New law aims to help vets continue education

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida continues to make its claim as the most veteran friendly state in the country as a bill signed by Gov. Rick Scott aims to help expand college opportunities for military men and women.

Veteran Adam Cerullo found his love for helping others while working as a physical therapy assistant in the Navy.

“I chose to go into the United States Navy back in 1993,” Cerullo said. “Unfortunately a lot of the programs that the military has for training do not roll into the civilian sector equally as far as licensures.”

Cerullo, 45, is back in school at Tallahassee Community College and hopes to start a new career. He said it’s not as tough as being in the military.

“I know how to prepare. I know what I need to do,” Cerullo said. “I know what I need to do to get that good grade.”

Now lawmakers want to make it easier for veterans like Cerullo to earn college credit.

Lawmakers passed and the governor signed a bill that would give credit for more exams that military men and women take while in uniform.

“There’s no boundary when you put on the uniform in the United States of America. You’re an American soldier, sailor, Marine, airman or Coast Guardsman,” said Mike Prednergast, a retired colonel who now works with the Department of Veterans Affairs. “You serve the nation, and that benefit that you earn should be something that goes from one state to the other.”

The bill also expands the in-state tuition waiver to more veterans. Cerullo said he hopes it will create more opportunities for those who served.

“I’m just so glad that Florida is able to help recognize a lot more of the training that the veterans have already gone through,” he said.

The new law goes into effect on July 1.