“Deemed Approved” Michael Jurkowski: Education Liaison Representative June 2013
What Is “Deemed Approved” Section 203 of Public Law 111-377 deemed certain programs of education to be approved for the purposes of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) educational benefit programs (Title 38, United States Code). It also gives VA the authority to approve and disapprove certain programs of education and the ability to utilize State Approving Agencies (SAAs) for compliance and oversight of schools.
What Is “Deemed Approved” • The following programs are deemed to be approved effective August 1, 2011, subject to sections 3675 (b)(1) and (b)(2), 3680A, 3684, and 3696 of Title 38, United States Code: • Accredited standard college degree programs and non-college degree programs offered at an accredited public or accredited not-for-profit proprietary educational institution, that is accredited by an agency or association recognized for that purpose by the Secretary of Education. • A flight training course approved by the Federal Aviation Administration that is offered by a certified pilot school that possesses a valid Federal Aviation Administration pilot school certificate. • An apprenticeship program registered with the Office of Apprenticeship (OA) of the Employment Training Administration of the Department of Labor or a State apprenticeship agency recognized by the Office of Apprenticeship. • A program leading to a secondary school diploma offered by a secondary school approved in the State in which it is operating. • A licensure test offered by a Federal, State, or local government is deemed to be approved for purposes of this chapter.
The Approval Process For Deemed Approved Schools • Accredited public and not-for-profit institutions will no longer have to report new standard college degree programs or changes to those standard college degree programs. Schools must continue to forward and maintain all appropriate records. • Institutions and facilities must meet or be compliant with sections 3675 (b)(1) and (b)(2), 3680A, 3684, and 3696 of Title 38, United States Code in order for VA to accept the programs. • Additions/changes to non-degree certificate and diploma programs must still be reported to ELR for processing purposes. • Continuing Ed, Workforce Development and/or Professional Development courses are NOT deemed approved. • Changes to policies must be reported. • Changes to accreditation status must be reported.
The Approval Process For Deemed Approved Facilities • Deemed Approved Schools do not have to notify ELR or SAA about changes to degree programs or additions to degree programs (SCO will need to enter program in VA-ONCE). • VA must continue to be notified of new/modifications of non-college degree, flight, licensure, and high school programs in order to properly pay benefits and will approve or deny programs offered under contract. • Changes to Non-degree certificate programs and diploma programs should be forwarded to your ELR for approval and input into WEAMS. • Catalogs, class schedules, calendars, etc., that were previously sent to the SAA should be forwarded to your ELR. • Deemed Approved Flight Schools should report changes to programs to your ELR for approval and input into WEAMS. • Deemed Approved Apprenticeship programs should report changes to programs and wage rates to your ELR for approval and input into WEAMS.
COURSE & OBJECTIVE CODES OBJECTIVE CODES For IHL Schools & programs only Denotes the degree (i.e. bachelors) If your degree is not listed, use N.E.C. code IHL School/program must have both an objective and course code Added on your standard programs page Make sure your Bio screen reflects the correct type of training (IHL vs NCD) & the program name you enter matches your SAA approval or catalog. COURSE CODES For both IHL & NCD schools & programs Denotes the program (i.e. accounting) If your program is not listed, use the closest N.E.C code NCD school/program will have only a course code. VA Once will populate the Objective code field with the same code as you choose for the course code. Added on your standard programs page The VA Once Flip Book power point on the GI Bill website has been updated with instructions for course/objective codes. See slides 29-41. 6
Deemed Approved Forms and Catalogs • Schools/Training Facilities should use the “VA Notification Form For Modifications To Programs” to request approval of new programs. • Submit a copy of the latest catalog listing the new program or change to program and indicate the catalog page(s) for that program. • Catalog should have the following signed certification statement: “This catalog is true and correct in content and policy.” • Catalogs should be in unalterable format and cannot be just a website link. • If the new or changed program is not in your latest catalog, please submit any supporting documentation for that program (documentation should have description of program, length of program, calendar dates, etc.).
