Proposed Tennessee Bill Would Give Veterans With 20 Years of Service a Special Bachelor’s Degree

A new Tennessee bill filed by Rep. Jason Hodges, D-Clarksville, would permit veterans who served 20 or more years in the military to receive a special bachelor’s degree.

The bill amends TCA Title 49, Chapter 7 and if approved, the bill, House Bill 126, would require the Tennessee Higher Education Commission establish a unique bachelor’s degree that military retirees and veterans would be eligible for.

“Far too often we have retirees leaving the military only to find they do not meet the educational requirements needed to pursue the career they are otherwise more than qualified to do,” Rep. Hodges told CBS/ABC-affiliate WJHL. “We have retired 1st Sgt’s leaving the military after having led three hundred troops on the battlefield only being able to find employment at entry level positions because their education in the civilian sector doesn’t match their qualifications and the training they received in the military.”

The degree would be offered to the eligible military veterans at no cost, Hodges said. If approved, the bill would require all Tennessee colleges and universities to offer the unique bachelor’s degree.

In addition, the proposed legislation would not require institutions to change the academic requirements for other certificates or degrees.

It’s likely that more details will be added to the proposed legislation as it moves through the General Assembly.

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