Too Old for School? Part 2

Veterans Says No!

Anyone at any age with the desire to learn can “do college.” I can attest to this based on the many phone inquiries I receive here at DANTES from individuals of varying ages, asking for transcript information. The primary reason they are asking is because they are going back to school. Other reasons for transcripts include  employment verification or  for VA programs, such as the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP).

If I had to guess the average age of the veteran that is contacting DANTES for related information, the statistic would be greatly skewed! Although the average age of today’s college student is about 29 years of age, the average age is on the rise. In fact, we can expect that it will continue to increase as the “not so average” older adult and some veterans 60+ years of age are jumping in to “do college.” From the words of one of the wisest of DANTES customers, “Age is only my number and I want to finish my education to have something to show and pass to my grandchildren’s children.”  So, what are you waiting for?  Don’t let age restrict you. Jump in and learn how to “do college” today!

For valuable education resources, check out the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) Web site

Stacey Kirkpatrick is the Examinations Program Operations Manager for DANTES. She has over 10 years experience helping military members reach their education goals.

Too Old for School? Part 1

The Brain Says No!


graphic of brain synapsesI'm old. There, I said it. The person staring back at me in the mirror has to be my Mother, not me. My joints do an impersonation of the Snap! Crackle! And Pop! cereal characters when I stand up. I can't count the number of times I’ve had to retrace my steps to remember what I came into the room for. And, um, what was I saying? Oh yeah - does all of that mean I'm too old to go back to school? Hmmm... not so fast there.

The jury is still out on whether mental exercises magically stave off old age in the brain, but some studies at least show promise ( I think it is just common sense that the brain should be exercised every bit as much as the body to keep them both in shape. And nothing exercises the brain like going to school – whether to complete a degree, get a certification, or just gain knowledge and skills that help with your job and/or life. Researching and memorizing facts and creating designs and applying knowledge and... the list goes on and on. All that mental exercise can only do you good!.

It can be scary to go back to school if you haven't been there in a while, but rather than sit there and tell yourself “I can't do that,” get up and say “That sounds like fun!” Do some research, find the school/program that fits your goals, and get started. Ana Dinescu's blog post “I'm Too Old. It's Too Expensive.” discusses five issues returning students should consider, including the question of age. Check it out at

Now excuse me while I peruse this college course catalog. If only I could remember what for. **sigh**

For valuable education resources, check out the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) Web site

Nancy Hamilton, DANTES Editor


DANTES Web Site Gets a New Look

DANTES is proud to announce the launch of our NEW Web site. The DANTES Web experience has been completely transformed for improved functionality and navigation, to engage through images and interactive multimedia, and provide a quality “one stop” education-centric portal for our Service communities, partners, and stakeholders.

From the inspirational, informative videos that convey our mission, to the DANTES Digital Network news center that provides the latest information regarding benefits and programs, visitors will continue to find the quality and value that “Define Your Future.”

The DANTES site has grouped information, resources, forms and links specific to the intended audience: Service members, educational institutions and education counselors. Navigating the DANTES Web site couldn’t be easier. With menus at the top of each page you don’t have to go far to find what information is contained within — just hover over each menu item to get a deeper look.

Within the Service members area, DANTES provides tailored Subject areas which incorporate key Interest Point (IP) links:

  • Prep for College
  • Education Benefits
  • Contact a Counselor

Additionally, DANTES hopes to improve the quality of education and the overall education experience by promoting collaborations, information exchanges and direct partnerships with education providers via IP links:

  • Support Higher Education
  • College Credit Alternatives
  • Strategic Partners
  • DoD MOU
  • Counselor’s Toolbox

Finally, the DANTES web will improve delivery of program support to Service Education Counselors—providing tailored IP links and tools to best assist our Service members in achieving their education goals:

  • Counselor’s Toolbox
  • Counselor Support Programs
  • DoD MOU
  • Training

The DANTES Digital Network provides dynamic updates on programs and issues relevant to our community.