Schools/Training Facilities Must Certify That: • To immediately report applicable changes to VA: New and removed non-college degree programs, accreditation status or air agency certification, address, etc.. • To keep adequate records that show the progress and grades of the eligible person or Veteran and to show that satisfactory standards relating to progress and conduct are enforced. (see 38 USC 3680A (b)(1)) • To maintain a written record of the previous education and training of the eligible person or Veteran that clearly indicates that appropriate credit has been given by the educational institution for previous education and training, with the training period shortened proportionately. (see 38 USC 3680 (b)(2)) • To not certify eligible persons or Veterans in courses precluded such as bartending or personality development courses, courses pursued by radio, and courses avocational or recreational in character, unless the course will be of bonafide use in the pursuit of present or contemplated business or occupation. NOTE: The listing is not all-inclusive. (see 38 USC 3680A and the Code of Federal Regulations 21.4252)
Schools/Training Facilities Must Certify That: • To report enrollment and any interruption or termination without delay of the education of the eligible person or Veteran. The listing is not all-inclusive. (see 38 USC 3684) • The institution must not engage in enrollment practices of any type, which are erroneous, deceptive, or misleading either by actual statement, omission, or intimidation. • To make students’ files available for review by representatives of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and State Approving Agencies. • To provide a certified copy of the school’s catalog to VA, when changes are made. (if applicable – high schools are not required to submit catalogs.) • The school will select an employee to act as the contact person for VA, and will inform VA and complete a new VA Form 22-8794, Designation of Certifying Official when a new employee is selected.
Schools/Training Facilities Must Certify That: I certify that: The information contained in this notification form is true and correct in content and policy and I am aware that the institution or facility must comply with applicable statues and regulations and that failure to comply may lead to suspension or withdrawal of programs by the VA. ________________________________________________________ (Signature of Administrative Official) (Date) _________________________________________________________ (Name and Title of Administrative Official)
COURSES PRECLUDED FROM PAYMENT OF VA EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS UNDER ALL CIRCUMSTANCES • VA Education Benefits are not payable for all types of courses or all types of programs – even at schools that are “deemed approved.” • Payment of VA Education Benefits will always be prohibited for the courses indicated below: • Bartending and Personality Development. Any bartending or personality development courses (38 CFR 21.4252(a)). • Radio: Any course(s) given by radio (38 CFR 21.4252(d)). • Private Pilot's Training. Vocational flight training for a private pilot's certificate. However, flight training at the private pilot's level may be pursued under all chapters at an IHL (Institution of Higher Learning) for credit toward a standard college degree (38 CFR 21.4252(c)). • Self-Improvement Courses. Self-improvement courses such as reading, speaking, woodworking, basic seamanship, or English as a second language, which may or may not lead to a certificate in general studies. Although a certificate is awarded upon completion of a required number of courses or subjects, it does not meet the legal requirements of an educational, professional, or vocational objective.
COURSES PRECLUDED FROM PAYMENT OF VA EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS UNDER ALL CIRCUMSTANCES Avocational Courses Any course which is avocational or recreational in character, or for which the advertising contains significant avocational or recreational themes (38 CFR 21.4252(b)). (1) The following courses are presumed to be avocational or recreational in character and require evidence establishing that the course will be of bona fide use in the pursuit of the business or occupation: (a) Any photography or entertainment course; or (b) Any music course, instrument or vocal, public speaking course, or course in dancing, sports, or athletics, such as horseback riding, swimming, fishing, skiing, golf, baseball, tennis, bowling, sports officiating, or other sport or athletic courses, except courses of applied music, physical education, or public speaking which are offered by IHLs for credit as an integral part of a program leading to an educational objective; or
COURSES PRECLUDED FROM PAYMENT OF VA EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS UNDER ALL CIRCUMSTANCES Avocational Courses (cont.) (c) Any other type of course which the Department of Veterans Affairs determines to be avocational or recreational. (2) The evidence required to prove a course is not avocational or recreational can include, but is not limited to: (a) A statement on the application by the applicant explaining the business or occupational objective. (b) A statement from someone in the business or from someone who employs persons in the contemplated occupation showing the need and use of the course. Such statements will not be required when the claimant applies for an approved correspondence course if the stated objective is the one specified in the approval notice. In addition, when it has been established by the SAA (State Approving Agency) and the VARO (VA Regional Office) that an approved photography course in a particular school does lead to employment as a photographer, such a statement will not be required.
