Facebook Friday: What Is The Problem With Online Education?

Facebook Friday Disabled Veterans - Chapter 31 Voc Rehab

Online educations have become a popular way for some veterans to get an education.

But for VA Voc Rehab, the verdict is out on online degrees and how they help veterans get a job. We know VA just does not like paying for online education, generally.

One veteran wrote in recently about her struggle, which is the subject of this Facebook Friday.

Every Friday, I pick my favorite Facebook conversation. This week’s conversation comes from the Facebook group I founded called, Disabled Veterans – Chapter 31 Voc Rehab. It has over 1,200 members.

My goal with publishing the convo here is to lend some insight from the group to those veterans without Facebook or who are outside the group.





Original Post

Karshena McCain Adkins

Quick Question please to the group:

I was approved for a program of study but was advised that I was not approved for a 100% online program. Does anyone know anywhere in the regulations where this is correct information OR does anyone know of a regulation that I can use to dispute this with my VRC?

Thank you in advance!



Group Comments

Emmett Bryant What program is it?

Karshena McCain Adkins Hi Emmett! B.A. International Hospitality & Tourism Management

Emmett Bryant OK cool………. I will give you a tip. I use to work for a firm called Sodexho, which is now called sodexo I think… They hire a lot of vets and are good at supporting vets. Look them up and put your resume on their site they are international and most don’t know but they are in schools hospitals and so on they are lets say undercover lol….. They support vets big time.

Emmett Bryant PM me and maybe I can help you more with that!……….. For all of you who want to ask why I say to pm me is because there might be some who are negative in this. They are a good company no I don’t work for them anymore and yes i left with a negative thought but that was with the boss I had there that made promises that he couldn’t keep. I am a proud person And take folks at their word use me you will feel the repercussions of losing lots of money! There are also lots of jobs in the middle east and north Africa pay is good but i rather not go there!

Ty Taylor @Karshena, this topic has been covered before in this forum. I will try to find the exact link. However, the idea usually employed to work within VA guidelines is to find a brick and mortar school with one class you could take. Make sure your main school will accept the transfer credits from the brick and mortar school. This should satisfy the VA.

Mick J Smith The pertinent reg is 38 CFR 21.129. This a “cut and paste” in part: (b) Limitations on inclusion of home study courses, in rehabilitation plans. A veteran and his or her case manager may include a home study course in a rehabilitation plan only when it supplements the major part of the program. The purpose of the home study course is to provide the veteran with theory or technical information directly related to the practice of the occupation for which the veteran is training.

Karshena McCain Adkins @Ty, does this mean that I have dual enrollment at two schools at the same time? @Mick, thank you do much! I will definitely use the “cut and paste”. Just what I needed! You guys are great!

Karshena McCain Adkins @Emmett, thank you!!

Mick J Smith It means pretty much what the VRC said. The online part must SUPPLEMENT the main program.

Ty Taylor @Karshena, Mick J Smith is correct. This is why whatever you do online must work together with your program. For instance, if you are studying accounting, you cannot take a photography class because it does not enhance your accounting program in any way. On the other hand, if you are studying accounting, and you take college algebra at the other school and the credits from that course are accepted by your main school, that is a program enhancement and should be approved.

Karshena McCain Adkins Awesome! Understood. I just don’t have a program nearby that has this major at a brick and mortar. Do the same rules apply? Do I take general education classes at the brick and mortar and the classes for my major online?

Mick J Smith You really want to discuss this with your VRC. Discuss/explore possibilities with him/her. They do have flexibility. You should be able to get further that way than trying to “force the issue”.

Ty Taylor The two schools do NOT need to have the same program. One just has to accept the credits from the other school. The only way to find out is to inquire with the main school if they will accept ALL of the credits from the brick and mortar. So to answer your question, Yes, most often you will find it easier to take the general education courses (English, a math, etc.) at the brick and mortar especially if the brick and mortar does not have the same program as your main school.

Ty Taylor Again, Mick is correct. Take all this info and discuss it with your VRC. Most are very good. If they say no, the beauty is they should be able to cite chapter and verse from 38 CFR on the basis of the denial for your plan approval.

Mick J Smith Thanks, Ty. Yes, it’s easier to “approve” a plan and you don’t need to justify the decision like you do when you deny and face a potential appeal and/or congressional investigation. Good luck, Karshena.

Karshena McCain Adkins Thank you so much! My angels Mick and Ty!

Daniel Sullivan The key thing with elective courses from my experiences, is that as long as they are within reason and aren’t too far out in left field, you shouldn’t have any problems. I was a social and behavioral sciences major and took business classes and some law classes for elective courses. Though they didn’t contribute directly to my major, they would help me in theory become more rounded in the private sector. Where-as photography (though I really wanted to take) was denied because it had absolutely nothing to do with my major, and would have had absolutely nothing to do with helping me to get a job after school.

Daniel Sullivan With regards to the online thing, don’t give up, my bachelors degree was 100% online. Though I will say, weigh that decision carefully. You miss out on a lot of relationships that you would make in person. My VRC cautioned me with regards to that, and I have to say, looking back, he was correct. There is some convenience doing it on the internet, but definitely a price to pay long term.

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