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Get credit for work and military experience

Published: February 24, 2014 | Updated: October 31, 2017

Emily Griffith had been working as a medical assistant for nearly 15 years when the Washington State Department of Health enacted Chapter 18.360 RCW, which requires people in healthcare facilities, who act as medical assistants, to have a credential. “Needless to say, I was not excited about the idea of going back to school for years and paying tens of thousands of dollars to get certified in something I’d already been doing,” she said.

After some research, she found Charter College, which offered her the chance to apply her extensive experience toward college credits, speeding up the process for certification.

“There are many people like this, who gain valuable work experience in a variety of disciplines, but who don’t get specific credentials for the work they’ve done,” said Charter College Chief Compliance Officer Jeffrey Bodimer.

Through a series of tests, classes and employer recommendations, Griffith was able to complete her certification in less than four months, which allowed her to get back out on the job market. She’ll start her new job as a Medical Assistant at Kadlec Health System in March of this year. “This has been a great experience for me, and I plan to stick with it,” Griffith said. “I’ll start working toward my associate degree this year. I just want to keep moving forward.”

Students interested in translating their military or work experience into credits will work with their Charter College program chair to document their work experience and have it validated. “We look at their specific experience and then compare it to the classes we offer, if there’s a match, we help them through the paperwork and validation,” said Bodimer.

Credit is awarded for experiential learning in a specific course (e.g. Payroll Fundamentals, Medical Insurance Billing Essentials, Network Security Fundamentals, etc.). Students can apply for Experiential Life Credit in certificate level programs only, and only for programs in which they’re enrolled. All experiential learning credits are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and credit is awarded at the discretion of the College. Learn more about experiential learning credits

Charter College is a private, independent institution of higher education, providing students with a career-focused education in growing job fields that include health care, business, information technology, criminal justice, the legal field, and select trades. Not all programs are available at all campuses. Charter College operates college campuses in California, Washington State, Alaska and operates an online program.