VA Offers Career, Educational Counseling to Veterans

In addition to the many programs offered by the Department of Affairs (VA), lesser known benefits available to all Veterans are the Educational and Career Counseling services.

Education & Counseling for Veterans

Officially known as Personalized Career Planning and Guidance (PCPG), or VA Chapter 36, this program is available to Veterans and their dependents. For those who have eligible VA education benefits, the PCPG offers free education counseling, career guidance, and planning for both.

PCPG Eligibility

To be eligible for these counseling resources, one of the following must be true:

  • You will be discharged under conditions other than dishonorable from active duty within six months, OR
  • You separated from active duty under conditions other than dishonorable not more than one year ago, OR
  • You qualify as a Veteran or service member for educational assistance under a VA educational program, OR
  • You are a service member, Veteran, or dependent currently eligible for VA education benefits

PCPG Benefits

The services available under Chapter 36 are:

  • Career counseling to help you decide which civilian or military jobs you want
  • Educational counseling to help you find a training program or field of study
  • Academic and adjustment counseling to help you address issues or barriers that get in the way of your success
  • Resume support and goal planning
  • Assist with the development of an employment plan

These services are offered by trained and certified counselors who can help with your transition from military to civilian life.

The best part is, as long as you remain eligible, you can use the PCPG as many times as you want. The program is designed to “meet you where you are” in the process of finding a job or education program.

Applying to PCPG

If you are eligible and you’re seeking education or career counseling, there are three ways to apply for VA Chapter 36.

  1. Apply Online
  2. Apply by mail using VA Form 28-8832
    1. Just print and mail to: Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) Intake Center, Department of Veterans Affairs, P.O. Box 5210, Janesville, WI 53547-5210
  3. Take your application to the nearest regional office, or to a VetSuccess on Campus counselor

Do Not Miss PCPG Counseling

If you are nearing your transition, or if you’ve already done so, please don’t skip this counseling. It’s free, and many Veterans don’t even know it’s available.

I was one of those. I retired in 2014, and I faced many challenges when choosing a new career field, a degree program, and other obstacles. Sure, I conquered them eventually, but I did it alone and it didn’t have to be that way.

You are not alone in your transition. Nor are you alone even years later. If you need help with something, reach out to the VA’s counselors, and even other Veterans.

Let these counselors set you up for success in all of your education and career goals.

(Image courtesy of U.S. Army)