HFC adopts ‘8 Keys to Veterans’ Success’ initiative

DEARBORN – Henry Ford College recently joined the growing list of colleges and universities across the nation that has affirmed commitment to the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ “8 Keys to Veterans’ Success” voluntary initiative.

The 8 Keys highlights specific ways colleges and universities can support veterans as they pursue education and employment goals. The Obama administration, the Department of Education and the Department of Veterans Affairs, developed this initiative in the aftermath of the Disabled American Veterans National Convention in August 2013 to help those veterans and military families who are pursuing higher education.

HFC is one of 19 colleges and universities in the state of Michigan (eight of which are community colleges) and one of 400 in the United States that are part of the 8 Keys initiative.
The 8 Keys are:

1) Create a culture of trust and connectedness across the campus community to promote well-being and success for veterans.

2) Ensure consistent and sustained support from campus leadership.

3) Implement an early alert system to ensure all veterans receive academic, career and financial advice before challenges become overwhelming.

4) Coordinate and centralize campus efforts for all veterans, together with the creation of a designated space for them (even if limited in size).

5) Collaborate with local communities and organizations, including government agencies, to align and coordinate various services for veterans.

6) Utilize a uniform set of data tools to collect and track information on veterans, including demographics, retention and degree completion.

7) Provide comprehensive professional development for faculty and staff on issues and challenges unique to veterans.

8) Develop systems that ensure sustainability of effective practices for veterans.

The colleges and universities that have committed to the 8 Keys initiative across the country are helping veterans and military families afford and complete their education – whether it’s an actual college degree, a certificate, or an industry-recognized credential or license – and preparing them for careers in high-growth sectors of the economy. More colleges and universities are expected to adopt the 8 Keys initiative in the months ahead.

In addition to the 8 Keys, HFC earned selection to the 2014 Military Friendly Schools list by Victory Media, a media entity for military personnel transitioning into civilian life. This is the second consecutive year HFC has been named a Military Friendly School.

HFC is in the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide that ensure the educational success of America’s military service members, veterans and spouses.

HFC established the Military and Veterans Advisory Council in 2011. This council consists of faculty and staff from the college along with veterans in the community. The council is tasked to review all policies, programs, and practices that impact the personal, educational and financial life of active military personnel, veterans and their families.

HFC has designated veteran counselors and advisors along with a primary veteran contact or certifying officer who is stationed in the Welcome Center on the main campus. Veterans can speak to this official and enrollment services specialist about their education benefits and how it pertains to taking classes at HFC.

In addition, veterans can also use office computers and gather information on other military benefits. Some military experience of veterans may even equate into college credits.

For more information, go to www.hfcc.edu/veterans.

“We are honored to have adopted the 8 Keys initiative at HFC,” HFC President Stan Jensen said. “We all owe a great debt to the men and women who have served our country in the armed forces. Making their transition easier to civilian life and providing them benefits as they pursue an education is the very least we can do for them.”