Thursday, November 22, 2012

FCC faces challenges in and out of court on broadband issues

Friday, November 16, 2012

IT pay to increase 5.3% in 2013

  • IT pay to increase 5.3% in 2013, staffing firm says
    Next year is expected to bring healthy salary increases for IT workers, including 9% and 7.9% raises for mobile-application developers and wireless network engineers, according to data from Robert Half Technology. Compensation is predicted to increase by an average of 5.3% in 2013, the staffing firm said. Network World

Monday, November 12, 2012

Microsoft aims for SQL Server to get in-memory

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sandy prompts DHS call for action on cybersecurity

  • Sandy prompts DHS call for action on cybersecurity
    Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is calling for the formation of a special reserve of computer experts to help protect the nation from cyberattack. Napolitano noted that the power infrastructure could be brought down by attacks on control systems from hostile nations or terrorists or from severe storms. "If you think that a critical systems attack that takes down a utility even for a few hours is not serious, just look at what is happening now that Mother Nature has taken out those utilities," she said in reference to Hurricane Sandy and its remnants

Monday, October 29, 2012

CompTIA Strata IT Fundamentals certification

CompTIA Strata IT Fundamentals

Strata IT FundThe CompTIA Strata IT Fundamentals certification ensures a knowledge of PC components, functionality, compatibility and related technology topics.
The exam covers the explanation of technology and computer hardware basics, compatibility issues and common errors, software installation and functions, security risks and prevention. The exam will also assess the candidate's knowledge of Green IT and preventative maintenance of computers.
Candidate job roles may include any of the following in information technology environments:sales associatesales engineeraccount managerbusiness development managerproduct or marketing specialist, or entry level customer support. The Strata IT Fundamentals certification is ideal for individuals and students preparing to enter the IT workforce and professionals changing careers to IT or technology-related fields. The certificate can be a stepping stone to higher certifications in CompTIA A+, and with specialized experience, CompTIA Network+ and CompTIA Security+.

Who Should Attend?

  • Individuals new to IT job market
  • Individuals considering a CompTIA Certification
  • Professionals in technology sales Recommended Pre-requisites

Recommended Pre-requisites

An interest in information technology is helpful for students taking CompTIA Strata IT Fundamental certification training.

Students will Learn How to:

  • Knowledge to identify and explain PC components. 
  • How to setup a basic PC workstation. 
  • Skills to conduct a basic software installation. 
  • Skills to identify compatibility issues and recognize/prevent basic security risks. 
  • Foundational Green IT concepts and preventative maintenance of computers.

Technical Features of the Course

  • Computer Hardware: Processors, RAM, hard drives 
  • Networking Basics: Wireless, Ethernet, Internet
  • Storage Devices: CD/CD-RW, DVD/DVD-RW, Blu-Ray, USB, MPS, PDA 
  • Upgrade Risks: compatibility, PC Speed, Bandwidth, Automatic 
  • Software Installation: administrative rights, firewall access, licensing, digital rights, re-installation 
  • Security: basic risk and prevention 
  • Green IT- preserve: environmental hazards, power management 
  • Green IT –technique: Cloud computing, terminal servers, NAS, telecommuting, VoIP


A Strata IT Fundamentals certificate candidate is required to pass a single exam.
Exam NameExam Code
 Strata IT FundamentalsFC0-U41

Thursday, October 25, 2012

CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner

CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner
The CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP) certification designates IT professionals with advanced-level security skills and knowledge.

Course/Exam Objectives

  • CASP Exam Overview

    • Examination and certification goals
    • The four domains of the exam

    Enterprise Security Principles

    Distinguishing cryptographic tools and techniques

    • Deploying encryption and hashing
    • Advanced PKI concepts
    • Cryptographic algorithms and usage
    • Transport encryption
    • Digital signature

    Virtual, distributed and shared computing

    • Securing virtual environments and equipment
    • Assessing vulnerabilities
    • Implementing secure elastic cloud computing
    • Maintaining different classification levels

    Securing enterprise storage

    • Virtual storage
    • NAS
    • vSAN
    • iSCSI
    • FCoE
    • Secure storage management
    • Maintaining availability with redundancy