COURSES PRECLUDED FROM PAYMENT OF VA EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS UNDER ALL CIRCUMSTANCES Courses Offered Under Contract VA may not approve the enrollment of a veteran, servicemember, reservist, or eligible person in a course as a part of a program of education offered by any educational institution if the educational institution or entity providing the course under contract has not obtained a separate approval for the course from the appropriate State Approving Agency or from the Department of Veterans Affairs. (38 CFR 21.4252(m))
Program Of Education A Program Of Education: Is a combination of subjects or unit courses pursued at an educational institution. The combination generally is accepted as necessary to meet the requirements for a predetermined educational, professional or vocational objective. Except for chapter 35, it may consist of subjects or courses which fulfill requirements for more than one objective, if all objectives pursued are generally recognized as being related to a single career field.
Program Of Education • A claimant's program must meet each of the following conditions: • Meet the definition of a program of education. NOTE: VA will pay only for courses and subjects which are part of an approved program. • Have an acceptable educational, professional, or vocational objective. • Be approved for VA training. • The claimant must not be already qualified for the objective of the program. • Selection of an Objective • A program of education must lead to one of three types of objectives: educational, professional, or vocational.
Objectives Defined • Educational Objectives: • An educational objective leads to the awarding of a diploma, degree, or certificate which reflects educational attainment as distinguished from a certificate or a license to practice a profession or trade. The objective will be the name of the highest degree, diploma, or certificate included in the program, such as a GED (General Educational Development) certificate, high school diploma, bachelor degree, master degree, or Ph.D. degree. • Non-Degree Postdoctoral and Graduate Level Certificate Programs.A postdoctoral-level certificate from an accredited college or university may be accepted as an educational objective. • NOTE: Undergraduate-level certificate programs lead to vocational objectives. • (See 38 CFR 21.4230(b) and PL 107-103 Section 111)
Objectives Defined • Professional Objectives: • A professional objective leads to an occupation after an individual completes an extended academic program of study. The program must be at the college level and be generally accepted as necessary to satisfy the educational requirements for licensing or certification to practice the identified profession. • Typical examples of professional objectives are lawyer, physician (M.D.), or high school teacher. • A program leading to a professional objective may include courses also leading to an educational objective. For example, a BS degree in Secondary Education to become a teacher. • Bar review courses may be approved as part of an overall professional program for a lawyer. Similarly, CPA (Certified Public Accountant) review courses can be approved as part of an overall professional program for a CPA. • Clinical pastoral education programs may lead to either professional or educational objectives. • (See 38 CFR 21.4230(c))
Objectives Defined • Vocational Objectives: • A vocational objective leads to an occupation ordinarily attained after completion of a business, technical, trade, or other vocational school course, or an apprenticeship or other on-the-job training program. • A vocational objective must be a recognized employment objective. • It should be of the type listed in the DOL (Department of Labor) Dictionary of Occupational Titles found in the DOL "O*NET" database, at the following Internet site:"www.doleta.gov/programs/onet". • Examples of vocational objectives are barber, secretary, machinist, computer programmer, automobile mechanic, and practical nurse. With respect to non-degree certificate programs, an undergraduate level certificate from an accredited college or university may be accepted as leading to a vocational objective. • (See 38 CFR 21.4230(c))
Non-Deemed Approved • Non Deemed-Approved Facilities • No change from the existing process • Requests for approvals or changes must be submitted to SAA for approval • SAA approves programs—notifies school and ELR of approval • ELR then accepts approvals for VA • SAA also approves all new facilities, including new Public and NFP Private Deemed Approved schools