Who We Are

The primary responsibility of State Approving Agencies is to ensure the quality and integrity of programs of education and training for the use of GI Bill® benefits. The scope of responsibility: high schools, adult education centers, employers proving on-the-job training and apprenticeship training, license and certification testing, vocational training, as well as all certificate and degree levels of post-secondary education.

Essentially, in order for someone to receive GI Bill® benefits, an SAA has approved his or her program of study or training. Several years after the passage of the 1944 GI Bill® of Rights, Congress added State Approving Agencies to the law in 2947. SAAs were the answer to the problems of abuse experienced by the new program. Congress believed that the states’ control of education and approval of programs was the best avenue to safeguard both veterans and institutions.

As state entities acting on behalf of the federal government, SAAs have been an outstanding example of the workability of the federal-state partnership, allowing federal interests to be pursued at the local level while preserving the identity, interests, and sovereignty of states’ rights in education Under Title 38, United States Code, each governor designates a state bureau or department as the State Approving Agency for the state.

The Maine State Approving Agency for Veterans Education Programs has been designated by the State of Maine to approve courses and program in accordance with the standards and provisions of Chapters 30, 32, 33, 34, 35, and 36 of Title 38, U.S.C., and Chapter 1606 of Title 10, U.S.C..

To Achieve Our Mission, We Engage in Six Core Functions:

Approval of Programs:
Review, evaluate, and approve quality programs of education (secondary and postsecondary, public and private) and training utilizing pre-established state and federal criteria. Programs leading to a standard college degree at an accredited public or non-profit institution of higher learning are “deemed approved” in accordance with PL 111-377 and PL 114-315.

Compliance Visits to Schools and Training Establishments:
Conduct on-site visits to approved educational institutions, training establishments, and flight schools to determine continued compliance with appropriate state and federal laws and VA regulations. The on-site visit consists of reviewing policies and practices of the institution to include approved programs, facilities, branch locations, equipment, instructional staff, and administrators, along with a detailed review of a random sampling of the student veteran files, which includes reviewing transcripts of grades, records of previous education, granting of appropriate credit, other relevant records, and VA payments under the Post 9/11 GI Bill®.

Technical Assistance:
Directly assist facility officials or businesses with any aspect of the approval process, student veteran certification process, and clarification of statute or policy changes.

Promote the increased usage of GI Bill® benefits through briefings and presentations, mass media marketing, and networking with a wide variety of stakeholders, to include providers of education and training, employers, military installations, and veterans groups.

Collaborate with government, veteran, and educational entities to resolve issues, identify and formulate training needs, share best practices, and identify opportunities for success.

Contract Compliance:
Fulfill all VA contract requirements on time and on target. These requirements include submission of reimbursement invoices and quarterly activity reports and completing annual security and privacy training requirements.