AC NEWS


Veterans Services

 Contact Information  Hours

Washington Street Campus
Student Services Center Bldg.

Veteran Services-Ste 151
2201 S. Washington St.
Amarillo, Texas 79109

Veteran Coordinator
Kelly Murphy
806-371-5026

Email:kpmurphy@actx.edu

Workstudy email:student-va@actx.edu

Remote Office: (806)553-0904

Regular Hours
Monday - Friday
8:00 AM to 5:00 PM     

 

Summer Hours
Monday - Thursday
7: 30 AM to 5:00 PM  

VC Vacation:June 1-9, 2020

 

 

 

VETERAN SERVICES AND COVID-19 MESSAGE

As we are all adjusting to isolating and changing to an all online course platform, I hope you are healthy and enjoying the down time at home.

Veteran Services is working completely remotely, you can reach me by email (the best option) or via the remote office number (found above). This is a Google Voice number so, if I have to return a call it will look like an UNKNOWN number.

Vocational Rehab and Employment counselors are also working remotely. The only way to reach them is by email.

I was registered for a webinar that covered all of your burning questions and the webinar didn’t work! They did share the slides from the presentation which consisted of these FAQ’s. I will update these as more information comes in. You may also find useful information here: https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/72852/veterans-gi-bill-benefits-continue-covid-19-pandemic/

Please stay safe and let me know if you have any questions or if you simply are lost trying to login to your online class. If I don’t know the answer, I will find it.

 

VETERAN EDUCATION BENEFITS AND COVID 19 FAQ’S

Q1: IHL SCO education enrollments –S.3503 Enacted: What impact does the enactment of this Senate Bill have on Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL)?

A1: Based on recently passed legislation (Senate Bill 3503, signed into law March 21, 2020), an IHL which converts an approved residence training modality course to an online training modality for that course (distance learning), should not submit changes when the conversion is the only factor. The law only authorizes this special authority from March 1, 2020, to December 21, 2020.

  • Educational institutions which convert modalities as described above do not need to submit enrollment adjustments for the current term.
  • Only converted courses – SCOs cannot certify resident credit hours to VA for online courses when there is no approval for a resident training counterpart.
  • The new law applies equally to current and new students enrolled in the converted courses.
  • In order to avoid confusion and the need to make multiple changes to enrollments, VA is asking all schools to temporarily refrain from making any future enrollment certifications (not already submitted in VA-ONCE) if training has changed due to COVID-19. VA will provide further guidance as soon as possible.

Q2: Post-9/11 GI Bill ® Beneficiary –Monthly Housing Payments: What happens when a modality changes for enrollment terms due to COVID-19?

A2: Based on the new law, Post-9/11 GI Bill ® students who pursue resident courses converted to an online modality solely due to COVID-19 will continue to receive the Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) rate for resident training. The law only authorizes this special authority from March 1, 2020, to December 21, 2020.

Note: Other types of changes to the student’s enrollment status may affect payments. Non COVID-19 related changes must still be reported per normal requirements.

Q3: Educational Institutions Post-9/11 GI Bill® Tuition and Fee Payments: Will there be any impact on tuition and fee payments when only the modality changes within a term due to COVID-19?

A3: Tuition and Fees reporting requirements will not change due to COVID-19 national emergency, nor will VA’s rules for benefit payments.

Note: All standard adjustments and amendments still apply to non-COVID-19 circumstances

Q4: VA education students –Remedial/Deficiency class: Will VA education students be allowed to continue or start remedial/deficiency level courses at Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) who convert to an online modality due to COVID-19?

A4: Based on the new law, an approved educational institution which converts an approved resident Remedial/Deficiency course to an online training modality for that course (distance learning), may continue to certify those credit hours to the VA as resident credit hours during the authorized timeframe: March 1, 2020, to December 21, 2020.

Q5: If an educational institution creates a new vacation break, or extends such a break, which may include a change in term dates that are due to COVID-19, what steps should the SCO take?

A5: The SCO handbook states to always include inclusive dates of official school vacation periods of 7 or more consecutive days when certifying non-standard enrollment periods for all benefits in non-standard remarks. However, do not report vacation periods on standard length terms. This remains true during this COVID-19 national emergency.

The only reporting requirement for a vacation break due to COVID-19 is if the IHL extends vacation break and also extends the end date of the term.

• Specific instructions for amendment reporting are in the SCO handbook.

• Standard and Non-standard term lengths are identified in the SCO handbook.

Q6: IHL temporarily ceases operations –discontinues training of all students: If an educational institution temporarily ceases operation due to COVID-19, what steps should the school take?

