State Approving Agency move will provide single contact point for veterans
Posted on 10/15/2013
For More Information Contact: Linda Donlin, Director of Communications and Media Relations North Dakota University System Phone: 701.328.2962 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
BISMARCK, N.D. - The State Approving Agency has relocated its office to provide better service to veterans. Rhonda Schauer, director of SAA, will be sharing office space with the North Dakota Department of Veteran Affairs at 925 Basin Avenue, Suite 6, in Bismarck. The SAA office was formerly located at 1815 Schafer St.
In a joint statement, Larry C. Skogen, North Dakota University System interim chancellor, and Lonnie Wangen, Commissioner of the North Dakota Department of Veteran Affairs, said, "We feel that the transfer of the office will help create a single point of contact and provide a critical mass of resources and services in support of veterans."
Wangen said, "We have been increasing our outreach to other state agencies to form collaborative working relationships that will better serve North Dakota's veterans and their dependents. It became very apparent that we share many of the same goals. Our working relationship has grown to where it makes sense to share our working space in order to have a more efficient and effective collaboration of services on a day-to-day basis."
"Working with Interim Chancellor Skogen on this issue has been a pleasure," Wangen said. "He sees the value of this move, and we both agree that this is a win-win situation. I look forward to this new working relationship and the great services that the State Approving Agency brings to the Veterans of North Dakota."
Skogen said, "This move fits well with the wonderful services Commissioner Wangen and his team already perform for the veterans in our state. It was an easy decision for us to make."
The primary responsibility of the SAA is to determine if an education or training program -- offered within the state -- is an appropriate way for veterans, active-duty military and their dependents to use VA education benefits. Each state in the country has one SAA, and some states have two or three. NDUS is the State Approving Agency in North Dakota and will continue to administer the budget and position.
North Dakota has about 2,100 veterans enrolled in approved programs, which are found in 103 schools, training establishments and businesses. Re-assignment should help improve oversight of and assistance to the schools, increase outreach activities and use of veterans' educational benefits while improving the coordination and approval of programs.