At your service...

Contact us via email or call us in-state toll-free between 9:00am and 5:00pm MT at 1.888.231.9393, Local 406.444.3095

MAIN CONTACTS

  • Ken Gemlich, Veteran's Education Program Manager, 406.444.0691
  • Jack Bailey, Director of Veterans Education, 406.444.4122

SECONDARY CONTACTS

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proud to be a Veteran

Montana State Approving Agency (SAA)
Veterans Education

SAA MISSION STATEMENT

  • Promote & safeguard quality education & training programs for veterans.
  • Ensure greater educational opportunities to meet the needs of veterans.
  • Assist the VA in preventing fraud, waste, & abuse in the administration of the GI bill.

The State Approving Agency (SAA) was established to ensure that Veterans or eligible dependents can use the GI Bill in an approved educational program. The primary function of the Montana SAA is to review, evaluate, and approve quality educational and training programs for Veterans' benefits.

Approved Programs
  • Institutions of higher learning—colleges and universities.
  • Non-degree institutions—vocational and technical schools.
  • Apprenticeship programs.
  • On-the-Job training programs.
  • Flight schools

The Montana SAA reviews programs relative to the state's standards and laws in addition to the Department of Veteran's Affairs (DVA) rules, regulations and other applicable laws. Programs are either approved or disapproved. Continuous supervision is required of approved programs. There are over 150 facilities currently approved in Montana for Veterans' educational benefits.

Veterans Education STAFF

Ken Gemlich
Veterans Ed Program Manager
Phone: (406) 444-0691
Fax: (406) 444-1373
E-mail:kgemlich@mt.gov
Jack Bailey
Director of Veterans Education
Phone: (406) 444-4122
Fax: (406) 444-1373
E-mail: jbailey3@mt.gov

Veterans Information

 

School Information

 

Accreditated Schools

* Controlled Form - Contact State Approving Agency 406.444.4122/444.0691

Non-Accreditated Schools

* Controlled Form - Contact State Approving Agency 406.444.4122/444.0691

 

Flight School Information

 

Approved Flight Schools

Utilization of Veterans education and training benefits for Flight Schools is a partnership between the flight school, the veteran, the State Approving Agency, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.  As the Certifying Official, you are the key to ensuring orderly and accurate processing for the veteran trainee within this alliance. This handbook is provided to assist you with this task.

This Handbook has been developed for use by Certifying Officials to assist with the certification process and maintenance of files for students receiving education benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA). All Flight Schools in Montana offering flight-training programs to eligible veterans are expected to have a copy of this Handbook. As regulations change, the Handbook will be updated and revised copies of the Handbook or addendum sheets will be provided. This Handbook provides the following information:

  • general information
  • Veterans Educational Programs (Chapters)
  • how a student applies for benefits
  • change of program or place of training procedures and forms
  • description of the responsibilities of a certifying official
  • guidelines to ensure that accurate records are established and maintained
  • directions for completing required VA forms for enrollment
  • monthly certification of veteran students 
  • requirements for SAA supervisory visits
  • reference information for certifying officials

Flight School Certifying Officials Handbook

Non-Approved Flight Schools

In order to receive GI Bill Benefits for flight training, the flight school and its programs must be approved by the State Approving Agency.  If you wish to have your flight school approved, please complete and submit the application for approval to our office. 

In addition to the application, the Flight School Application Handbook is also included for your reference and assistance.

Flight School Application
Montana Flight School Application Handbook

Veteran's Honorary High School Diploma

military servicemen and women

The 2003 Montana Legislature enacted Senate Bill 81 to provide special recognition in the form of an Honorary High School Diploma to certain veterans. The State of Montana recognizes the important contributions and sacrifices veterans made in the defense of our nation in awarding this honor.

During WWII, the Korean Conflict and Vietnam War, thousands of young men and women across this country left high school before completing the requirements for their high school diploma to serve in the military. At an age where most are concerned about proms, football games, and graduation parties, WWII veterans were landing at Omaha Beach or Guadalcanal, flying bombing runs over Germany, or imprisoned for months or even years as POWs on hostile, foreign soils.

Upon returning home, many of these veterans were not able to finish high school for a variety of reasons. They led productive lives and built our communities over their lifetime. These veterans have made significant contributions to this country while gaining substantial knowledge and skills through work.

The issuance of an honorary high school diploma by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction recognizes that what our veterans did not get in the school classroom, they learned in the classroom of life.

To be eligible for an Honorary High School Diploma, the veteran must meet all of the following requirements:

  1. Be a current or former Montana resident
  2. Did not receive a high school diploma
  3. Actively served in the United States armed services during one of the following periods:
    • World War II from 1939 through 1947
    • Korean War from 1950 through 1953
    • Vietnam War from 1961 through 1975
  4. Was honorably discharged; or was released from active duty because of a service-related disability

Download application form

  • The application form may be completed by the veteran or by an immediate family member on his/her behalf if the person is deceased or incapacitated.
  • A copy of the veteran's discharge from military service indicating honorable service between the dates specified above must be provided.
  • The applicant's signature certifies the application information.
  • Mail completed application with a copy of military discharge to:
    Montana Office of Public Instruction
    Attn: Margaret Bowles, - Veteran's Honorary Diploma
    PO Box 202501
    Helena, MT 59620-2501
    406.444.4443

A veteran or next of kin may request a copy of the veteran's discharge from military service from the National Personnel Records Center.

All requests must be made in writing using "Standard Form 180 "Request Pertaining to Military Records".

National Personnel Records Center
Military Personnel Records
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100

Letter to School Districts from former State Superintendent Linda McCulloch