The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs and numerous Illinois state agencies are actively taking steps to develop policies and procedures through which military experience can be applied toward professional licensing standards.
On February 6, 2013, Governor Pat Quinn issued an Executive Order 13-02 that tasks state agencies to (1) identify overlaps and gaps between military training and state licenses, and (2) propose recommendations by which assessment processes can be implemented that allow such training and education to be considered for purposes of state licensure requirements. To view the Executive Order, please click here. Identifying such gaps will enable educational institutions to design programs (for subsequent approval by the relevant state licensing agency), through which service members may obtain any additional training and education necessary to obtain state licensure in the relevant field.
Executive Order 13-02 mandates a timeline for a) the production by May 7, of a consolidated and prioritized list of licenses in Illinois that have a corresponding or relevant military career field; b) the relevant state agency to assess, within 90 days of receipt of military training documents, the gap between military training and state license requirements OR the required additional information needed to assess that gap; and c) within 30 days of a state agency producing a gap assessment for a given license, the publication of that gap on the IDVA website.
Making Military Experience Count toward Professional Licensing Standards
IDVA is honored with the task of leading and coordinating implementation of the Executive Order. As a part of the effort to (1) assist educational institutions in building and obtaining approval for gap-bridging programs and (2) aid veterans in identifying outstanding requirements for particular state licenses, IDVA provides regular posts to this webpage with specifics on particular gap-bridge programs.
Collaborative Partners Include:
- Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
- Illinois Department of Public Health
- Illinois Department of Employment Security
- Illinois Department of Military Affairs (Illinois National Guard)
- Illinois Office of the Fire Marshal
- Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
The following military occupational specialties are in process of being assessed by Illinois licensing authorities:
- Dental Hygienist
- Pharmacy Technician
- Physical Therapy Assistant
The following military occupational specialties were not deemed relevant by Illinois licensing authorities:
Military Bridge Programs – Accelerated Pathways to Obtain
Veterans and servicemembers now have the special
opportunity to enroll in Military Bridge Programs offered at select colleges
throughout the state. These programs are customized for eligible veterans,
providing credit for relevant military experience and offering a quicker, more
affordable way to obtain a high-value professional credential. These
programs are the product of a collaborative initiative of the Office of the
Governor, the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs, state licensing
agencies, participating educational institutions, the National Governors
Association, and other key stakeholder groups.
Corpsman to Practical Nurse Program (LPN Bridge Program)
DuPage, Joliet Junior College, and Illinois Central College are offering an 8-week,
6-credit program customized for veterans who have previous training through
the METC Basic Medical
Technician Corpsman Program. Students completing the Medical Corpsman
to Practical Nurse Program will be awarded a Practical Nursing Certificate and
will be eligible to sit for the national Practical Nurse Licensing Exam (NCLEX-PN). For more info, see
the program brochure.
Veterans Time and Money
Tuition and Fees are
reduced from approximately $15,360 to $2,950. That’s a savings of more
than $12,000 (costs may vary slightly based on the college you attend).
are reduced from roughly 1,600 hours to 250 hours (42 credit hours to 6 credit
hours). That’s an 18-month reduction.
March 9 to
May 8, 2015 – Joliet
o June 8 to August 2, 2015 – College of DuPage
to October 10, 2015 – Illinois Central College
Navy and Air Force veterans* who successfully completed the METC Basic Medical
Technician Corpsman Program within the last five years. If more than five
years, demonstrate at least one year of experience using corpsman skills in
last five years (as verified by a letter from a current and/or previous
GI Bill Approved / In-District Tuition
veterans can use available benefits (GI Bill, Illinois Veterans Grant, etc.) to
cover applicable expenses. Students will be charged in-district tuition
Apply / Questions
College of DuPage
Joliet Junior College
Current Military Training Equivalencies – For Veterans
IDVA is actively working to help veterans receive credit toward state licensing standards for relevant military training. So if you’re a veteran with experience in any of the areas listed below, find out how your prior training applies toward state licensing standards:
1) Military Medics to Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) - Military medics are qualified to be a CNA and are exempt from training if they have proof of completing a hospital corpsman or medical service specialist training from the Air Force, Army, or Navy (certificate or DD 214). If they have one of these, then they would only need to have a skills check-off and pass the written competency exam.
Military Medic - CNA Approved Assessment [Full Equivalency] (PDF, 164 KB)
2) Military Medics to First Responders (EMR) - Military medics are qualified to be an EMR and are exempt from training if they have proof of completing a hospital corpsman or medical service specialist training from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, or the Air Force (certificate or DD 214). If the military medic in question is an active (drilling) member of the IL National Guard with a current CPR certification and have no other disqualifiers, an EMT-B license can be issued without the testing. If they possess one of these, then military veterans would only need to have a skills check-off and pass the written competency exam.
Military Medic - EMR Approved Assessment [Full Equivalency] (Link)
3) Army Medics to Emergency Medical Technicians Basic (EMT-B) - Army medics are qualified to be an EMT-Basic and are exempt from training if they have proof of completing a hospital corpsman or medical service specialist training from the Army (certificate or DD 214). If they possess one of these, then military veterans would only need to have a skills check-off and pass the written competency exam.
4) Educational Waivers
Illinois State Police and the Illinois Conservation Police – The educational requirements needed to join the Illinois State Police will be waived for veterans who have been honorably discharged with a campaign medal of service in Afghanistan or Iraq. All other requirements to join the Illinois State Police still apply. For further information, please contact the Illinois State Police.
Additionally, the educational requirements needed to join the Illinois Conservation Police (a component of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources) will be waived if they:
- Have been honorably discharged and awarded a Southwest Asia Service Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, or Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal by the United States Armed Forces;
- Or are active members of the Illinois National Guard or a reservist component of the Unites States Armed Forces and awarded a Southwest Asia Service Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, or Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal as a result of honorable service during deployment on active duty
All other requirements to join the Illinois Conservation Police still apply. For further information, please contact the IDNR Office of Law Employment.