    Protecting Your Hosts and Networks

    Integrating hosts, networks and applications

    • Complex network security solutions for data flow
    • Documenting with a logical deployment diagram
    • Advanced configuration of routers and switches
    • Host security: firewalls, end-point, host hardening

    Enhancing application security

    • Application sandboxing
    • Secure coding standards
    • Preventing attacks with error and exception handling
    • Securing against privilege escalation and fuzzing
    • Mitigating client-side vs. server-side vulnerabilities
    • Identifying buffer overflows and memory leaks

    Conducting assessments

    • Determining the best security testing tools
    • Port and vulnerability scanners
    • Protocol analyzers
    • Password crackers
    • HTTP interceptor
    • Testing methods: penetration testing, black box, code review, social engineering

    Risk Management Policies and Procedures

    Applying risk mitigation strategies and controls

    • Analyzing risk scenarios
    • Determining risks of evolving business strategies
    • Assessing the CIA aggregate score
    • Conducting system-specific risk analysis
    • Selecting security controls
    • Continuous monitoring

    Supporting incident response and recovery

    • Constructing a data inventory with e-discovery
    • Minimizing the severity of a data breach
    • Responding to incidents and emergencies

    Privacy policies and procedures

    • Safeguarding Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
    • Developing policies to support business objectives
    • Implementing policies designed to prevent fraud
    • Preventing social engineering attacks

    Research and Analysis

    Examining industry trends

    • Performing on-going research to support best practices
    • Testing new security systems and services
    • Assessing social media hazards

    Countering new exploits and attack methods

    • Preparing to defend against zero days
    • Identifying emerging threat information

    Integrating Computing, Communications and Business Disciplines

    Establishing communication requirements

    • Securely collaborating multiple job roles
    • Publishing security documentation

    Maintaining security in organizational change

    • Complying with rules, policies and regulations
    • Minimizing third-party product risk
    • Segmenting networks to separate traffic

    Securing the technology life cycle

    • Selecting security controls
    • Implementing unified communication security
    • Integrating security to the systems development life cycle

Test Details
Number of questions80 (maximum)
Length of Test150 minutes
Passing ScorePass/Fail only. No scaled score.
Recommended experience10 years experience in IT administration, including at least 5 years of hands-on technical security experience
Exam codeCAS-001 

The CASP certification is an international, vendor-neutral exam that proves competency in enterprise security; risk management; research and analysis; and integration of computing, communications, and business disciplines.
The exam covers the technical knowledge and skills required to conceptualize, design, and engineer secure solutions across complex enterprise environments. It involves applying critical thinking and judgment across a broad spectrum of security disciplines to propose and implement solutions that map to enterprise drivers.

While there is no required prerequisite, the CASP certification is intended to follow CompTIA Security+ or equivalent experience and has a technical, hands-on focus at the enterprise level.
The CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner certification was accredited by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)on Dec. 13, 2011. The CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner certification may be kept current through the CompTIA Continuing Education program.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

CompTIA Storage+ certification exam

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA is a vendor-neutral certification that validates the knowledge and skills required of IT Storage professionals. 

The CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA certification exam covers the knowledge and skills required to configure basic networks to include archive, backup, and restoration technologies. Additionally, the successful candidate will be able to understand the fundamentals of business continuity, application workload, system integration, and storage/system administration, while performing basic troubleshooting on connectivity issues and referencing documentation.

The exam is targeted toward IT storage professionals with at least twelve months of experience. Though it is not required, CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+ or CompTIA Security+ certification is recommended.

CompTIA Certification FAST FACTS:   

Is there a minimum age: NO, but thirteen is the recommended starting point.

Identification requirements: See our article under Testing & training questions "About Identification requirements"

Rescheduling exams: MUST be done through your test provider a minimum 24hrs. in advance of your appointment to avoid forfeiture of exam & fee.

