Del Mar College’s Veterans Services Office is standing by to serve the needs of the institution’s veteran students with assistance from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and its Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP), which started July 1.
VRAP is part of the 2011 Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) to Hire Heroes Act. Participants receive training in one of more than 900 high demand occupational fields while also receiving a year of Montgomery GI Bill benefits. The U.S. Department of Labor will provide veterans with employment assistance as well. Between July 1 and Sept. 30, VRAP will help 45,000 participants, along with another 54,000 participants between Oct. 1, 2012, and March 31, 2014.
“The new Veterans Retraining Assistance Program will allow 43,000 unemployed veterans between ages 35 and 60 to utilize 12 months of educational benefits with the goal of achieving certification or earning a degree leading them to a career in one of the high demand occupations identified by the U.S. Department of Labor,” says Tammy Miller, coordinator of the DMC Veterans Center under the Division of Student Engagement and Retention.
Veterans who meet the basic criteria can apply to the VA for approval to participate in the VRAP. Miller notes that once individuals receive their approval letter and eligibility certification from the VA and complete the College’s admissions process, eligible VRAP veterans may then visit the DMC Veterans Services Office to request benefit processing just as other student veterans do.
“During the 2011-2012 academic year, the DMC Veterans Services Office has served over 1,000 veteran students, including some of our newest benefit recipients––those eligible for VRAP,” says Miller.
Miller oversees the operations of the East and West Campus Veterans Centers that provide assistance to student veterans with their admissions and registration while also assuring that they receive services and benefits from the VA Office supporting their educational pursuits.
Recently, the VA announced that two-year colleges listed on the U. S. Education Department’s National Center for Educational Statistics College Navigator website are now considered authorized VRAP providers as long as they are approved for Montgomery GI Bill benefits by the state.
Of the services the College provides, Miller notes, “The Del Mar Veterans Services Office is proudly serving those who served with pride.”
The Veterans Services Office is located in Room 174 in the Harvin Student Center on the East Campus. For more information about VRAP and other services provided by the DMC Veterans Services Office, call 698-1250.