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Certifying Official Newsletter #105
May 13, 2016

Special Edition
Program Approval

 

This change applies only to Colleges and Universities with previously "deemed approved" programs.

 
Background: On August 1, 2011, education programs accredited public and non-profit Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) were “deemed approved”. Section 3672(b) of Title 38 of the United States Code was amended to make that change. However, that change was contingent upon sections 3675(b)(1) and 3675(b)(2), 3680A, 3684, and 3696 of Title 38 (attached). Therefore, the “deemed approved” programs were specifically conditioned upon the requirements of the previous sections of Title 38 being met.
 
Effective immediately, all educational institutions with approved programs must apply to the SAA of jurisdiction (not VA) for formal approval of programs or changes to existing approved programs, including those programs that are “deemed approved.”
 
Basically, for any program to be approved, it must meet the requirements of the sections of Title 38 listed above AND be approved by the State Approving Agency (SAA). Educational programs will no longer be “deemed approved” without the State Approving Agency’s (SAA) approval.
 
Upcoming changes to the VA approval process make it critical that all “approved” programs be listed on WEAMS (Web Enabled Approval Management System). In the near future, enrollment certifications with programs listed will be compared to WEAMS. If the programs is approved and listed on WEAMS, the enrollment certification will be approved. If the educational program listed on the enrollment certification does not appear in WEAMS, the certification will be denied. Therefore it is imperative that all programs at the institution be approved by the State Approving Agency (SAA) before being forwarded to VA for inclusion on WEAMS.
 
Procedure: In order for this to happen, educational institutions must send a list of all their programs to the State Approving Agency (SAA) for review and approval. This list must be all inclusive and supported by a school catalogs or other school documents. An “Approval Request for Programs Offered at Colleges and Universities” is attached. The approval request includes a document for you to list your programs you are offering and wish to maintain approval. Please complete this approval request and return to the State Approving Agency with current publications. If you anticipate you will have a new catalog shortly, please wait and send the updated catalog. We and the VA prefer hard (paper) copies of the catalog. However, we will accept PDF versions of your catalog on a CD.
 
All publications must be signed including any CDs. If you are submitting CDs please include a letter referencing the submitted publication on the CD and sign the letter with the following statement: “These publications are certified true and correct in content and policy”. If you are in the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia SAA jurisdiction, we will need three copies. If you are in the Harrisburg SAA jurisdiction we will need two copies. A map showing the counties and a directory of advisors is attached. Questions concerning this action should be submitted to your assigned Veterans Education Advisor at the State Approving Agency. Please mail all items in the Pittsburgh area to our Pittsburgh office and the Harrisburg and Philadelphia items to our Harrisburg office.
 
One final item is attached—the catalog check sheet. These are the policies we will be reviewing. Please make sure that all of these policies are in your submitted publications.
 
Attachments:
Title 38 references
Approval Request
Program inventory template
Map of counties
Directory of PA SAA
Catalog check sheet