Exam Code: SGO-001

Saturday, October 13, 2012

CompTIA and credit for other credentials or training towards a CompTIA certification

CompTIA and credit for other credentials or training towards a CompTIA certification

CompTIA does not give credit or accept other organization's credentials or certifications toward acquiring any CompTIA certification/s*.  Candidates must sit and pass the exam to earn a CompTIA certification.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

New CompTIA A+ 800 Series Exams

New CompTIA A+ 800 Series Exams Reflect Change in Entry-Level IT Roles

CompTIA has just launched the CompTIA A+ 800 exam series, which adds performance-based questions, new objectives for mobile devices and virtualization, and an increased emphasis on troubleshooting. The changes reflect new demands being placed on the entry-level IT technician, who must now help integrate and manage computer networks interfacing with a wide range of devices, such as smartphones and tablets. The vendor-neutral CompTIA A+ exam is evaluated and updated every three years to maintain the exam's globally recognized ISO/ANSI accreditation status.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Which CompTIA certifications does Microsoft accept?

Which CompTIA certifications does Microsoft accept?

Microsoft accepts a combination of CompTIA A+ with either CompTIA Network+ or CompTIA Server+, as an elective for their MCSA (Microsoft Certified System Administrator) certification program.  Visit Microsoft for more information.

Microsoft accepts CompTIA Security+ as an elective for the MCSA and the MCSE (Microsoft Certified System Engineer) certifications and, as a specialization option for the MCSA:Security and MCSE:Security certifications.

If you need to send your certifications to Microsoft, please have have your MCP ID# (provided by Microsoft) available before starting, to apply your CompTIA credentials towards your Microsoft certification.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Government Training Solutions

Government Solutions

MISSION:The mission of / GlobalNet Training is to supply government and military client partners worldwide with training that fulfills their complex and diverse requirements, through extensive program options and a variety of learning methods.
Government Power Program:
Our Government Power Program allows government and military organizations to purchase training with a government fund established specifically for your organization with GlobalNet Training and you will have GSA pricing applied against those funds paid into your Government Power Program for the classes you attend at our Dallas location. Program Features:
  1. Take advantage of any quarterly or end of the year funding availability along with provide discounted pricing for all the students enrolled without processing each time someone has a requirement.
  2. GlobalNet Training offers government clients an extensive training schedule of Cisco®, Security, Wireless, and Microsoft courses.
  3. Certified Trainers with technical expertise as well as real world experience along with many with military background clearances.
  4. The boot-camp schedule of training at GlobalNet Training also provides the government client with least out-of-office time.
  5. Candidates do not share training equipment at GlobalNet Training.
  6. Concentrated training and review. Free Exam Prep Questions.
  7. In-class testing.
  8. Test pass guarantee.
  9. GlobalNet Training has a new state-of-the-art corporate training location providing a superb educational environment.
  10. Hotel accommodations across the street from our training center, GlobalNet can make hotel reservations.
  11. Easy access to any need during the stay with us.
  12. GlobalNet Training supplies continental breakfast and lunch for each student attending training.
Military Training Programs: Purchase of Government Power Program
GlobalNet Training is an expert in the military IT training arena with the skills to build and host a variety of information technology programs and in a variety of formats.
Many of our programs are created to run in intense Training Boot Camp instructor led delivery formats, further offering real-world military experience and leveraging both military and IT training experience to define and deploy worldwide training programs utilizing all of that knowledge in the boot camp format to provide knowledge transfer for the particular initiatives targeted. Many of our instructors have Department of Defense (DoD) and intelligence clearance.
We also offer customized training. Our dedicated government team begins with a skill and needs assessment. From there, we develop tailored or customized training to meet your specific requirements. All training is delivered by English speaking instructors.
GlobalNet offers flexible and cost effective delivery methods with on-site, virtual instructor-led and self-paced training options to meet varied geographical, technical and time limitation demands.
GlobalNet Training has developed IT network training programs specifically for military personnel. Our expert knowledge team has developed customized curriculum and tailored labs. Air Force, Navy, Army, Marines, National Guard, Coast Guard, JNet, NIT, U-S Cavalry 1, JSF, along with extensive training for government contractor companies; have all benefited from our custom programs. We have built into our security courses the DoD STIGS to enable compliance with DoD security policies. FISMA and DoD Directive 8570GlobalNet Training’s government team will supply information regarding any training programs for government or military agencies to demonstrate and prove that personnel hold IT security competency with IT certifications reporting of their workforce requirements of IT related skill sets.
Skills based certification programs are targeted at these directive requirements for personnel providing information technology based work load in the administering of secure networks with the federal government agencies and the U. S. Department of Defense. The GlobalNet Training government training team can assist in the satisfaction of these requirements through our various certification programs and testing available.
Federal Government Training Programs: Purchase of Government Power Program
GlobalNet Training offers the Government Power Program to all federal agencies for the purchase of training. Current legislation requires federal managers to improve financial and executive management of resources in securing vital information through greater skill sets. This additional requirement of technical skills is with the security considerations to provide preservation of the most valuable asset of information.
The Government Power Program at GlobalNet Training allows for the funding of training in a specific account for your agency and applying training against those funds at the GSA schedule pricing. It eliminates processing time and resources by having it readily available.
State and Local Government Training: Purchase of Government Power Program
GlobalNet Training Government Power Program can also be utilized in the purchase of all state and local government training needs. This program will also ensure funds applied with setting up the funded account and applied to each purchase from our GSA schedule discounted pricing.
Private Training Classes:
GlobalNet Training will host private classes for your organization at our new state-of-the-art corporate location for the specific requirements needed and government and military clients may utilize their Government Power Program for payment. All of the infrastructure incorporated into our training will be utilized for successful training events to increase productivity.
On-Site Training Classes:
GlobalNet Training’s mission of global delivery of information technology training can be customized or in boot camp format so that all personnel receive the same training for the required skill sets needed to perform the mission. These can also be purchased through an annual or quarterly purchase of the Government Power Program. As an established learning and training roll out integrator, GlobalNet Training is experienced and specializes in logistical co√∂rdination of training solutions and implementations for government, military and enterprise clients.
On-Site Training Classes can include the following:
  • Customization Program
  • Certified Instructors
  • Individual Pods of Cisco® Routers, Switches
  • PIX Firewalls and ASA Devices
  • 24x7Access to Cisco® Equipment Pods
  • Extended Lab Time for maximum hands-on instruction
  • Real World Simulations
  • All books and class materials \Test Vouchers
  • Test Delivery
  • Free Prep Questions and review
    You only need to provide the training room with appropriate PC equipment and Internet connection.
GlobalNet Training recognizes the challenges of meeting those training requirement needs in the most expedient manner possible. We have utilized our Government Power Program with GSA pricing to make it easy for you to contract our services in a speedy manner.

