Citing Pima Community College's "remarkable work," the Arizona Department of Veterans' Services has reinstated PCC's authority to certify enrollment of new-to-PCC Veterans Benefits Recipients.
Over the past several weeks, more than 40 employees have played a role in reviewing approximately 3,100 files of student-veterans. The review was mandated after U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs auditors earlier this year found that PCC failed to accurately and promptly report to the VA information about changes in the records of Veterans Benefit Recipients.
After visiting PCC last week and re-examining the College's updated files, the state found PCC to be "fully in compliance" and will be able to certify new students for the Summer and Fall semesters.
"It was very impressive to see firsthand the enormous progress your staff has made," wrote April R. Monthie, senior veterans' education and training specialist with the Arizona Veterans Education and Training Approving Agency, in informing Chancellor Lee D. Lambert that PCC's certifying authority had been restored. "It represents a huge commitment on the staff's and your part." [Complete letter is here.]
"The College owes its student-veterans the best possible programs and services as they transition back to civilian life," Chancellor Lambert said in a blog post about the reinstatement. "Thanks to our dedicated employees, we have taken a big step toward achieving that worthy goal."
PCC serves approximately 1,400 student-veterans each semester. The College recently opened an expanded Veterans Services Center at its Downtown Campus, has added veterans' services specialists and has streamlined processes to reduce paperwork student-veterans must file.