VeteranS Handbook. Tidewater community College

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1 VeteranS Handbook Tidewater community College 1

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS Getting Started Application Procedures Veterans Basic Eligibility Requirements Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program Virginia National Guard Tuition Assistance... 7 Veterans Standards of Progress... 7 Satisfactory Progress Mitigating Circumstances Debt Avoidance... 8 Prior Credit... 8 Change Of Program Education Assistance Payments for Course(s) Not Counted to Satisfy Graduation Requirements Advance Processing... 9 Tutorial Assistance Program Work Study...11 Accelerated Sessions...11 Training Time Equivalency Table Veterans Affairs Contact Information About the College

3 VETERANS HANDBOOK Welcome, and thank you for choosing Tidewater Community College. At the Office of Veterans Affairs, we sincerely hope that your experience with our institution is a rewarding one. We hope this booklet will answer any questions you may have. Please feel free to contact us anytime for more information or assistance. available services for veterans, active duty military and dependents enrolled at TCC: > Assistance for eligible recipients in applying for education benefits and the enrollment certification process. > Provision of guidance for maintaining the Department of Veterans Affairs course-pursuit requirements. > Advice to GI Bill recipients on the required courses consistent with Department of Veterans Affairs regulations and your chosen Certificate or Degree. > Administration of a tutorial reimbursement program for all qualified veterans and dependents. > Provision of information on possible job opportunities through the Department of Veterans Affairs Work Study Program.

4 GETTING STARTED > Obtain an Application for Admission from any TCC campus, or apply online via the TCC website. > Submit it to the Enrollment/Admissions Services office at the campus you plan to attend. The TCC curriculum you choose will determine which campus and TCC VA Office you may use. Your TCC VA Office must be located at your home campus, and you must use that office for all actions regarding your VA benefits. You may take your classes at any TCC location. > Find out whether you will pay in-state or out-of-state tuition. The VA will only pay in-state tuition, and you will be responsible for any additional amount. > Contact your home campus to determine the need for Math and English placement tests, and for assistance, if necessary, in choosing a program of study. > To receive education benefits, you must be enrolled in a curriculum leading to a Certificate, Associate Degree or Career Studies Certificate. APPLICATION PROCEDURES Veterans may apply for initial education benefits by completing VA Form , which is available on the GI Bill website (http://gibill.va.gov). You will need to bring the following to your campus VA office: > A copy of your Certificate of Eligibility (for Post 9/11) or letter of eligibility > A copy of the (application) VA Form > A copy of all discharge papers (DD Form 214, member copy 4). > If you qualify for CH-30 Kicker, a copy of the LES or other documentation indicating that payment was made. 2

5 VETERANS BASIC ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS MONTGOMERY GI BILL / CHAPTER 30 Establishes a program of education benefits based on: > Active duty service. > Whether you entered military service on or after July 1, 1985, have had your basic military pay reduced by $100 a month for the first 12 months of your service, and received a discharge specifically listed as HONORABLE. > Whether you are eligible for the old GI Bill (Chapter 34) as of December 31, 1989, and meet certain eligibility requirements. Persons separated from active duty due to a service-connected disability or hardship may also be eligible. > Your high school diploma or GED. > Whether you are within 10 years of your last discharge or release from active duty. VETERANS VOCationaL REHABILitation PROGRAM / CHAPTER 31 Eligibility for veterans who: > Are veterans of World War II or thereafter who have a serviceconnected disability which entitles him or her to DVA disability compensation and who are in need of vocational rehabilitation because the disability creates an unemployable handicap. Professional counselors from the Department of Veterans Affairs will help you plan an individual program, which includes the services and financial assistance needed to carry out the program. The VetSuccess program is designed as a partnership between the college campus and the Department of Veterans Affairs to assist all veterans on campus as they transition back to civilian and student life. The Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors (VRC), who are stationed on campus, will provide services to all veterans pursuing education. These services will include assisting veterans with obtaining needed medical care at the VAMCs, obtaining benefits through VBA - to include compensation, Loan Guaranty, Education, and Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment. The VRC will coordinate services through the Vet Centers and student Veteran organizations, and can also provide vocational assessment and vocational counseling and guidance. The VRC may be able to assist with employment to include provision of employer incentives. This program began as a pilot at 6 colleges nationwide and TCC is part of the current expansion to 20 sites. 3

6 POST-9/11 GI Bill / CHAPTER 33 Provides financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service after September 10, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Transfer of benefits: Active duty members may transfer their educational benefits to their spouse or children. SURVIVORS AND DEPENDENTS EDUCationaL ASSIStanCE / CHAPTER 35 Eligibility for a child or spouse of a veteran who: > Dies while on active duty. > Was released from active duty due to a permanent and total disability as a result of active service in the Armed Forces. > Has a permanent and total service-connected disability and who dies from any cause. > Is MIA. > Is a POW. > Is or was missing in action, or is captured in the line of duty and is currently being held by a hostile force. > Is currently being forcibly detained or interned in the line of duty by a foreign government or power. Generally a child must be between 18 and 26 years old. A spouse, providing he or she does not remarry, may use benefits during the 20 year period after eligibility is determined. MONTGOMERY GI BILL SELECTED RESERVE EDUCationaL ASSIStanCE PROGRAM / CHAPTER 1606 Eligibility: > Agreed to serve six years in the selected reserve, on or after July 1, > If you re an officer, agreed to serve six years in addition to your current obligation. > Must have completed the initial active duty for training (IADT). > Meet the requirements to receive a high school diploma or equivalent certificate before completing IADT. 4

