History and Background
State Approving Agencies were established by Congress in 1947 to ensure that eligible veterans, dependents, National Guard members and reservists can use the GI Bill® educational entitlement in an approved educational program. The primary function of WV OVET is to review, evaluate and approve quality educational and training programs for veterans' benefits. Programs that can be approved include institutions of higher learning (colleges and universities), non-degree institutions (vocational and technical schools), apprenticeship programs, and other on-the-job training programs and flight schools.
OVET reviews the appropriateness of each program relative to West Virginia's standards and laws in addition to the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs (VA) rules and regulations and other applicable laws and regulations. Secondly, OVET assists companies and organizations in developing training programs to meet VA approval criteria. Once approved, OVET monitors program quality, the veterans' progress in the program and serves as a liaison between participants and the VA. In addition, OVET approves and supervises all state apprenticeship and on-the-job training programs.
Rules and Regulations
OVET operates under a contract with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). As such, OVET has its foundation in federal law, Title 38 U.S. Code (USC). We are housed within the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, a state agency, and maintain the state's authority to approve or disapprove veterans' education and training programs. We also serve to prevent abuses and promote equality in veterans' education by evaluating and monitoring education and training programs.
The Code of Federal Regulations [38 CFR 21.4151(b)] summarizes OVET responsibilities under the law:
- to inspect and supervise schools and training establishments within West Virginia;
- to determine those programs of education and training which may be approved for veterans and other eligible persons;
- to determine whether a school or training establishment at all time complies with established standards relating to the approved programs; and
- to render services and obtain information necessary for the VA to approve or disapproved programs offered by any agency within West Virginia.
The USC further requires us to cooperate with the VA and pay particular attention to:
- enforcing approval standards
- enforcing enrollment restrictions
- education benefit programs
- identifying fraud and other discrepancies by persons connected with educational institutions and training establishments where veterans are enrolled
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 https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.