In the last blog we discussed getting the credit you deserve from your military service, and making sure the college you want to pursue your degree with takes into account your military training and experience for college credits. In this month’s discussion, we will explore the Joint Services Transcript – JST.
So what exactly is the Joint Services Transcript?
Basically, the Joint Services Transcript (JST) is a record showing the equivalent college credits you have earned through your military training and experience. Your JST will also reflect all college-level courses you have taken that you used military tuition assistance to fund. So in essence, your JST is your military college transcript.
How is the JST generated?
Your JST is generated based on information provided by the service branches (Army, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard – the Air Force issues its own Community College of the Air Force transcript) in the form of your military personnel records and training jacket (MPRJ). Your MPRJ provides the data needed to generate your JST.
The service branches also provide information to the American Council on Education (ACE) on courses and schools taught, ranks, ratings, duty positions, and other elements. All of the information provided by the service branches to ACE is then reviewed and evaluated. The result is a listing of competencies and recommendations for equivalent college credits. All of this information goes into generating your specific JST.
How can you get your JST?
If you are or were a member of the Army, Navy, Marines, or Coast Guard, regardless of your status (active, guard, or reserve), you can request your JST from this website. If you are or were a member of the Air Force, you can obtain your Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) transcripts from this website.
There is an important thing to remember. Your JST is based on data received from your particular branch of service, so depending on when you request your JST, it may not be 100% accurate. Why? Perhaps you recently completed an NCO Professional Development Course, or you were recently promoted. In either case, it takes time to process the required paperwork and get the data into the personnel system and then into the JST system. So it is important that when you receive your JST to review it thoroughly for accuracy. If something is not correct, you will need to go through your personnel office to correct the error. The JST website has links to get your documents updated and corrected.
Why is this important? If your JST is inaccurate, it could cause you to lose college credits that you may be able to transfer into the school and degree program you are seeking to pursue. Based on the school or training course attended, or rank you were promoted to, it could mean losing up to 12 to 15 credit hours in college credit. This is the number of credits normally taken by a full-time student in one college semester!
Getting the credit you deserve all starts with making sure the record of your military service as reflected on your JST is accurate. It continues with ensuring the school you are looking to attend will review your JST and award you college transfer credit.
In our next blog, we begin to take a look at the student services of a military friendly institution.