  • Videos
  • DANTES Pulse
  • Press Releases
  • Hot News
  • DIBs
  • Publications
  • Facebook/Twitter feeds

As with all things new, there will be some growing pains, so please be patient. If you are looking for something specific, click on the magnifying glass icon at the top of each page or view the Site Map at the bottom of each page. If you still can’t find what you want, contact information is located at

We will continue to grow and improve the Web site, so check back often and keep updated with the DIB, Hot News, or here at the blog.
Oh - very important - here’s the new URL:

Update your favorites and enjoy the new site.

Nancy Hamilton, DANTES Editor

DIB – March 2014

The DANTES March DIB is now available HERE!

What's Inside?

DANTES Web site gets a new look!
DANTES 40th Anniversary
Education still pays
Education centers: DANTES needs your help!
Reminder: OCONOS DSST paper-based testing ends soon
College financial assistance information you should know
Delaware TTT participant recognized for excellence
From the Desk of the Senior Enlisted Advisor
From the Desk of the Reserve Component Advisor
2014 CCME Symposium a great success — attendees gained vital insight on Voluntary Education programs and issues
VA launches GI Bill Comparison Tool
Free webinar series

Define Your Future: Navy Veteran Education Success Story

TTT Dennis Bye NavyTTT Dennis Bye Principal

Retired Navy Master Chief and Troops to Teachers (TTT) participant and mentor, Dennis Bye never envisioned a future in education. After tours onboard the USS Independence and with Patrol Wing FIVE, Bye pursued his bachelor’s degree in business studies, thinking that it would be useful when he eventually retired, which he did in 2002 after 27 years of Service.

Though Bye enjoyed his position with the Military Entrance Processing Station, the call to serve as an educator became too strong to ignore. After offering his resignation, Bye secured a position as a teaching assistant at his local school district while taking education courses at night. He then embarked on an eight year journey toward his goal of becoming a school administrator, eventually obtaining a master’s degree in educational administration and his New York state certification. After successful appointments at various schools in New York’s Capital Region, he was hired as Gloversville High School’s new Associate Principal in July 2013. Bye credits his motivation with the indelible impact a school administrator made on him when he was struggling with disciplinary issues in high school. “I had it in my head that I wanted to be like the Assistant Principal that saved me from being expelled,” Bye said.

In his new role at Gloversville, Bye will be charged with improving the high school’s dropout rate—one of the highest in the Albany area. With an impressive track record, including reducing the suspension rate at Troy School 2, Gloversville’s administration has commended Bye’s approach to discipline. “He has the management skills and attention to detail to help the high school—and entire district—achieve its goals,” stated Superintendent Michael Vanyo. Bye has also been praised for his ability to empathize with at-risk students and the environmental factors presenting a barrier to their education.

These accolades come as no surprise to the TTT organization. Like his fellow TTT participants, Bye possesses the discipline, experience with diversity, and leadership skills that differentiate him from civilian educators. With 17,000 participants who have successfully transitioned to teaching through the program, TTT continues to make a positive impact on classrooms around the country.

Bye advises, “Nobody else decides your future but you; decide on your goal, and go get it.” Drawing from a career marked by perseverance, Bye notes that this advice is just as valuable to veterans who are just beginning their transition to teaching.

This article was written by Elizabeth Murray, Troops to Teachers North Atlantic Region.

DIB – February 2014

The DANTES February DIB is now available HERE!

What's Inside?

