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Education Support

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Why Choose VA


Education Support
Continuous learning is essential to health care professionals' ability to provide top-notch patient care. We understand that and encourage VA employees to pursue higher education by offering one of the most comprehensive education support programs in the Nation. Explore the following links for a comprehensive look at the educational incentive programs VA affords its employees and trainees. All scholarship and loan repayment programs are subject to funding availability.

GENERAL PROGRAMS

Education Debt Reduction Program (EDRP)

EDRP authorizes VA to provide education debt reduction reimbursements to employees with qualifying loans who are in health care professional positions providing direct-patient care services, or services incident to direct patient care such as physicians, dentists, nurses, respiratory therapists, diagnostic radiologic technologists, pharmacists, psychologists, and others.

The health professional education covered by such a loan must be for the specific education that is required to qualify the applicant for the specific position. Each individual VHA facility determines which positions are hard to recruit and retain and when EDRP is offered. EDRP is a recruitment and retention incentive and is only offered or approved for certain positions.

Additional details may be obtained through the Human Resources Department at each VHA facility and by reviewing incentives offered in each job posting.

Employee Incentive Scholarship Program (EISP)

EISP is a scholarship awarded to full- and part-time VA employees who are currently enrolled in or accepted to an accredited education program. The scholarship covers tuition costs and related expenses.

VA National Education for Employees Program (VANEEP)

This program offers salary replacement money to VA employees who are enrolled full-time in an approved education program. VANEEP participants agree to work at their VA facility during academic breaks and, in return, receive full salary and payment for education costs, including tuition, books, and certain fees.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

Because VA is a Federal Government entity, VA employees with Federal student loans may be eligible for this national loan forgiveness program. Read the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Fact Sheet and visit the program's website for more information.

Nursing Programs

National Nursing Education Initiative (NNEI):
NNEI is a scholarship awarded to permanent full- and part-time VA registered nurses seeking baccalaureate and advanced nursing degrees from an authorized, accredited education program. VA requires nurses to have BSN degrees to advance beyond the Nurse Level 1 position. NNEI money may also be used to pursue other advanced degrees in related fields.

Student Programs

VA Learning Opportunities Residency (VALOR):
This program allows nursing, pharmacy, and medical technology students who have completed their junior year in an accredited clinical program to gain experience at a VA facility. Each local medical center is responsible for academic affiliations and the recruitment of VALOR students.

Visual Impairment and Orientation & Mobility Professionals Scholarship Program (VIOMPSP)

The Visual Impairment and Orientation & Mobility Professionals Scholarship Program awards scholarships to students seeking a degree or certificate in visual impairment or orientation and mobility. Awards are offered on a competitive basis, provide for the payment of tuition and required fees, and are exempt from Federal taxation. In exchange for the award, scholarship program participants agree to a 3-year service obligation in a VA health care facility.

Purpose
Provide our Veteran population with specialized care by increasing the supply of qualified blind rehabilitation specialists for VA.

Eligibility
  • Eligible applicants must be enrolled in, or unconditionally accepted for enrollment in, an academic program that prepares the applicant to meet the VA Qualification Standards for employment in occupational series 0601, Blind Rehabilitation Specialists or Blind Rehabilitation Outpatient Specialists.
  • Applicants must be citizens of the United States and pass a background investigation.
  • All academic institutions must be located in the United States or its territories and accredited by the professional accrediting body identified in VA Qualification Standards as required for occupational series 0601.
Covered Expenses
  • Full-time students:
    1. Tuition and required fees/Maximum $15,000 per academic year/$45,000 total award
    2. 4 years to complete education
  • Part-time students:Appl
    1. Tuition and required fees/Award maximums are based on ratio of full-time attendance
    2. 6 years to complete education
Service Obligation
  • Participants work as permanent, full-time VA employees in blind rehabilitation practice upon completing their educational program and licensure/certification.
  • Participants agree to a 3-year service obligation.
  • Participants sign a Mobility Agreement to relocate at their own expense if required to fulfill their service obligation
Coming Soon
Open period for accepting applications on http://www.vacareers.va.gov

Forms (*indicates required for application package)
(All forms are also available at http://www.va.gov/vaforms)

*Application (VA Form 10-0491G)
*Academic Verification (VA Form 10-0491)
*Evaluation and Recommendation (VA Form 10-0491E)
*Declaration for Federal Employment (OF 306)

Addendum to Application (VA Form 10-0491A)
VA Scholarship Offer Response (VA Form 10-0491K)
HPSP Agreement (VA Form 10-0491F)
VIOMPSP Agreement (VA Form 10-0491L)
Notice of Change/Annual Academic Status Report (VA Form 10-0491I)
Notice of Approaching Graduation (VA Form 10-0491H)
Education Program Completion Notice/Service Obligation Placement (VA Form 10-0491D)
Annual VA Employment/Deferment Verification (VA Form 10-0491C)
Request for Deferment for Advanced Education (VA Form 10-0491J)
ACH Vendor/Miscellaneous Payment Enrollment Form (SF-3881)
HPSP Mobility Agreement (TBD)
VIOMPSP Mobility Agreement (TBD)
HPSP Payment Voucher
VIOMPSP Payment Voucher

Health Professional Scholarship Program (HPSP)

The Health Professional Scholarship Program (HPSP)
will award scholarships to students receiving education or training in a direct or indirect health care services discipline (Title 38 and Hybrid Title 38 Occupations). Awards will be offered on a competitive basis and are exempt from Federal taxation. In exchange for the award, scholarship program participants will agree to a service obligation in a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care facility.

