Suspension lifted for HCC’s veterans program for enrolling new students

HCC ceremony saluting veterans

HOUSTON — Houston Community College announced late Friday that it has resumed enrolling new students into its veterans program.

The Texas Veterans Commission suspended the program on Dec. 4 for discrepancies “that included failure to promptly certify students and to report to the VA within 30 days when a student terminates, withdraws from, or changes hours,” according to an HCC memo about the program being pulled.

The state Veterans Commission says those issues have now been resolved and the veterans program has been reinstated in full, according to college officials.

That means that veterans enrolling as new students can do so for the spring semester, something that was in doubt when the suspension was issued.

“I applaud their efforts on getting done what they needed to get done as fast as they did so that we could minimize any downtime or disruption in enrolling veterans in our program,” said HCC Trustee Robert Glaser, who chairs the board’s audit committee. “But I am going pursue inquiries into finding out how this actually happened, why it happened, and why did it rise to a level of a suspension of enrollment for new students.”

The suspension lift comes in the wake of reporting by The Texas Monitor about the program’s poor marks by the state Veterans Commission, and much questioning at the HCC board meeting by trustees, including Glaser.

The college system’s veterans program had problems in 2013 but had scored good marks for the past few years until now.

“I want some more reports on what happened and I want to make sure what has happened in the past won’t happen again,” Glaser said. “This has happened multiple times in the past.”

Glaser also said he wants the college in a public setting to detail what went wrong, and its plan that fixed the issues.

HCC currently has more than 1,900 students receiving veterans benefits. Veteran students are provided educational and financial resources, fast-track workforce training and job placement opportunities.

Trent Seibert can be reached at [email protected] or at 832-258-6119.

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Trent is an award-winning editor and reporter, who has previously worked The Denver Post, The (Nashville) Tennessean, and the San Diego Union-Tribune. Most recently, he was the investigative producer for Houston’s KTRK-TV ABC-13. He was also the editor and founder of Texas Watchdog, a ground-breaking news group that paved the way for this project. Trent is a teacher of journalism skills, and has shown hundreds of reporters and citizen-journalists how to use public records, databases and journalism tools to keep a watchful eye on their own local government.


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