GSA Schedule GS35FO499R is provided, along with the ability to purchase on government credit cards or through our direct wire information. To learn more about our Federal Training programs, contact us.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

CCNA Boot Camp in Dallas by Todd Lammle / GlobalNet Training
& Consulting Newsletter
News and Announcements
August 16, 2012
Todd Lammles next 6-Day CCNA Boot Camp starts October 1st in Dallas. Prepare for the CCNA with ICND1 on September 26th.

Already have your CCNA? There are seats available for upcoming CCNP, CCNA Voice/CVoice and CCIE training.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

CompTIA will add performance-based questions to its

CompTIA will add performance-based questions to its CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+ and CompTIA Security+ certification exams in the coming months.

Performance-based questions require exam candidates to perform a task or solve a problem within a simulated IT environment to demonstrate specific knowledge or skills. Currently, the three exams employ only multiple-choice questions.

The CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP) exam, introduced in September 2011, was the first CompTIA exam to employ a mix of multiple choice and performance-based questions. Now, CompTIA will expand its use of the latest exam delivery technology to its top three foundational exams in order to more accurately gauge the skill level of exam candidates.

The Performance-Based Difference

All CompTIA exam candidates take their tests on computers at authorized Pearson VUE testing centers.

Multiple-choice questions in CompTIA exams ask a candidate to select one or more correct answers to a specific question, and the candidate clicks on the correct answer or answers.

However, performance-based questions require the candidate to perform a task or solve a problem in simulated IT environments. For each performance-based question, the exam prompts the candidate to perform a specific task or solve a specific problem. A simulated environment is then launched in which the candidate completes the required steps.

Each question is designed around real-world computer scenarios that will test a candidate's skills and knowledge. Depending on the nature of the exam and the exam question, the simulated environments may include different aspects of IT infrastructure, such as command prompts, Windows or networking environments.