VA will announce the open period for accepting applications here on http://www.vacareers.va.gov after VA regulations, policy, and procedures are developed.

Please be sure to periodically check back here for any recent updates.


Purpose
  • Provide our Veteran population with specialized care by increasing the supply of qualified health care professionals.
  • Help the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) meet its need for qualified health care professionals in occupations where recruitment or retention is difficult
Eligibility
  • Each year VA will determine eligible occupations for the current year scholarships based on VHA’s Workforce Succession and Strategic Plan.
  • Eligible applicants must be enrolled in, or unconditionally accepted for enrollment in, an academic program that prepares the applicant to meet the VA Qualification Standards for employment in occupational field for which the scholarship is awarded.
  • Applicants must be citizens of the United States and pass a background investigation.
  • All academic institutions must be located in the United States or its territories and accredited by the professional accrediting body identified in VA Qualification Standards as required for the applicable occupational series.
  • Applicants cannot have an obligation under any Federal program to perform service after completion of the course of education or training.
Covered Expenses
  • Tuition and required fees
  • Monthly stipend
  • Annual education expense
  • Full-time students have a maximum of 4 years to complete their education
  • Part-time students (current VA employees only) have a maximum of 6 years to complete their education.
Service Obligation
  • Upon completing their educational program and licensure/certification, participants work as permanent, full-time VA employees in the occupation for which the scholarship was provided.
  • Participants agree to a 1-year to 3-year service obligation.
  • Participants sign a Mobility Agreement to relocate at their own expense if required to fulfill their service obligation.
Application Process
  • VA will post a Program Announcement here and on http://www.USAjobs.gov with the open period for accepting applications.
  • All applications will be accepted through http://www.USAjobs.gov.
  • Applicants must submit a complete application package consisting of:
    • Application (VA Form 10-0491g)
    • Academic Verification (VA Form 10-0491)
    • Evaluation and Recommendation (VA Form 10-0491e). Include one each from:
      • – the academic program where currently enrolled or where the applicant will be enrolled;
      • – a person who has known the applicant for a minimum of 2 years; and
      • – if a current or previous VA employee, the applicant’s VA supervisor or equivalent.
    • Academic Transcript (An unofficial transcript is acceptable)
    • Résumé
    • Declaration for Federal Employment (OF 306)
  • Program forms are available below and on http://www.va.gov/vaforms.
Forms (*indicates required for application package)
(All forms are also available at http://www.va.gov/vaforms)

*Application (VA Form 10-0491G)
*Academic Verification (VA Form 10-0491)
*Evaluation and Recommendation (VA Form 10-0491E)
*Declaration for Federal Employment (OF 306)

Addendum to Application (VA Form 10-0491A)
VA Scholarship Offer Response (VA Form 10-0491K)
HPSP Agreement (VA Form 10-0491F)
VIOMPSP Agreement (VA Form 10-0491L)
Notice of Change/Annual Academic Status Report (VA Form 10-0491I)
Notice of Approaching Graduation (VA Form 10-0491H)
Education Program Completion Notice/Service Obligation Placement (VA Form 10-0491D)
Annual VA Employment/Deferment Verification (VA Form 10-0491C)
Request for Deferment for Advanced Education (VA Form 10-0491J)
ACH Vendor/Miscellaneous Payment Enrollment Form (SF-3881)
HPSP Mobility Agreement (TBD)
VIOMPSP Mobility Agreement (TBD)
HPSP Payment Voucher
VIOMPSP Payment Voucher


EDUCATION

Leadership Education

VA views leadership development as a key strategy for creating a continuum of quality leadership, engaging employees, driving results, and supporting innovation.

VA offers ongoing internal training opportunities to personnel at every level of employment. Ranging from mandatory developmental programs to competitive opportunities, these programs include, but are not limited to:
  • VHA Mentor and Coach Certification Program
  • HPDM Awareness and Development
  • Organizational Health Initiatives
  • School at Work
  • VA Medical Center Leadership Institute
  • New Supervisor Training
  • Experienced Supervisor Training
  • Network-Level Leadership Institute
  • Nurse Manager Development
  • Service Chief Orientation
  • Executive Career Field Candidate Development Program (ECFCDP)
  • Health Care Leadership Institute for candidates selected into ECFCDP
  • VA Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program
  • Assistant Director Development Program
  • Senior Executive Orientation
  • Senior Executive Coaching Network
  • Nurse Executive Mentoring
  • Senior Leadership Academy
  • Senior Management Conference
  • Leadership VA (VA leaders can also pursue external education opportunities through EISP)

All of VA's leadership programs are based upon the High Performance Development Model (HPDM). The model aligns the organization around a set of eight core competencies that are used to develop training, select new employees, and serve as a basis for reward and recognition decisions.