Educational Waiver for Municipal Police and Firefighters - The educational requirements of an Associate's Degree needed to be hired as a firefighter or policeman [woman] are waived if (1) applicant served honorably for 24 months of active duty or (2) the applicant served 180 days in combat. The educational requirements of a Bachelor's Degree needed to be hired as a firefighter or policeman [woman] are waived if (1) applicant served honorably for 36 months of active duty or (2) the applicant served 180 days in combat. The law takes effect on August 19, 2013.
5) Commercial Driver’s License (Military Skills Test Waiver Program) – Under the Military Skills Test Waiver Program, effective January 1, 2014, military personnel and recently discharged servicemembers seeking to obtain an Illinois Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) have the opportunity to have their skills testing (pre-trip, skills, and road) waived. To qualify, the applicant must submit, within 12 months of discharge, a fully completed and acceptable Application for Military Skills Test Waiver signed by their Commanding Officer. Applicants must also successfully complete the relevant written testing and pay the necessary fees.
Download the Application For Military Skills Test Waiver. For further information, please contact your local CDL Secretary of State Facility.
6) Police Academy Intern Program at Southwestern Illinois College
The Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board (ILETSB) Intern Program is an ideal training outlet for veterans seeking a career in law enforcement. Successful intern applicants attend a basic law enforcement training academy (400-hour program) and, upon passing the state certification examination, will receive ILETSB State Certification. Interns are integrated into classes with sworn officers and receive the same training. The costs for training (tuition, housing, meals, etc.) are the responsibility of the intern, but eligible interns may use the Illinois Veterans’ Grant, GI Bill or the Workforce Investment Act to pay tuition. This program is for Illinois residents only and seats are limited. Applicants must have valid Illinois driver's license and Illinois Firearms Owner Identification Card. Other facts:
- 90-95% of Interns (1/3 are veterans), have been hired as part-time or full-time peace officers.
- Receive college credit that may be applied to Southwestern Illinois College’s Administration of Justice AAS Degree.
- Police Agencies grant Veteran’s and Education Preference Points in accordance with 65 ILCS 5/ Article 10-1-16.
7) Firefighter Certification
The Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) maintains a process by which qualified veterans can obtain state certifications based on prior military experience. To summarize, veterans must (1) be employed by an Illinois Fire Department, (2) submit a letter to OFSM requesting equivalency, (3) attached with the letter, provide proof of prior military experience (i.e. copies of pertinent Department of Defense certificates), and (4) pass the relevant state written and practical examinations.
For more information, visit the following page: www.sfm.illinois.gov/fireservice/DODEquivalencyPolicy.aspx. For detailed questions, veterans are advised to contact Mitzi Woodson in the Office of the State Fire Marshal at (217) 785-1003 or Mitzi.Woodson@illinois.gov.
Making Military Training Count toward Academic Credit
Military Training Count – The
Office of the Governor and the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs, in
cooperation with the Illinois Community College Board, several community
colleges, the Illinois Board of Higher Education and MyCreditsTransfer,
completed a collaborative project to grant student veterans appropriate
academic credit for the education and training they gained in military
a result of the “Making Military Training Count” initiative, veterans and
servicemembers can enter college with earned course credits, useful credits
that apply toward meeting degree requirements, simply by documenting their
already-completed military training. See how your military coursework,
exams, and/or learning experiences count at specific schools using
Transferology™. Visit www.iTransfer.org/MyCreditsTransfer
to learn more. You can also find out what your options are for taking
classes at another school to transfer back to your current school by using the
"Find a Replacement Course" feature.
Many Illinois colleges have developed transfer credit for
military learning experience, including City Colleges of Chicago, College of
DuPage, College of Lake County, DePaul University, Kaskaskia College and
Southwestern Illinois College.
Current Military Training Gap Assessments – For Educational Institutions
In an effort to aid educational institutions in launching bridge programs that expedite the linkages between military experience and state licensing standards, Illinois state agencies have completed the following gap assessments. Community colleges, universities and training establishments are invited to design and submit for state approval bridge program curriculum in the following areas:
1) Air Force and Navy Military Medics to Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs)
- The course addresses differences in competencies between the METC Basic Medical Technician Corpsman Program and those of a practical nursing program as delineated in the Illinois Nurse Practice Act. Course components include didactic, clinical, and skills validation learning experiences. Upon course completion, students are eligible to sit for the PN-NCLEX.
METC Corpsman - LPN Approved Assessment [Partial Equivalency] (PDF, 164 KB)
2) Army Medics to Emergency Medical Technicians Intermediate (EMT-I) and Emergency Medical Technicians Paramedics (EMT-Paramedics) - The course addresses the differences in competencies between the 68W-10 Army Hospital Corpsman Program and those of a practical EMT program as delineated in the Emergency Medical Services Systems Act and Trauma Center Code. Upon course completion, students would need to have a skills check-off and pass the written competency exam.
Army Medic - EMT-I & EMT-Paramedic Approved Assessment [Partial Equivalency] (PDF, 142 KB)
3) Air Force and Navy Military Medics to Emergency Medical Technicians Intermediate (EMT-B) - The course addresses the differences in competencies between the NavyCorpsman and Air Force Phase 1 Aerospace Program and those of a practical EMT program as delineated in the Emergency Medical Services Systems Act and Trauma Center Code. Upon course completion, students would need to have a skills check-off and pass the written competency exam.
Air Force and Navy Military Medics - EMT-B Approved Assessment [Partial Equivalency] (PDF, 142KB)
updated October 1, 2014