Veteran-Founded University and Community College Join Forces to Boost Military Learner Success

National University and Palomar College announce new military transfer pathway that will accelerate time-to-degree completion by recognizing military-earned skills and credentials

LA JOLLA, CALIF. (June 9, 2022)National University, a Veteran-founded nonprofit university that serves more than 30,000 working adult learners, educators, and members of the military community, today announced the launch of a new transfer pathway designed to help active-duty service members complete college by combining Credit for Prior Learning with community college course work. Built in collaboration with Palomar College’s Military Leadership Program, National University’s Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership – Military Leadership Program is designed to help service members advance in their military careers or transition to managerial and leadership roles in civilian industries.

“By respecting and valuing the skills and experiences gained through national service, we can create faster on-ramps to college completion for active-duty service members and Veterans,” said Dr. Joseph Allen, director of community college pathways at National University. “This is about serving men and women in uniform who serve us—helping them to apply their considerable skills, experiences, and talents in military leadership or civilian career paths of their choice.”

According to U.S. Department of Defense data, most enlisted members of the military (80.5%) have at least a high school diploma and/or some college experience. However, just 10.5 percent have an Associate’s degree and 8.4 percent have a Bachelor’s degree or higher. Approximately 6 percent of undergraduate students attending community college are military Veterans or active-duty service members, a higher rate than public four-year universities.

To create a seamless pathway to degree completion for military-affiliated students, the unique transfer program will enroll a cohort of active-duty service members and Veterans who have completed Palomar College’s Associate of Science in Military Leadership degree. Students enrolling in National University can access flexible class schedules, work in fully online programs, take four-week classes that align with complex training and deployment schedules, and receive their Bachelor’s degree in as few as 17 months.

By utilizing Credit for Prior Learning as the foundation for these programs, the two institutions will work to accelerate the path to degree completion for military learners at military bases in Southern California— by taking existing education into account and valuing past credentials and experience acquired through military service.

Founded by retired U.S. Navy Capt. David Chigos in 1971, National University has for more than 50 years provided affordable, accessible education for working adults—and today 30 percent of its students are active duty or military Veterans. The University has articulated more than 2,000 courses to a variety of military training to accelerate degree completion for military-affiliated students. Palomar College, a public, two-year community college approximately 30 miles north of National University’s headquarters in San Diego, currently has more than 1,400 students who are active duty service members, military Veterans, or families of military service members.

“Whether they choose to remain in the military or embark on a transition to civilian industries, it’s imperative to recognize valuable, transferable skills that military service members and Veterans have and give them the credit they’re due,” says Candace Rose, military pathway faculty coordinator at Palomar College. “Through this, we can create new pathways to high-paying, fulfilling careers, and support a smooth transition into the civilian world.”

Active-duty military students enrolled in the program will gain access to National University’s Veteran Center, designed to help ease the transition from military to civilian life. The university also offers transfer scholarship tuition pricing for students who have earned an Associate Degree for Transfer, Associate of Arts (AA), or Associate of Science (AS) degree within 12 months of applying.

The Bachelor’s in Organizational Leadership is designed to help military-affiliated students quickly and affordably complete a Bachelor’s Degree to position themselves for leadership roles that require a college education. Students participating in the program will learn about the foundations and practice of leadership, including negotiation, motivation, ethical decision-making, business communication, and other skills needed to manage diverse teams.

To learn more about the program at and at National University Bachelor of Organizational Leadership.

About National University: National University, a Veteran-founded nonprofit, has been dedicated to meeting the needs of hard-working adults by providing accessible, affordable, achievable higher education opportunities since 1971. As San Diego’s largest private nonprofit university, NU offers over 75 online and on-campus programs and flexible four-week classes designed to help students reach their goals while balancing busy lives. Since its founding, the NU community has grown to over 25,000 students and 180,000 alumni around the globe, many of whom serve in helping industries such as business, education, health care, cybersecurity, and law and criminal justice. Learn more at

About Palomar College: Palomar College is a public two-year community college located in San Marcos, California, approximately 30 miles north of San Diego. Palomar enrolls approximately 25,000 full-time and part-time students. Residents of California are charged only $46 per unit. At Palomar, students may choose from over 200 associate degree and certificate programs, complete the first two years of a bachelor’s degree, train for a career, or enjoy personal enrichment classes for lifelong learning. Learn more at

Learn More About Our University and Scholarships

Join our email list!

Recent Resources

Your passion. Our Programs.

Choose an Area of Study

Your passion. Our Programs.

Select a degree level

View Programs