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Veterans Administration Program records

Identifier: 04.VA

Scope and Contents

The records of the Veterans Administration Program collection are a series of exchanges between the Public Vocational Rehabilitation Program; and the Veterans Bureau, later subsumed by the Veterans Administration. These exchanges are formal in nature and focus on accounts payable, contracts, course approval, and lists of Veterans enrolled in courses at the Michigan State Normal College (MSNC), Eastern Michigan College and Eastern Michigan University. Materials in the collection date from 1921; shortly after Congress expanded the 1918 Soldiers Rehabilitation Act in 1920 to include anyone with a physical disability, not just veterans; until 1962, with the bulk of these later materials dating from 1945-1956 when WWII and Korean War veterans were returning to college. The collection is divided into two series of matierials: Vocational Rehabilitation Program and Vocational Rehabilitation Act & Servicemen's Readjustment Act. Materials in the Vocational Rehabilitation Program series are correspondence and sample forms that date from 1921-1928 and were arranged chronologically by the originating office. Correspondence is between the MSNC and the various government agencies overseeing the rehabilitation program.

The Vocational Rehabilitation Act & Servicemen's Readjustment Act series contains lists of veterans enrolled in course and is primarily filed by individual semesters; contracts with the Veterans Administration that are attached to course catalogs indicating which courses and for which approved fees the College would be seeking reimbursement; training materials specific to administering the GI Bill at a college or university; and promotional materials used by MSNC to encourage enrollment. There are three individual student files at the end of this record series; researchers might expect to see more material of this nature in the collection given the dramatic increase in enrollment at MSNC because of this government program, but these are the only files of this nature transferred to the University Archives.

It is not a complete collection, but it is a comprehensive look at how a major goverment program was administered at the College between 1921 and 1962.


  • Creation: 1921 - 1962
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1945 - 1956


Conditions Governing Access

Researchers are asked to request materials 24 hours prior to visiting the the University Archives.

Administrative History note

In 1917, the Smith-Huges Act made federal money available to states on a matching basis for vocational education programs, in an effort to train wounded WWI veterans with new skills. The Federal Board for Vocational Education administered the veteran and civilian vocational rehabilitation programs. In 1918, the Soldier's Rehabilitation Act created a vocational rehabilitation program for disabled veterans which was administered by the Federal Board for Vocational Education. The 1920 Smith-Fess Act, also known as the Civilian Vocational Rehabilitation Act (Public Law 236), established a civilian vocational rehabilitation program under the Federal Board for Vocational Education to be funded on a 50-50 matching basis with the states. Congress provided $750,000 for the first year and $1,000,000 for each of the next two years. The funding could be used for vocational guidance, training, occupational adjustment services, and job placement. Benefits specific to Veterans were administered by the Veterans Bureau.

The Veterans Administration came in 1930 when Congress authorized the President to "consolidate and coordinate Government activities affecting war veterans." This consolidation moved three bureaus; Veterans Bureau, the Bureau of Pensions of the Interior Department, and the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, under the control of the Veterans Administration. The Veterans Administration was responsible for overseeing the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1943 (Public Law 78-16) which instituted a rehabilitation program for disabled veterans. In the following year, on June 22, 1944, the Servicemen's Readjustment Act became law (Public Law 78-346). The 1944 Act, frequently referred to as the G.I. Bill of Rights, or simply the G.I. Bill, provided, among other things, for guaranteed loans to veterans and for payment of educational and living expenses to veterans who wished to pursue educational and vocational training goals.

The GI Bill has been credited with enabling veterans with the ability to purchase homes and gain a college education. College and University campuses across the country, especially after WWII, saw dramatic increases in enrollment and demand for campus housing.


1.8 Linear Feet (4 archive boxes, 1 halfsize archive box)

Language of Materials



The Veterans Administration Program records are the administrative files associated with the enrollment of veterans in the 1920s, 1940s and 1950s at Michigan State Normal College, Eastern Michigan College and Eastern Michigan University. The majority of materials are associated with those students taking advantage of benefits associated with the Vocational Rehabilitation Act (Public Law 16) and Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944 (P.L. 78-346), known informally as the G.I. Bill, and date from 1941-1962. Additional materials are related to those students enrolled through the Vocational Rehabilitation Program in the 1920s. Materials are seperated by the two legislative initatives and within each record group files are arranged in the original order that they were transferred.

Related Materials

Additional materials pertaining to students receiving GI Bill benefits can be found in the WWII series in the Military Participation on Campus records. Additional materials pertaining to students receiving benefits from the Vocational Rehabilitation Program can be found in the WWI series in the Military Participation on Campus records.


Veterans Administration Program records
Alexis Braun Marks, CA
2013 December 12
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Eastern Michigan University Archives Repository

Bruce T. Halle Library, Room 310
955 West Circle Drive
Ypsilanti Michigan 48197