 A6: If the educational institution has temporarily ceased operations for all programs and students due to COVID-19, affected students will continue to receive their MHA until the end of the term or 4 weeks (28 days) from the date that the IHL temporarily ceased operations.

When this occurs, the IHL should not submit enrollment adjustments for the current term. However, the SCO must report all affected facility codes and the date(s) of temporary cessation of operations to their Education Liaison Representative (ELR) and State Approving Agency (SAA) AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. It is important to notify the ELR and SAA as soon as practical, so the claimant’s monthly stipend is correctly adjusted.

Q7: IHL discontinues training in select programs: If a school transitions from resident to online classes to continue the training of some students, but must discontinue training in select programs affecting some students, what steps should the school take?

 A7: If the educational institution remains partially open (continues to provide training to some students) but must discontinue training to students enrolled in select programs or individual classes, the school must report changes for the students whose training is stopped. Current law only provides protection for stoppage in training when the school ceases operations completely (temporary or permanent).

  • The SCO must report the date that training ceased. When reporting this change using VA-ONCE, the SCO should select the standard remark “COVID-19” as the reason for the cessation of the training. If using the paper VA Form 22-1999b, a termination is reported, the SCO should include “COVID-19” in the remarks section.

Q8: If a student becomes ill due to COVID-19 and cannot continue training while the educational institution continues to offer course training, what steps need to take place?

A8: Depending on the length of the illness, the SCO should review the attendance and “Incomplete Grade” policy.

The SCO should report the withdrawal based on the attendance policy and report COVID-19 as mitigating circumstances. The student’s last day of attendance should be reported as the effective date. In these situations, the law does NOT allow VA to continue payments beyond the last day of attendance.

Certificate of Completion Programs

Q1: With the enactment of S.3503 on March 19, 2020, signed into law on March 21, 2020, can a Non-College Degree (NCD) education or training institute offer programs that were not previously approved by the State Approving Agency (SAA)?

A1: No, only programs previously approved by the SAA will be available for NCD institutions to continue enrollments of GI Bill ® students.

Q2: What happens when an approved program at an NCD education or training institution temporarily ceases resident training and has the capability to convert training to an online modality during the COVID-19 national emergency?

A2: An NCD with a current SAA approved program may continue to train and report enrollments to the VA. Those students who pursue courses converted to an online modality solely due to COVID-19 will continue to receive the MHA rate for resident training. The law only authorizes this special authority from March 1, 2020, to December 21, 2020.

  • SCOs should not report modality changes due to COVID-19 for any current enrollments submitted to VA.
  • Note: other types of changes to the student’s enrollment status may affect payments. Non COVID-19 related changes must still be reported per normal requirements.
  • In order to avoid confusion and the need to make multiple changes to enrollments, VA is asking all schools to temporarily refrain from making any future enrollment certifications (not already submitted in VA-ONCE) if training has changed due to COVID-19. VA will provide further guidance as soon as possible.

Q3: What happens when an NCD training institution temporarily ceases operations due to COVID-19 and cannot offer a program via online modality?

A3: When this occurs, the NCD should not submit enrollment adjustments for the current term. However, the SCO must report the temporary school closure to the Education Liaison Representative (ELR) and State Approving Agency (SAA) AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. It is important to notify the ELR and SAA as soon as practical, so the claimant’s monthly stipend is correctly adjusted.

  • The school should refund payments per the approved policy as soon as possible.
  • If the educational institution has temporarily ceased operations to all students due to COVID-19, affected students will continue to receive their MHA until the sooner of the end of the term or 4 weeks (28 days) from the date that the NCD temporarily ceased operations.

Q4: If a student becomes ill due to COVID-19 and they cannot continue training while the NCD institution continues to offer course training, what steps need to take place?

A4: Depending on the length of the illness, the SCO should review the attendance and “Incomplete Grade” policy.

The SCO will need to report the withdrawal based on the attendance policy and report COVID-19 as mitigating circumstances. The student’s last day of attendance should be reported as the effective date. In these situations, the law does NOT allow VA to continue payments beyond the last day of attendance.

 

 

Amarillo College proudly serves our community veterans and their dependents by providing informative veteran education services to guide them through their education and ultimately broaden their horizons. If you are using your benefits for the first time, our Veteran Workstudy employees will be happy to assit you in person, by phone or student-va@actx.edu If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact Veteran Services.

 

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at the following link

 

Book Store

Online sales are available as well @ www.actx.edu/bookstore.

Hereford and Dumas students can order online and the books

will be delivered to that respective campus for pickup.

 


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