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8 MONTGOMERY GI BILL ACTIVATED RESERVIST / CHAPTER 1607 Eligibility: > A member of a reserve component who serves on active duty on or after September 11, 2001, under title 10, U.S.C., for a contingency operation and who serves at least 90 consecutive days or more is eligible. > National Guard members are also eligible if their active service is 90 days or more and their service is: authorized under section 502 (f), title 32 U.S.C., authorized by the President or Secretary of Defense for a national emergency, AND supported by federal funds. VIRGINIA MILITARY SURVIVORS AND DEPENDENTS EDUCation PROGRAM The purpose of this program is to provide undergraduate or other postsecondary education free of tuition and fees and institutional charges at any state-supported college or university in Virginia. Additionally, a book stipend to offset the cost of books and supplies is provided. (The amount of the stipend is dependent on funding). Eligible individuals may be entitled to a maximum of 48 months of entitlement within this program. Eligibility: > For spouses and children of military service members killed, missing in action, taken prisoner, or who became at least 90 percent disabled as a result of military service in an armed conflict. Military service includes service in the United States Armed Forces, United States Armed Forces Reserves, the Virginia National Guard, or the Virginia National Guard Reserve. Armed conflict includes military operations against terrorism or as the result of a terrorist act, a peace-keeping mission, or any armed conflict after December 6, To be eligible, children and spouses of qualifying military service members must meet the following requirements. > The child must be between ages 16 and 29. There are no age restrictions for spouses. > The military service member must have been a Virginia citizen at the time he or she entered active duty; or must have been a Virginia citizen for at least five years immediately prior to the date of the application for admissions for VSMDEP eligibility. 6

9 > In the case of a deceased military service member, the veteran s surviving spouse can meet the residency requirements if he or she lived in Virginia for at least five years prior to marrying the military service member or has been a citizen of Virginia for at least five years immediately prior to the date of application. Additional information regarding the program and eligibility requirements is available at the Virginia Department of Veterans Services website: VIRGINIA NATIONAL GUARD TUITION ASSISTANCE > Most members of the Virginia National Guard are eligible. > This program pays up to 100% of the tuition costs, to a maximum amount as specified by the Virginia National Guard (subject to change), at approved Virginia colleges or universities. > Inquiries should be made to GoArmyEd; the virtual gateway for all eligible Active Duty, National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers to request Tuition Assistance (TA) online, anytime, anywhere for classroom and distance learning. > This program may be used in addition to educational benefits administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs. VETERANS STANDARDS OF PROGRESS TCC s academic policies are applicable to all enrolled students; however, here are a few extra guidelines for veterans and dependents which are in compliance with the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Virginia Community College System and The Virginia State Approving Agency s standards for institutions certifying veterans educational benefits. SatiSFACtory PROGRESS > You are required to make satisfactory progress toward graduation. > If you are placed on Academic Suspension or Academic Dismissal, Department of Veterans Affairs benefits will be terminated. > If you are not making satisfactory progress, you will be required to provide mitigating circumstances to the Department of Veterans Affairs for reinstatement of benefits. > Refer to current college catalog or website for more information. 7

10 MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES Mitigating circumstances are circumstances out of the student s control, which directly hinder the student s pursuit of a course. The following are some examples: > Serious illness of the student. > Serious illness or death in the student s immediate family. > Immediate family or financial obligations, which require a change in terms, hours or place of employment which preclude pursuit of a course. > Discontinuance of a course by the school. > Active duty military service, including active duty for training. DEBT AVOIDANCE > Promptly report enrollment/attendance changes to the TCC Veterans Affairs Office and the Department of Veterans Affairs to prevent receiving an erroneous Department of Veterans Affairs educational benefit check. > Any withdrawal or failure to attend class may result in an adjustment to the award, which may result in an interest-accruing debt to the U.S. Government. PRIOR CREDIT > Department of Veterans Affairs regulations require that TCC evaluate all previous education (prior colleges CLEP, DANTES, ACT/PEP, etc.), military training and experience and then, where applicable, shorten the program span. > You must ensure that all prior education records are sent to the appropriate college records office for evaluation no later than the end of the second semester of enrollment. CHANGE OF PROGRAM > Students should speak with an academic counselor/advisor regarding changing their program or plan. The plan change will be completed for both the college (using a curriculum change form) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (using a change of plan or program form). To change your program, you must complete VA Form or online or at your campus VA office. 8

