Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Officially Admitted to the Universidad de Salamanca

Logotipo Universidad de Salamanca The stars in the sky have aligned and everything is slowly falling into place, and all around the same time too. On May 11th, I received my school placement in the Auxiliares de conversación program and on May 12th, I received my official acceptance letter into the Master of Advanced English Studies program at the Universidad de Salamanca. I don't feel that it would be wise of me to try to do both programs at the same time since the schools run at the same time. I still have two huge obstacles in front of me.

The first being: Getting the Veteran's Administration to pay for my tuition and housing allowance for my studies in Spain. In my haste, I  missed the rather important fact that while the University is approved for the GI Bill, my particular course of study is not. The Master's in Spanish Language and Culture is.

In order to get my program approved, I have to find someone at the Universidad de Salamanca who is willing, able, and qualified to complete the following information for me and provide it to the VA. I called the VA to ask about the process and I was told that the process would take approximately 2 months AFTER they review the paperwork. They will backdate my benefits for up to one year. My dilemma is this though. Do I go with Plan A and run off to Spain and hope that I can find someone who can assist me with this or play it safe and go with Plan B and teach English instead? The Director of the Master's Program is trying to help me find the point of contact for this but no luck yet.

Should I go with Plan A (Master's program) or Plan B (Auxiliares)?? This is a difficult task, even for a US based educational institution and I'm asking a foreign university to do this for my benefit alone in a second language. If I don't have a good point of contact from someone who is willing to ask me by the middle of June, I'm going to admit defeat (for this year) and go with Plan B. Thoughts? What would you do under these circumstances?

Please submit all information in English or include an English translation of the submitted information. 

VA requires the following information be included in your request for program approval:
  1. Full legal name of the institution, local alternative name(s), and the English equivalent, as appropriate.
  2. Address of the institution.
  3. Full name and title of the person or person(s) authorized to certify VA forms for your institution.
  4. Language or languages used in conducting classes.
  5. Sponsorship, such as Ministry of Education, province, state, canton, municipality, specific church organization, or religious order.
  6. Is your Facility considered to be a public or private Institution?
  7. Does the Ministry, Department, or Office of Education, etc., officially classify the school as an institution of higher learning? (i.e., as a college, university, or similar establishment offering postsecondary level academic instruction leading to the conferring of a degree).  If so, what type of degree? 
  8. Provide the name of the program of study and the name of the student for which you are requesting approval. Only programs that eligible persons are enrolled in, or are thinking of enrolling in, should be requested. 
    • Be sure to include the academic prerequisites for enrollment (for example, is High School graduation a requirement?).
    • Please indicate the total length of the program.
    • Reference to a specific program by name and page number in the college catalog or direct web link address will be sufficient.
  9. Will the institution agree to accept students found to be eligible for VA benefits (United States veterans, servicepersons, reservists, and eligible dependents enrolled under title 38, United States Code or title 10, United States Code), at the student’s expense, in accordance with the provisions of the law, and at rates for tuition, related instructional fees, and expenses not greater than those required of other students similarly circumstanced?
  10. Will the institution agree to maintain sufficient records to show the progress of each VA student and to promptly inform the VA when the conduct or progress of any VA student is not satisfactory in accordance with the regularly prescribed standards and practices of the institution?
  11. Will the institution agree to complete the enrollment certifications and agree not to include any courses that are audited (no credit applied toward program requirements)? Will the institution also agree to promptly inform the VA when it comes to the school’s attention that any VA student:
    • Has changes in hours of credit or attendance, or 
    • Has interrupted or discontinued a course or program of study, giving the date(s) of withdrawal and the reason(s), if known, or 
    • Receives grade(s) for any course(s) that will not be used when computing graduation requirements.
  12. Will the institution give appropriate credit for previous education and training of VA students, shorten the training period proportionately, and reflect the credit granted on the enrollment certifications?
  13. Will the institution, if and when requested by VA, make all appropriate records pertaining to the enrollment of VA students available for examination by VA or its representatives?
  14. Will the institution routinely furnish VA with current publications concerning the courses and programs of study which are approved under the law?
  15. The application should be dated and subscribed by an official authorized to commit the institution to an agreement with VA, showing his or her title or position.

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