2023-2024 Catalog and Handbook 
    
    Feb 29, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog and Handbook

Veterans


Veterans Information

Enrollment Services/Veterans Affairs provides services to veterans, transferees, spouses, and dependents enrolled at Mountain Empire Community College. Assistance is primarily provided with receipt of veterans’ educational benefits. The office of the MECC Veterans Affairs Officer, Lena Grace, is in Robb Hall, Room 106. Enrollment Services/Veterans Affairs is not a part of the Veterans Administration Regional Office.

Application Procedure

Veterans, transferees, spouses, or dependents must first apply for Veterans Education Benefits at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill. After submission of application, contact the MECC Veterans Affairs Officer in Robb Hall, Room 106.

Veterans

Submit a copy of your DD Form 214 (Member 4); Have your military transcripts sent to MECC, Enrollment Services. If you served in the Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, or Navy) request your Joint Services Transcript at https://jst.doded.mil. If you served in the Air Force, request your military transcripts through the Air Force Transcript Portal at https://www.airuniversity.af.edu/Barnes/CCAF/ Display/Article/803247/community-college-of-the-air-force-transcripts.

If you have any questions regarding your qualifications for veterans benefits or to explore your options for maximum use, please call the Veterans Administration toll-free number at 1-888-442-4551 or visit the website www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

If you are transferring to MECC from another place of training, or you have not been enrolled for at least one year, a Request for Change of Program/Place of Training will be required.

To ensure smooth processing of VA claims, it is important to apply early. Applicants normally receive notification from the Department of Veterans Affairs within 30 days after an application is submitted. A copy of the Certificate of Eligibility must be submitted to Enrollment Services/Veterans Affairs.

Certificate of Understanding

All VA recipients are required to submit a signed MECC Certificate of Understanding (COU) prior to receiving any VA Education Benefits based on enrollment through MECC.

Enrollment Certification

VA recipients must be enrolled in an approved program of study. To receive full-time monthly stipends/BAH, the VA recipient must be enrolled full-time. Post-9/11 G.I. Bill recipients must be enrolled in at least 51% of a full course load to receive a monthly housing allowance. The College will certify enrollment as a full-time at 12 credits or above; three-quarter time at nine to eleven credit hours; half-time at six to eight credit hours; less than six hours for cost of tuition and fees only. Certifications listed above are based on continuous enrollment for the entire 15-week semester. Please contact the MECC Veterans Affairs Officer for certification information for short or special sessions.

Upon completion of enrollment, VA recipients are required to submit the Certification Request for VA Educational Benefits form to Enrollment Services/Veterans Affairs. An online form and a fillable/printable pdf form are located on our website at https://www. mecc.edu/certification-request-for-va-educational-benefits/. It is important to enroll early and submit your documentation by the priority deadline. VA recipients will receive a certification email each semester indicating the rate of pursuit that has been certified. In addition, the first semester a recipient enrolls in a program/plan, a Shopping Sheet and a copy of the program/plan from the College catalog will be included in the certification email.

VA recipients are required to notify Enrollment Services/Veterans Affairs immediately of any changes in enrollment that occur after benefits have been certified to the DVA.

All academic policies as included in this catalog apply equally to all students at Mountain Empire Community College. However, there are a few guidelines specifically applicable to the administration of veterans certified for benefits through the Veterans Administration.

  1. Veterans Affairs Officer will consult with VA recipients who fail to attend classes regularly.
  2. Veterans Affairs Officer will report to the Veterans Administration as soon as possible any change in the status of VA recipients, including change in curriculum, reduction or increase in course-load or withdrawals.
  3. Veterans who fail to maintain good academic standing must be counseled by an Academic Advisor at the College prior to veteran’s benefits being reinstated.
  4. Mountain Empire Community College grading policies will be used to determine whether VA recipients are maintaining satisfactory progress. According to College and the Veterans Administration policies, students must make satisfactory academic progress. If suspended or dismissed, students must appeal to the Student Affairs Committee and meet with Student Affairs Committee. Students who have been reinstated must achieve a 2.0 GPA for the semester of their reinstatement. At the conclusion of this semester, enrollment of successful students receiving veterans’ educational benefits will be certified.
  5. The physical education requirements for the degree, certificate, and career studies certificate programs may be waived for veterans

Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 and the Colonel John M. McHugh Tuition Fairness Act of 2021, effective August 1, 2022, with amendments as required under 38 USC 3679:

The following individuals shall be charged the in-state rate, or otherwise considered a resident, for tuition purposes:

  • A veteran using educational assistance under either Chapter 30 (Montgomery G.I. Bill® - Active Duty Program) or Chapter 33 (Post-9/11 G.I. Bill), of Title 38, United States Code, who lives in the Commonwealth of Virginia while attending a school located in the Commonwealth of Virginia (regardless of their formal state of residence).
  • Anyone using transferred Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits who lives in the state where the IHL is located, and the transferor is a member of the uniformed service serving on active duty.
  • A spouse or child using benefits under the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (35 U.S.C. § 3311(b)(9) who lives in the Commonwealth of Virginia while attending a school located in the Commonwealth of Virginia (regardless of their formal state of residence).
  • A spouse or child using benefits under Survivors’ and Dependents’ Education Assistance (Chapter 35) living in the Commonwealth of Virginia (regardless of their formal state of residence).
  • An individual using educational assistance under chapter 31, Veterans Readiness and Employment (VR&E) who lives in the Commonwealth of Virginia (regardless of their formal state of residence) effective for courses, semesters, or terms beginning after March 1, 2019.
  • Anyone described above remains continuously enrolled (other than during regularly scheduled breaks between courses, semesters, or terms) at the same institution. Therefore, the described person must be enrolled in the institution and use educational benefits under Chapters 30, 31, 33, or 35 of Title 38, United States Code.

Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program

The Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program (VMSDEP) provides education benefits to spouses and children of military service members killed, missing in action, taken prisoner, or who became at least 90% disabled as a result of military service in an armed conflict. More information, eligibility requirements, and instructions for applying are available at https://www.dvs. virginia.gov/education-employment/virginia-military-survivors-and-dependents-education-program/.

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 website at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

Contact Information for MECC Veterans Affairs Officer:Ms. Lena Grace, Robb Hall, Room 106, 276/523-9028, lgrace@mecc.edu.