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Non-traditional Education

DANTES Distance Learning 

The DANTES Distance Learning Program provides a wide range of nontraditional education programs critical for Guard members who need an alternative means to fulfill degree requirements when classroom attendance is not possible.

The program provides academic courses and degrees ranging from certificate to graduate level (to include doctoral programs) through nearly 250 accredited institutions. Other courses available are oriented toward a non degree-seeking or technically oriented student.

Three-Part Program

The DANTES External Degree Catalog contains degree programs from certificate to doctoral level from approximately 90 accredited institutions. There are 70 certificate programs, 151 associate degrees, 164 bachelor degrees, 221 masters degrees, and 34 doctoral degree programs available. Most degree programs have NO residency requirements.

The DANTES Independent Study Catalog contains over 6,000 individual courses from high school to masters degree level from accredited institutions. Guard members may find these courses useful if they need specific courses to complete degree requirements, are wishing to meet personal growth objectives, or need specific skills for career advancement.

The DANTES Catalog of Nationally Accredited Distance Learning Programs provides a wide range of educational opportunities. Degrees in applied nutrition, emergency medical services, health information technology, health sciences, military studies, religious studies, electronics, computer science, and many other specialized degrees are available. Vocational training opportunities for paralegal studies, gun smith, travel, and much more. In short, if it's not in the other two catalogs, it's probably in this one.

Please use the following web sites to assist you in determining the best way to use the distance learning to meet your educational goals:

How to Apply

Click here and follow the instructions as DANTES follows the same process as Federal Tuition Assistance.

How are courses delivered?

Affiliated schools use an array of low- to high-tech delivery choices aimed at individual students worldwide. Although textbooks, pen, paper, and videos continue to be the workhorse of distance learning, advances in technology allow a variety of fast and efficient delivery systems. Many schools use email to submit and receive course lessons and papers or to communicate directly with instructors or admission offices. Others rely on computers for class interaction among students. Some use the Internet to deliver instruction on-line, and several rely on satellite or cable delivery methods.

Interested in forming a study group?

While some Guard members find working independently on distance learning courses productive and rewarding, others may find working alone for dozens of hours mind-numbing. Without the stimulation and reinforcement of the classroom environment, some soldiers lose enthusiasm for their distance learning courses.

The study group is one of the best responses to these problems. When you study with a group, the learning and stimulation that grow out of asking questions and participating in discussions are restored.

The pamphlet entitled, Success Strategies - Organizing a Study Group, by Hal Markowitz and James Andrews, can help if this approach to distance learning appeals to you. You can request a copy by EMail from the Education Services office.

For questions concerning Federal tuition assistance you can contact the Education Office at (217)761-3782 or Email

Registered Apprenticeship

What is Registered Apprenticeship?

Registered Apprenticeship (RA) is a combination of on-the-job training and related classroom instruction provided under the supervision of a journey-level craft person or trade professional in which workers learn the practical and theoretical aspects of a highly skilled occupation. After completing an RA training program, the worker’s journey-level status provides an additional benefit of nationwide mobility. RA is a partnership between the apprentice, business, employers and the government that prepares American workers to compete in the global 21st Century economy.

What occupations are considered “Apprenticeable”?

An apprenticeable occupation is defined as a skilled trade or craft, which has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Office of Apprenticeship (OA) and meets applicable local criteria. Apprenticeships can be found in all industries, from traditional sectors like construction and manufacturing to emerging sectors like energy and health care. A list of over 1,100 officially recognized apprenticeable occupations can be found at:

What are the training requirements?

Apprenticeship training programs require a minimum of 2,000 hours of on-the-job training per year, supplemented by a minimum of 144 hours related classroom instruction. Such instruction may be given in a classroom, through correspondence courses, self-study, or other means of approved instruction. Apprenticeship training programs generally last from two to five years, depending on the complexity of the trade.

How do I find employers who sponsor RA training programs?

Approximately 16,000 employers nationwide sponsor RA training programs that enable their employees to obtain nationally recognized certification in trades and skills that can lead to rewarding careers in industries that stretch across the economic spectrum. To identify these employer-sponsored training programs, visit Search for jobs and look for the RA logo.

Can I receive GI Bill benefits for participation in an RA training program?

Yes! This is one of the biggest advantages of participation in RA for GI Bill-eligible veterans. You can collect a monthly benefit payment, in addition to regular full-time wages, for the duration of the apprentice training period. The amount of GI Bill entitlement depends on your GI Bill eligibility:

  • Post-9/11 GI Bill:
    • Payment rates for the Post-9/11 GI Bill are based on percentages of the applicable Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) for an E-5 with dependents. The MHA is determined by the employer’s zip code.
  • All other GI Bill programs
    • Payment rates for all other GI Bill programs are based on a percentage of the full-time institutional rate of the benefit program being utilized.

If I were an apprentice for five years, how much GI Bill would I collect?

If a veteran eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill at the 100 percent rate were employed full-time in a 5-year RA training program with an employer located in Boston, Massachusetts (where the applicable MHA is $2,817), he or she would collect a total of $67,608 in Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, in addition to regular wages.

For all other GI Bill benefit programs, the total payment amount for a 5-year RA training program, regardless of location, would be as follows:

  Montgomery GI Bill-AD, Chapter 30 (three or more years of service) $42,238
  Reserve Educational Assistance Program, Chapter 1607 (80% rate) $33,790
  Reserve Educational Assistance Program, Chapter 1607 (60% rate) $25,342
  Reserve Educational Assistance Program, Chapter 1607 (40% rate) $16,895
  Montgomery GI Bill-Selected Reserve, Chapter 1606 $9,028
  Montgomery GI Bill Kicker Program ($350 rate) $8,610
  Montgomery GI Bill Kicker Program ($200 rate) $4,920
  Montgomery GI Bill Kicker Program ($100 rate) $2,460

How do I find a list of RA programs that are approved for GI Bill use?


  • Leave the “Institution Name” field blank
  • Set “Program Type” drop down menu to “On-the-Job Training/Apprenticeship”
  • Click your preferred State or Territory for a complete list of approved programs

For More Information: