Hickey applauded quality online education programs for veterans, and Gebhart said APUS is providing a better service than many for-profit institutions.
"We don't have the problems a lot of states have with some proprietary schools," Gebhart said, specifically mentioning APUS.
"They fill a niche that WVU and Marshall don't fill," he continued.
Focusing on the needs of active military and veteran students in particular, and having a large number of staff members who are veterans helps APUS better understand its students, said George Vukovich, the school's associate vice president for military affiliated programs.
There are challenges involved in interacting with any students at an online university, Vukovich said. APUS constantly tries to address those issues, Vukovich said.
"We recognize the challenges posed by PTSD and isolationism, and need to focus even more closely on providing our students a robust means of effectively dealing with these issues," Vukovich said in a statement emailed by a spokesman.
"However, sometimes that distance helps them with adjustment to the learning environment since they can engage with fellow students and faculty in the electronic classroom from the comfort of their home environment."
Hickey said students should understand exactly what they're signing up for when they enroll in online education.
Paul Hill, chancellor of the policy commission, said they should understand it is going to take a lot of self-motivation and drive to complete online coursework.
He believes measures headed to the legislation in the upcoming session will make more information about these and all for-profit programs easily accessible to students. But he admits the commission needs to do more in passing along that information.
"Skip needs more support," he said.
That means people and money, Gebhart said. He wants to create a state center for veterans excellence specifically aimed at providing information on veteran services to students and school administrators.
At the federal level, there are several websites aimed at helping students, Hickey said. They include vetsuccess.gov and ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits-portal/.
Contact writer Dave Boucher at 304-348-4843, david.bouc...@dailymail.com or twitter.com/Dave_Boucher1.