acknowledged as appropriate academic credit on an individualized basis, and in a manner that is most advantageous to the student’s educational and career aspirations. The MAC-RB, and its procedures were developed by Bob Heckrote, supervisor of the Office of Military and Veterans Resources, and William V. Hudon, professor of History, after administrative approval through a 2016-17 Strategic Enrollment Management initiative.

This individualized process is innovative, even path-breaking. It exists nowhere else in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Only a handful of colleges and universities nationwide are doing anything so service intensive and academically grounded to support military students and veterans.

Who is eligible to participate in the MAC-RB?

All current and former military members are welcomed and encouraged to undergo MAC-RB review. Service members who are actively enrolled at BU will have priority over those who are not yet students. Individuals who would like their materials reviewed prior to becoming BU students will receive an unofficial, cursory review. The MAC-RB process is not just for long-term, active duty military members.

This process helps current, junior military members as well. Initially, the MAC-RB will be reviewing eligible students in order of academic credit seniority. Board members understand military students hope for recognition of their military experience in the form of numerous transfer equivalencies. But whether their individual training and occupational specialization in the armed forces result in many transferred credits or not, all students undergoing the review will understand the rationale on which decisions are made through individualized explanation. By commencing and implementing MAC-RB review, BU wishes to deliver an unmistakable message to U.S. military personnel: their unique experiences are recognized and valued

Military Academic Credit Review Board

Apply for the MAC-RB

Office of Military and Veterans Resources
204 Student Services Center
stvets@bloomu.edu | 570-389-3856

Hours:
  Monday to Friday
  8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

 

How do I start the MAC-RB process?

Send an email to stvets@bloomu.edu stating you would like to participate in the MAC-RB review process. We will put you on a roster, and then we will contact you as we process the current students.

What do I need to start?

You will need to gather necessary documents to provide evidence of service.

  • DD-214 – Required (Member 4)
  • JST / CCAF – Required (we can help you request these)
  • Possibly additional military documentation showing what you have done in the military
  • Possibly a personal narrative detailing your military career
      » (A prompt for the personal narrative will be provided at the time of consultation.)

The MAC-RB process requires review of a military student’s evidence packets and personal interviews with the MAC-RB executive committee. The Office of Military and Veterans Resources will serve as a liaison to guide you through the necessary steps of the MAC-RB process. Coordination with the Office of Military and Veterans Resources, MAC-RB executive committee, and yourself will be essential in efficiently completing the process.

Pennsylvania Army National Guard

Academic credit for military training

Like many young men and women, Joseph Bennett’s desire to join the military grew from the events of 9/11. A 2000 graduate of Athens High School, Bennett, joined the United States Army in 2001 and served multiple combat deployments before moving on to flight school. Right now he is an aviator for the Pennsylvania Army National Guard where he has piloted AH-64D Apache helicopters as well as the LUH-72, light-duty helicopters tailored for domestic missions.

Bennett had attended BU many years ago (2004), but multiple combat deployments and flight school training conflicted with his academic schedule so he did not complete his academic degree. Recently though, his desire to finish his degree in history with a minor in Middle East Studies he started years ago became stronger. That’s where Bloomsburg’s Military Academic Credit Review Board (MAC-RB) came into the picture.

“Having the opportunity to get academic credit for my military training was such a benefit,” says Bennett. “The MAC-RB program allowed me to gain 18 credits which reflected my advanced training as a leader and an aviator in the Army. Due to my unique experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, I was given credit that was in commensuration of that background. This program has given me the ability to graduate earlier than initially anticipated.”

MAC-RB enables Air Force vet graduate

Some veterans enroll at Bloomsburg University after lengthy, distinguished military careers. They hope, understandably, to move through the curriculum to complete a bachelors’ degree as quickly as possible. Patrick Fleishauer, a decorated master sergeant with a twenty-year career in the United States Air Force, was one such student. He had served in Germany for two years, for another in South Korea, and was the team leader constructing the entire electrical infrastructure for a brand new Air Force base in Saudi Arabia in 2003. He found that the MAC-RB review process recognized his unique set of experiences in Air Force training, occupational specializations, and deployments, resulting in substantial help toward the completion of his bachelors’ degree in technical leadership (BASTL).

“Since my retirement [2004] I have always wondered,” Fleishauer explained. “... why certain aspects of what military members have done for our country could not be considered for college credit.”

He found that the MAC-RB program broke with that long-standing pattern.

“I immediately applied to the program,” Fleishauer said, where he encountered a “well managed” procedure. “I was absolutely shocked to learn that I was awarded 16 credits for my military experiences. For someone like myself who works full time and goes to school at night, this was truly a pleasant surprise.”

He considers BU's MAC-RB process “truly a great benefit to anyone who has served in the military and is looking for a great school to attend.” He commended the people who worked with him in the process. He called them “true professionals ... (who) really care about veterans.”

MAC-RB helps Airman's graduation timeline

Like many active duty military members, reservists and veterans who enroll at Bloomsburg University, Ian Whelan found that his academic interests connected with his military training and occupation. Whelan is a senior Airman and member of the Air Force Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) based in Fort Indiantown Gap. He came to BU for the bachelor’s degree program in Russian and Eastern European Studies.

“It fit with the work I was doing in TACP, with the Pennsylvania State Partnership for Peace,” he explained. Russian language skills provided him with a bump in pay, “and those skills, plus my growing knowledge of eastern European cultures,” he added, “helped a great deal on my deployments in Lithuania, Ukraine, and the Czech Republic in the summer and fall of 2018.”

Whelan benefitted considerably by undergoing MAC-RB review. He secured 19 credit hours through the process.

“Well, if you figured it on a scale of one-to-ten, the positive difference MAC-RB made for me was a twelve. It was the best thing that happened to help me complete the degree.”

He encourages all military students at BU — and those considering future college enrollment — to look closely at this innovative program.

“I would tell students to fully invest in it . . . [as] the process is here to help you.” MAC-RB review requires some documentation, but “put everything on the table,” Whelan advises, “because it can benefit you ... you WILL get something out of it.”