These competencies are flexible as strategic objectives change. HPDM facilitates career development through continuous learning, coaching/mentoring, and assessment over a career span. Progression from one tier to another in the model is based upon successfully competing for promotions using a performance-based interview system that evaluates demonstrated success in core competencies.

Read what VA employees have to say about our HPDM leadership development programs.

Employee Education System

The Employee Education System (EES) is the VA health system's education and training organization. VA employees come to us for quality educational offerings that will improve their work performance and provide them with crucial continuing education. Our programs keep pace with the profound changes affecting work in the care of our Nation's Veterans.

To better serve our customers and clients, we have strategically established nine Employee Education Resource Centers (EERCs) across the country. These centers allow us to adopt best practices and leverage our resources and expertise to provide the best accessibility and affordability. These resource centers ensure communication is maximized, work is focused, cycle time is reduced, and products are delivered when and where they are needed.

As a VA employee, you have access to exceptional education and training resources. EES provides you numerous educational opportunities to improve your current skills and help you gain new ones.

Whether you need a refresher course on using Microsoft® Excel or you're looking for a brand new set of supervisory skills, EES provides VA staff with the most up-to-date, quality training. You can learn at your convenience since most of our offerings are available 24/7 from any computer with Internet access.

We understand that people prefer to receive their education and training in many different modalities. At VA, you can access programs in a variety of ways, including video, Live Meeting, print, web/computer based, live desktop video, and more. Plus, you'll use the VA Learning Management System to direct and oversee all of your continuing education quests.

Looking for accredited courses and programs? We have those, too. EES works with more than 12 accrediting bodies to ensure that our staff receives quality, worthwhile training.

  • Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME)
  • Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB)
  • Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE)
  • American Dental Association (ADA)
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
  • American Psychological Association (APA)
  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
  • California Board of Registered Nursing (CA BRN)
  • Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR)
  • National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC)
  • American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE)
  • California Board of Behavioral Sciences (CA BBS)

A career at VA allows you to enhance the skills you already have, develop new ones, and enhance your overall education. EES enables you to chart your own course for the future.

For more information, contact your VA employment representative.

VA Online Learning

VA Learning Online (VALO) puts a world of educational opportunities at your fingertips! Employees can take their pick of professional development opportunities and work-related courses offered by Government and private organizations. The VALO Web-based catalog offers more than 1,500 e-learning courses in a wide variety of topics. Log on and learn, at work or at home, 24 hours a day.

VA Learning Management System

VA's Learning Management System (VA LMS) is a web-based portal through which VA employees can manage their continuing education and maintain a single, official training record. The site offers direct, convenient access to thousands of VA's learning activities, including instructor-led, satellite and Web-based training, books, and other instructional products.

In their quest for career-enhancing training, users can search the VA LMS catalog to find information on learning opportunities of interest. Online courses and VA-required training can be accessed directly from VA LMS, and completed courses are automatically recorded in each employee's official training record.

With VA LMS, training and continuing education is readily available throughout VA. Employees can access this state-of-the-art tool from any computer with Internet access, 24 hours a day.

VA Knowledge Network

You can further your education and sharpen your job skills in a traditional classroom setting, or through on-the-job training, or by participating in self-paced study and online programs. And you can do all this at a time and place you choose for yourself!

VA Knowledge Network, a state of the art digital satellite system, delivers learning and performance improvement opportunities wherever you are. Programming is offered on four channels, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Colleges and Universities

VA will often pay for full- or part-time college studies. As a VA employee, you can sign up for general or specialized course work from a wide variety of nearby colleges and universities. You may also elect to broaden your work experience through temporary assignments to other agencies.

Managers and executives frequently attend nationally recognized executive development courses sponsored by private sector organizations and universities.


REPAYMENT AND REIMBURSEMENT

Student Loan Repayment

Under the VA Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP), employees in certain occupations may be eligible to receive up to $10,000 per year, with a lifetime maximum of $60,000, to help repay student loans. Please inquire further on the availability of the SLRP when submitting your application for employment.

Tuition Reimbursement

  • Education Debt Reduction Program (EDRP): Reduce your debt qualifying school loan debt with a VHA loan reimbursement program. To qualify, EDRP must be offered by the recruiting VHA Medical Center for a vacant position that provides direct patient care services or services incident to direct patient care. This offer will be within the official vacancy announcement for the qualifying position.

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