11 EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE PAYMENTS FOR COURSE(S) NOT COUNTED TO SatiSFY Graduation REQUIREMENTS Eligible veterans do not receive educational benefits for: > Auditing a course. > Courses (other than required remedial) when the grade assigned is not used in computing graduation requirements. > Courses when a student withdraws or receives a grade of W unless mitigating circumstances are received. > Repeat of courses with satisfactory completion. > Courses for which prior credit was awarded. > Online developmental or remedial courses ADVANCE PROCESSING > Must arrange to have tuition paid by means other than advance payment. Must meet all the following requirements: The enrollment must be at least half-time. The school must agree to receive and process the advance paperwork. Must specifically request advance processing on the Enrollment Certification. The Veterans Affairs Regional Office must receive the request for advance processing between 120 and 30 days before the beginning of semester. The enrollment must be at least one full calendar month (30 days) after the prior term ended. Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) is not eligible for advance processing. TUTORIAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM Any veteran or eligible person who is having difficulties in his or her studies or difficulties obtaining full knowledge of a subject should request a tutor as soon as possible. > Tutorial information is available in the VA Office. > The Department of Veterans Affairs will reimburse you up to $100 per month for 12 months or until a maximum of $1,200 is utilized. > A charge against basic entitlement may apply. > Tutorial assistance is available if you are attending at least half-time and the deficiency is in a course required by your curriculum. 9

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13 WORK STUDY > If you are enrolled at least 3/4 time under Chapters 30, 31, 32, 33, 35, 1606, and 1607, you can apply for the VA Work Study Program. > If you are disabled from service-connected disabilities, you shall be given preference. > The working hours are during or between enrollment periods. > The work study program is an additional benefit and, therefore, it is a tax-free income. ACCELERATED SESSIONS If you choose to enroll in the accelerated sessions or special session classes, the Department of Veterans Affairs will only pay for the time you are actually enrolled in the class(es). TRAINING TIME EQUIVALENCY table NUMBER OF WEEKS PER TERM FULL-TIME (12 CREDIT HOURS) SEMESTER HOURS PER TERM 11 3/4 10 3/4 9 3/4 3/4 8 1/2 3/4 3/4 7 1/2 3/4 3/4 3/4 3/4 6 1/2 1/2 1/2 3/4 3/4 3/4 5-1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 3/4 3/4 3/4 4-1/2-1/2-1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 3/4 3/4 3 1/4 1/4-1/2-1/2-1/2-1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 3/4 3/4 2 1/4 1/4 1/4 1/4 1/4 1/4-1/2-1/2-1/2 1/2 1/2 3/4 1 1/4 1/4 1/4 1/4 1/4 1/4 1/4 1/4 1/4 1/4 1/4-1/2 1/2 TRAINING TIME: blank = full-time; 3/4 = three-quarter time; 1/2 = half-time; -1/2 = less than one-half but more than one-quarter; 1/4 = one-quarter or less. 11

14 VETERANS AFFAIRS ContaCT INFormation The Department of Veterans Affairs in Buffalo offers a toll-free number for your convenience. The office is open from 7:50 AM to 4:25 PM Monday through Friday. Phone: Website: This handbook does not contain all Department of Veterans Affairs Educational Benefits rules and regulations. For further information, please contact the Department of Veterans Affairs or one of the following offices near you. Center for Military and Veterans Education (CMVE) 1700 College Crescent Kempsville Building, Building D Virginia Beach, VA Phone: Chesapeake Campus Portsmouth Campus 1428 Cedar Road 120 Campus Drive Chesapeake, VA Portsmouth, VA Phone: Phone: VTTY: VTTY: Norfolk Campus Virginia Beach Campus 300 Granby Street 1700 College Crescent Norfolk, VA Virginia Beach, VA Phone: Phone: VTTY: VTTY: ON THE WEB: For general information and assistance go to: or call

15 ABOUT TIDEWATER COMMUNITY COLLEGE Founded in 1968 as a part of the Virginia Community College System, Tidewater Community College (TCC) serves the South Hampton Roads region with campuses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Virginia Beach, and the regional Visual Arts Center in Olde Towne Portsmouth, the TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center in the downtown Norfolk theater district, a regional Advanced Technology Center and a Regional Health Professions Center on its Virginia Beach Campus, and the Regional Automotive Center in Chesapeake. Forty-six percent of the region s residents who attended a college or university in Virginia last fall were enrolled at TCC. TCC is the largest provider of higher education and workforce development services in Hampton Roads, enrolling nearly 50,000 students annually the second largest undergraduate student body in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The 16th largest two-year institution in the nation, TCC is among the 50 fastest-growing community colleges in the United States. The college s economic impact on the South Hampton Roads region is $1.1 billion annually. For each $1 in public support provided to it, TCC generates $3.54 in revenue for the region. The college is committed to meeting the region s education and training needs as it advances the quality of life through an educated, globally aware, and technologically engaged citizenry. Of the nation s largest community colleges, TCC is ranked among the top twoyear institutions in technology delivery, and it has been nationally recognized for its work in incorporating the best of technological advances into the teaching and learning process. It also has been cited by the American Council on Education as one of eight Promising Practices colleges and universities in the country for its work in international education. TCC students do as well as the native university students when they transfer to four-year schools, and area employers consistently register high levels of satisfaction with the performance of their employees who are TCC graduates. 13

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