Once candidates use the simulated environment to perform the requested task or solve the stated problem, they click a "Done" button to submit their answer.

Exam candidates must pay careful attention to the wording and details of each question in order to form the correct answer.

To prepare for exams with performance-based questions, CompTIA encourages candidates to gain hands-on practice with exam objectives, in addition to engaging in their preferred methods for study and training.

When New Questions Will Be Added

CompTIA's schedule for adding performance-based questions to its exams is as follows:
  • CompTIA A+: The updated versions of the CompTIA A+ exams, 220-801 and 220-802, will contain performance-based questions in addition to multiple-choice questions and are scheduled to launch by October 2012. The current CompTIA A+ exams, 220-701 and 220-702, do not contain performance based questions and will remain in the market until CompTIA retires them on August 31, 2013.
  • CompTIA Network+: Performance-based questions will be added to the CompTIA Network+ exam (N10-005) this year, during the fourth quarter of 2012. The older CompTIA Network+ exam, N10-004, which does not contain performance based questions, will be retired on August 31, 2012.
  • CompTIA Security+: CompTIA will add performance based questions to the existing CompTIA Security+ exam, SY0-301, in the first quarter of 2013.

For training and exam prep for these certifications visit

Friday, September 14, 2012

New Mentoring Program for Women in IT

New Mentoring Program for Women in IT

Although only a few months since its official launch this year, the Advancing Women in IT Community already has developed a new mentoring program to help women start their IT careers and work their way up the corporate ladder.  Plus the community created a new video to espouse the benefits of an IT career to women of all ages. View the video and check out the  new mentoring program.  Better yet, socialize the video on your own social media, and pass along the program news to women in your organization who want to take part in the community and its programs. To sign up to be a mentor, contact   Cathy Alper. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Upcoming Todd Lammle Cisco Courses

(Discounted!) Upcoming Courses
  • September 26th, October 24th & December 5th, 2012:4-day ICND1 (CCENT) with Todd Lammle All-Inclusive
    Learn with the best! Achieve your ICND1 (CCENT) certification in only four days with Todd Lammle. Build the foundation you need in just four days! The class will be held at the luxurious Hyatt Hotel in Richardson, Texas. Our on-site all inclusive package includes your hotel stay, hot food, and your test! This course will also be taught online.
  • October 1st & 29th, December 10th 2012:6-day CCNA Boot Camp with Todd Lammle All-Inclusive
    This high-quality, newly updated 6-day CCNA hands-on course with Todd Lammle will be held in Dallas and available online. This All-Inclusive class will be held at the luxurious Hyatt Hotel in Richardson, Texas, with your hotel stay, hot food, and your test delivered on site! FREE CCENT Pre-study material provided to build the foundation on subnetting before class, and Todd Lammle online videos included!
  • October 8th & December 10th, 2012:12-day CCNP Boot Camp with Todd Lammle All-Inclusive
    This newly updated 12-day CCNP hands-on course will help you achieve the higher education you need in this financial market! The class will be held at the luxurious Hyatt Hotel in Richardson, Texas. Our on-site all inclusive package includes your hotel stay, hot food, and your tests! FREE CCNP Pre-study material provided to build the foundation you need is included! This course will also be taught online.
  • October 22nd & December 3rd, 2012:5-day CCIE R&S Written All-Inclusive
    We run this class only four times a year and it sells out every time! Guaranteed success or a second voucher is provided at no charge! A $350 value! A CCNA and CCNP, or equivalent knowledge, is a pre-requisite to this advanced class The class will be held at the luxurious Hyatt Hotel in Richardson, Texas. Our on-site all inclusive package includes your hotel stay, hot food, and your test!
  • October 29th, 2012:5-day CCIE R&S Practical All-Inclusive
    Attend the famous Narbik Kocharian's Routing and Switching as well as Cisco's 360 CCIE R/S Advanced. This program includes 5 days of Instructor-Led lessons, a lab guide and hands-on labs on specific topics, as well as Assessment labs, including instructor time and feedback to provide mentoring and support.
  • October 29th, 2012:5-day CCNA Voice/CVoice All-Inclusive
    Achieve your CCNA Voice and CVoice in only 5 days with GlobalNet Training. Vouchers for both exams are included! The class will held at the luxurious Hyatt in Richardson, Texas. Our on-site all inclusive package includes your hotel stay, hot food, and your test! This course will also be taught online.
  • November 5th, 2012:12-day CCNP Voice All-Inclusive
    This 12-day class will be held at the luxurious Hyatt Hotel in Richardson, Texas. Our on-site all inclusive package includes your hotel stay, hot food, and your tests! Leave certified with on-site testing! This course will also be taught online.

