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GI Bill use extends to certificate programs


Raymund Golez, vice president of the CSUEB Student Veterans Organization, consults with a Veterans Affairs representative at the student group’s annual end-of-the-year barbeque.

  • June 16, 2009

Military veterans have used the Government Issue, or GI, Bill for the past 65 years to help pay for their college studies. Following a recent change to the program, for the first time vets attending Cal State East Bay can put their GI Bill money toward certificate programs that train them in fields such as international business or teaching English to non-native speakers.

Previously, students could only use their benefits for degree programs such as a bachelor’s or master’s degree, said Brian Cook, interim executive director for the Division of Continuing and International Education. Certificate programs, such as paralegal studies, have a narrower objective than a degree and can be used toward specific occupations and career skills.

“A paralegal is an important position in the legal system, but there is no degree for a paralegal so the certificate program meets these specific career needs,” Cook said.

Education assistance for veterans is part of the GI Bill of Rights, which was established in 1944 to provide veterans returning from service with education and training, loan guaranty for homes, farms or businesses and unemployment pay. The Department of Veterans Affairs administers the assistance programs for veterans, service members and some dependents of disabled or deceased veterans.

Veteran students at Cal State East Bay may pursue a certificate in 18 approved academic credit programs: Art Museum/Gallery Studies, Biomedical Quality Systems, Chemical Dependency Studies, Engineering Management, Fund Accounting, International Business, Java Programming, Linux/Unix Administration, .NET Programming, Networking and Data Communications, Nonprofit Management, Online Teaching and Learning, Paralegal Studies, Quality Management, Regulatory Affairs, Teaching Chinese as a Heritage Language, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, and Web Programming.

Program courses are offered online, in the classroom or as a mix of the two, and may offer transferrable academic units towards a degree program. Additionally, some courses do not require university admission.

For more information, visit or contact Continuing Education Registrar Gail Turner at or (510) 885-2305.

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