Celebrating 40 years of excellent service!
New DANTES Web site to launch soon
Kuder® Journey program extended through 2015
Why aren’t more military members going to school?
Other VolEd news in the world...
Announcing GED Ready™: the official practice test
DANTES Annual Test Facilities Review
FY13 pass rates available on the DANTES Web site
New DSST exam launches in 2014
New VolEd Chief
What’s available for the deployed sailor?
ACE Military Course and Occupations Evaluation
Florida Governor Scott honors five Troops to Teachers veterans who chose to “Proudly Serve Again”
From the Desk of the Senior Enlisted Advisor
From the Desk of the Reserve Component Advisor
Department of VA update
Financial aid toolkit
Golf tournament honors Night Stalker Heroes

Education Complaint System for Military Students

Dear Military Student:

As a beneficiary of military tuition assistance, we want you to be aware that the Department of Defense officially launched its Postsecondary Education Complaint System for military students and family members.  Agency partners including the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Education are also launching similar feedback tools providing a centralized system for filing student complaints.  The initiative, which is part of the President’s Executive Order establishing Principles of Excellence for educational institutions serving Service Members, Veterans, Spouses, and Other Family Members, is designed to empower you and your family members to report misleading or unfair actions by educational institutions.  Examples of education-related issues may include, but are not limited to, misrepresentation or deceptive actions with regards to private or institutional loans, high-pressure recruitment tactics, false representations about degree programs, and misleading statements regarding accreditation.

If you or your family member is a Tuition Assistance (TA) or Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) Scholarship recipient, you are encouraged to submit feedback at: Similarly, feedback by GI Bill recipients can be submitted at and feedback by federal financial aid recipients can be sent to

All verified cases will be submitted to the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Network accessible by over 650 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies for use in enhancing and coordinating law enforcement investigations. Appropriate cases will be referred to the Department of Justice and/or Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Top FY 2013 Military CLEP and DSST Pass Rates

Knowing how military examinees score on CLEP and DSST exams allows military students to target the best options for earning college credit by examination. Taking these exams help service members save time and save tuition assistance dollars. During FY13, pass rates for military members have continued the recent trend of steadily increasing. Overall pass rates have increased from 50% to 61%, which is an 11-point improvement in the pass rates among all of the Services.
Military students score highest in the subjects of Principles of Supervision (DSST), Spanish Language (CLEP), and Analyzing and Interpreting Literature (CLEP). More military students take CLEP exams as compared to DSST exams, with the Air Force being the largest group of test takers. Check out the top 10 exam pass rates for FY 2013 below:

Test Type
Test Title
Pass Rate
Principles of
Spanish Language
Analyzing and
Interpreting Literature
College Composition
Introduction to
French language
Technical Writing
Business Ethics and
Introduction to
Information Systems
and Computer Applications
Environment and
Principles of

To view the FY13 pass rates for all DSST and CLEP exams visit the DANTES Web site at

How to Apply for Federal Financial Aid

The new year is a time for new beginnings. However, for most adults it is the beginning of tax season. If you are in school or planning to attend soon, tax season should prompt you to remember that it is time to start filling out your new federal financial aid application for the 2014-2015 school year (if you plan to use financial aid for the Spring 2014 or Summer 2014 semesters, complete the 2013-2014 application). Check out the video below to get started on your new application.

Many military members may qualify to receive federal grants that can offset the cost of tuition and books. As with any funding option, be informed. Learn more at .

A New Way to Search – Digital Public Library of America

Are you doing research for a project? Constructing your family tree? Looking for maps? Photos? Documents? Running out of places to look? A new way of searching online for all of the above and more was created in 2013 – the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).

The Chronicle of Higher Education Web site posted an article by Jennifer Howard, “Digital Public Library of America: Young but Well Connected,” that highlights this new endeavor.

The DPLA serves as the central link in an expanding network of cultural institutions that want to make their holdings more visible to the public. And it's begun to attract not only users in search of far-flung information but also developers who want to build new tools and applications on its open-source platform. The DPLA takes in millions of records of items held by libraries, museums, historical societies, and other cultural institutions across the country—more than 1,100 so far. Then it standardizes­ the records' metadata and uses it to point searchers toward items relevant to their interests.

The site is still growing, and new tools are added frequently to improve search functions. If this sounds like something that you can use to research a college paper, manage a project, search for your great-great-great-grandmother, or just look at a lot of cool photos, check out the DPLA Web site at

Nancy Hamilton, DANTES Editor