Monday, September 3, 2012

How Veterans Can Use Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefits to Pay for IT Training and Certification

How Veterans Can Use Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefits to Pay for IT Training and Certification

Veterans and transitioning military members interested in building a career in IT after their service in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars can use their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to pay for IT training and certification. Since October 2011, the benefits can be used to pay for IT training via non-college degree training programs, as well as graduate and undergraduate degree programs.
Here’s how to do it.
A veteran’s best source of information about the Post 9/11 GI Bill is the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website Unless noted, the information that follows is from the GI Bill website.
Veterans, service members and their families use the VA’s eBenefits website, to research, find, apply for, and, in time, manage Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits, along with other VA benefits.

Post 9/11 GI Bill Basics

The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides financial support for education, books, and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service after September 10, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
“Veterans come to us knowing they want to take some IT training, but they don’t always know that they have available benefits”
The Post-9/11 GI Bill can help a veteran pay for a variety of training programs:
  • Graduate and undergraduate degrees
  • Vocational/technical training from non-college degree programs
  • On-the-job training
  • Flight training
  • Correspondence training
  • Licensing and national testing programs
  • Entrepreneurship training
  • Tutorial assistance
All training programs must be approved for GI Bill benefits. You can search the VA’s database of approved education and job training programs here. CompTIA certifications can be found in the VA’s database of approved licenses and certifications when searched for by name (i.e., “A+,” “Network+” or “Security+.”)

How much can a veteran receive under the Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits?

The Post-9/11 GI Bill disburses your tuition and fees directly to your school and makes housing and other payments directly to you. The direct payment of tuition is a boon for veterans, because the original Montgomery GI Bill only reimbursed veterans for their education expenses.
Post -9/11 GI Bill benefits can be used pay for:
  • Tuition and fees. As of August 1, 2012, the benefit is capped at $18,077.50 per academic year at non-degree programs or private institutes of higher learning. If you are a resident student at a public institution of higher learning, all in-state tuition and fee payments are reimbursed.
  • Housing during the training, via a monthly allowance that varies by local cost of living rates
  • Books and supplies, up to $1,000 annually if attending school full-time
The Post-9/11 GI Bill can provide up to 36 months of education benefits. Generally benefits are payable for 15 years following your release from active duty.
Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits are calculated as a percentage based on:
  • Length of active duty service
  • Education enrollment status (full-time or less)
  • ZIP code of the education program you attend (for housing allowance)
“If a veteran has served 36 months active duty after 9/11, they get 100 percent,” explains Latoya Mack, academic advisor for military programs at Tidewater Community College‘s Center for Military and Veterans Education on TCC’s Virginia Beach, Va., campus.
With more than 5,500 veterans and roughly 2,000 active duty service members enrolled, TCC in 2010 and 2011 ranked number one among community colleges for the number of veterans enrolled using the Post-9/11 GI Bill and in the top five among all higher education institutions. TCC’s new Center for Military and Veterans Education provides one-stop support service — including counseling, academic and benefits advising, and workforce development — to veterans, military service members and their spouses and families.

How to Apply for Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefits

The VA provides a “Road Map for Success” that outlines steps for deciding what veterans’ benefits are best for your educational goals and financial needs.

