State Approving Agency, On the Job Training & Apprenticeship



The Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs State Approving Agency (SAA) evaluates and either approves or denies use of the GI Bill® at Wisconsin colleges, universities and vocational training facilities.  The SAA conducts compliance surveys on behalf of the VA to ensure that eligible students are paid accurately, properly and timely.  Surveys cover veterans attending schools while employed in an OJT or Apprenticeship program.  The SAA provides technical assistance to school certifying officials, eligible persons, and other individuals, organizations and agencies regarding federal benefits and approval criteria.  The economic impact of the federal GI Bill benefits paid to Wisconsin Veterans and dependents constitutes more than $27 million annually. 

For more details see our fact sheet.

The types of approved training facilities include the following:

  • Colleges and Universities
  • Vocational Schools
  • Business Schools
  • Professional Schools
  • Vocational Flight Schools
  • High Schools
  • Apprenticeships
  • On-the-Job Training Programs
  • Licensing and Certification Tests

There are more than 200 institutions and 350 OJTs and Apprenticeships sites approved for GI Bill benefits in Wisconsin. Learn more about whether a particular institution or program is approved for VA educational benefits.

  • On an annual basis, the SAA:

    • Reviews and processes over 600 academic programs at institution of higher learning (IHL) and 700 programs at non-college degree (NCD) institutions.

    • Commencing in FY17, the SAA  oversees the approval and compliance of approximately 350 OJTs and apprenticeships.

    • Conducts over 45 on-site school and OJT/Apprenticeship compliance and licensing visits per year.

Please call the SAA if you:

  • Question whether a Wisconsin school/academic program is approved for veterans' education benefits (GI Bill)

  • Represent a Wisconsin education institution that would like to be approved for veterans education benefits

  • Questions about an apprenticeship/on the job training

The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act, also known as the “Forever GI Bill,” was signed into law on August 17, 2017, and brings significant changes to Veterans’ education benefits over the next few years. Most enhance or expand education benefits for Veterans, servicemembers, families and survivors.

To see what institutions are currently approved for the GI Bill you can use the Web Enabled Approval Management System (Weams) school search.  To see what is approved in Wisconsin click on the State of Wisconsin, then select the name of the facility that it begins with to see if it is approved.

If you have a question for a State Approving Agency located in another state or not sure that your program is approved in that state then click here


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If you are looking for VA Forms click here.

Celebrating 75 Years of the GI Bill

Signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 22, 1944, the Servicemen's Readjustment Act - commonly known as the GI Bill of Rights - has helped millions of veterans receive education and training benefits and more. The Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs, along with its State Approving Agency, are proud to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the benefit in 2019.

The WDVA is proud to highlight how the federal GI Bill has helped veterans living in Wisconsin obtain success in their careers. See some of the stories in the "My GI Bill Story" series below:

Certifying Officials and School Certifying Officials

Upon approval of the program, the school/employer/sponsor agrees to designate a person(s) who will be the Certifying Official(s). The Certifying Official will be the liaison with the SAA. The Certifying Official is the only school/facility representative who may endorse VA forms or web based certifications for the purposes of GI Bill educational benefits; further, the Certifying Official is responsible for keeping the beneficiaries' training file current.

This person notifies the SAA of any changes that have an effect on the State approval and VA concurrence. Examples of such changes include, but are not limited to:

  • Changes of school accreditation, ownership, branches, academic offerings, or licensing
  • Changes to policies or content of catalog or school bulletin
  • Changes in modality of course instruction
  • Changes to the Journeyman/finish wage scale
  • Changes in address, phone number, etc.
  • Additions or deletions of occupational trades
  • Changes to apprenticeship standards
  • Changes in training outlines
  • Changes in certifying official(s)


If you have questions about the apprenticeship or OJT Sebastian Walters, Veterans Program Specialist at 608-261-8771 or​

‘‘GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at"

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