STUDENT EDUCATION PLAN (SEP)
All VA students must have an approved Program of Study. A SEP, signed by an academic counselor or advisor and the student, outlining the required courses for the student's program of study must be on file in order for a student to be certified for benefits. ONLY COURSES REQUIRED TOWARD THE COMPLETION OF THE DEGREE PLAN ON FILE CAN BE CERTIFIED TO THE VA. Additionally, only ONE Course of Study may be declared on the Student Educational Plan at any given time.
In a regular 16 week semester, full time is considered 12+ units. In an eight-week summer session, six units are considered full time. And in a six-week summer or winter session, four units is considered full time. The enrollment status is based on the period courses are in session.
For example, if the student is taking 12 units in a semester where nine units begin February 8 and end June 12, 2015, and the other three units begin February 18 and end April 10, 2015, the student will only be considered full time up to April 10, 2015. From April 11 through June 12, 2015, he or she will be considered 80% rate of pursuit and receive 80% of full time pay for that enrollment period.
COURSE CREDIT EQUIVALENCY
Short-term courses are formulated on a course by course basis to determine credit equivalency.
For example, in a 16 week semester, a student enrolls in the fast track MATH 030 and MATH 150 along with a three-unit 16-week course giving the student a total of 12 units. The student will receive full-time pay even though they are enrolled in only seven units for the first eight weeks and eight units during the second eight weeks because the four-unit MATH 030 is equivalent to nine units and the five unit MATH 150 is equivalent to 11.5 units. To the VA, the student is enrolled in 12 units the first eight weeks and 14.5 units for the second eight weeks. Please inquire with the VA Certifying Official for confirmation.
Remedial and deficiency courses are approved for VA payment only when the need for training is established by placement testing. Students must take remedial/deficiency courses as on-campus courses. Remedial/deficiency courses taken as online/distance learning or hybrid courses are NOT APPROVED for certification.
WHAT THE VA WILL and WILL NOT PAY FOR
No benefits will be paid for courses that do not meet the program of study requirements. The following list reflects types of courses that will or will not be certified for payment; however, this list is not all-inclusive:
RECOMMENDED CLASSES – The VA does NOT pay for recommended classes – only required classes.
CHALLENGED CLASSES – The VA will NOT pay for any class that is challenged. The student must attend class to receive payment.
REQUIRED PREREQUISITES AND REMEDIAL CLASSES – The VA WILL pay for prerequisites of courses required towards degree completion. They WILL also pay for remedial classes for which the student has been placed through assessment testing.
ONLINE CLASSES/DISTANCE EDUCATION – The VA WILL pay for online courses; however, students enrolled exclusively in distance education courses will receive the BAH payment at an approximate 2/3 reduced rate. A minimum of at least a one unit on-campus course is sufficient to receive the BAH payment calculated from the full rate.
HYBRID COURSES – Hybrid courses can be considered on campus or distant education. Each hybrid course must be formulated to determine which type of instruction the VA would consider it to be. Students should inquire with the VA Certifying Official for confirmation and how it may impact their benefits.
REPEATED COURSES - Only courses in which students received a grade of "F" or "FW" may be repeated and certified for Chapter 33 benefits. Courses completed with a grade of "D" cannot be re-certified unless Counseling confirms that the student must pass the course with a "C" for graduation purposes. This must be documented in writing before another certification can be submitted for the repeated course.
ELECTIVES – Electives can be used to supplement and complete semester units as needed and in consultation with an academic counselor.
COUNSELING COURSES – COUN 156, 160, and 161 are approved courses and advised by counselors for students that are transitioning.
Only during the last term before graduation may a student register for non-applicable courses in order to have enough hours to be full-time. This can be done only once per program.
For example, if a student needs only six units to graduate in the current term, but wishes to receive full-time benefits, he or she can register for six additional units (or more) of courses that do not apply to the intended degree program. This policy does not apply to students in the Vocational Rehabilitation Program. The student's case manager must approve any additional courses. Additionally, non-applicable courses may be approved for VA benefits only if they are taken to remove a deficiency in the student's grade point average, and this deficiency is preventing the student from graduating.
STANDARDS OF PROGRESS
Students must be in good academic standing to be eligible for VA Certification. VA students must complete each semester with a GPA of at least 2.0 or above to remain in a satisfactory status. Failure to maintain a 2.0 or above will result in probation and a loss of enrollment priority. When placed on probation for two consecutive semesters, the student's VA benefits will be terminated. Students may be re-certified for benefits ONLY after their GPA is brought up to the minimum required standards of progress.
A student may take courses (as a guest student) at more than one school (secondary school) that apply to his or her degree. VA will pay for the combined credit taking overlapping enrollment dates into account. If a student takes courses elsewhere that satisfy requirements for his or her degree a Parent School Letter will need to be issued to the secondary school. The student will need to meet with a counselor or ed advisor for an updated SEP indicating the course(s) and secondary school under the semester/term and submit it to the certifying official in order to have the Parent Letter prepared.
Encourage the student to apply for financial aid. Students may use VA education benefits in conjunction with Title IV financial aid by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online. Students should not include VA education benefits when reporting income and resources information on the application.
Currently, Citrus issues four units of military credit (KIN 171 and one activity) to students that have a DD214 on file and request having the credit applied to their record. The credit meets AREA E of the CSU certification. A form requesting the credit is in the works, meanwhile, the student can email firstname.lastname@example.org requesting the credit.