STEP 1: Determine your best benefit

Many veterans and active duty personnel can qualify for more than one education benefits program, including the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty, the Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve, and the Reserve Educational Assistance Program. However, an individual may not use a single period of service to establish eligibility for more than one education program. So a veteran who had only one period of service must chose which benefit is best for his or her goals and needs.
“Once you chose to use your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits, you have to give up your Montgomery GI Bill benefits,” explains TCC’s Mack. Because veterans frequently can’t afford to pay tuition out of pocket, they often opt to use the Post 9/11 benefits, she added.
You have to compare the type of training you plan to take, where you plan to take courses (online or on-campus), and the rate you plan to study (full-time, greater than half-time, half-time or less) with the provisions of the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
At TCC’s Center for Veterans and Military Education, Executive Director Bruce Brunson says his advisors work with veterans to identify whether they want to advance their education with a non-degree program, an associates degree or, to get into the workforce rapidly, a career certificate.
IT is among the top 10 degree programs that veterans select at TCC, say Brunson. “When veterans come in, they frequently know they want to enter into the IT field, but they don’t understand the different areas.”
A comparison of VA education benefit programs can be found here.

STEP 2: Collect Your Paperwork & Information

The information needed to apply for Post-9/11 benefits includes:
  • Dates and service status for each period of military service
  • Whether you have participated in the $600 buy-up program
The documents needed for your application for Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits include:
  • DD214 Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty for all periods of active duty
  • Transcripts for all periods of education after high school
  • Kicker contract (if applicable)

STEP 3: Choosing A School or Program

You will need to gather information about tuition rates, tuition per-credit hour charges, any mandatory fees, and the school’s ZIP code (which determines the monthly housing allowance given under the Post-9/11 GI Bill), and living expenses (housing, food, transportation, parking etc.) for each school you plan to attend. This information is important because:
  1. You must choose a school that’s been approved for GI Bill benefits in order for your education expenses to be reimbursed by the VA.
  2. You must know your financial obligations at each school — what will be paid by Post-9/11 benefits and what expenses you must pay directly.
It’s important to calculate the cost of a school’s entire program and the maximum benefit the VA will pay in Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits. Will you have the degree, certification or experience you need to achieve your goals by the time you have exhausted your benefits? The VA offers many resources to help veterans choose a school and also offers a search engine to help veterans find approved schools and programs.
The VA encourages veterans to review multiple factors when choosing a school, including whether a school has agreed to adhere to the Principles of Excellence for educational institutions receiving federal funding. TCC and New Horizons both participate in the program. Among other things, the institutions in the Principles of Excellence program:
  • Provide students with a personalized form covering the total cost of an education program
  • Provide educational plans for all military and veteran education beneficiaries
  • Designate a point of contact for academic and financial advising

STEP 4: Compare the Programs

You should determine the best VA benefit program and school for your objectives. By now you should have enough information to decide whether you want to apply for the Post-9/11 GI Bill or another benefit program.
New Horizons’ Betzold encourages veterans to carefully estimate the education program’s cost and time versus its outcome. “Veterans have to be very choosy,” says Betzold. “They have a limited amount of benefits through the Post-9/11 GI Bill — roughly $18,000 a year for three years. If they pick the wrong school, that amount of money can be exhausted very rapidly, and they still might not have the degree or credential they were trying to pursue.”
Few colleges or community colleges will offer veterans the type of wrap-around support and advisory services provided at TCC’s Center for Veterans and Military Education, so TCC’s Mack, herself a Navy veteran, encourages all veterans to intensively research their benefit options and their school options. Do some online research and call each school to ask how they handle veterans’ benefits. “Each school will say something a little bit different, and you learn something new from each one,” Mack says.
“You must do that research,” says Mack. “You really have to know what you want to do, what benefits you want to use, and then formulate that all together.”

STEP 5: Apply for Benefits

You can apply for Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits online or via paper forms. Use the VONAPP Veterans Online Applications website to apply online. If you have trouble with the application process, you can call a VA Education Case Manager (1-888-GIBill1) to ask for help. If you prefer to use a paper application, use Form 22-1990 mailed to a VA Regional Processing Office.
At TCC, Mack says the VA usually responds to a veteran’s Post-9/11 GI Bill application within 60 days; paper forms take longer. TCC recently reworked its registrar system to permit a “class hold request” that would enable veterans to enroll and attend classes for up to 60 days while they wait for Post-9/11 benefits to be approved. TCC also will loan veterans money on a case-by-case basis for textbooks while waiting for their books and supplies stipend.
“Through the Post 9/11 Bill, veterans now have more of opportunity to get their training paid for, which is what they’ve earned,” says Betzold.

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