Release Date: 
Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Henry Ford College and Wayne State University top leaders sign historic Learn4ward partnership

Wayne State University and Henry Ford College Presidents shaking hands after signing Learn4ward partnership.
HFC President Russell Kavalhuna (right) shakes hands with Wayne State University Dr. M. Roy Wilson (left) after signing the Learn4ward partnership contract.

On December 12, top leaders from HFC and Wayne State University signed an agreement that officially launched Henry Ford College Learn4ward and Wayne State Transfer Pathways, an innovative guaranteed-enrollment partnership that will advance student success, grant students easy access to earn their degrees, and advance economic prosperity in the region.

HFC President Russell Kavalhuna, Wayne State President Dr. M. Roy Wilson, Wayne State Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Mark Kornbluh, and HFC Vice President for Institutional Advancement A. Reginald Best signed the historic agreement at Wayne State’s historic Tierney Alumni House. Wayne State Vice President for Academic Student Affairs and Global Engagement Dr. Ahmad Ezzeddine served as master of ceremonies.

More than 50 people, including some dignitaries, attended the event:

  • Senator Sylvia Santana, who made remarks
  • State Representative Tyrone A. Carter (an HFC alumnus), who made remarks
  • Detroit Chamber CEO Sandy Baruah, who made remarks
  • HFC Board of Trustees Secretary Irene Watts
  • HFC Board of Trustees Treasurer Mary Petlichkoff
  • HFC Board of Trustees Member Hussein Berry
  • Wayne State Board of Governors Member Mark Gaffney

“Wayne State has had a longstanding partnership with HFC and this new agreement, which enhances the collaboration between our two institutions, will benefit our students and contribute to the state’s competitiveness,” explained Wilson. “We are offering students, including non-traditional and adult learners, high quality education and seamless pathways to earn two degrees, which will set them on a trajectory of economic advancement and social mobility. At the same time, we are preparing a pool of graduates that will support the talent needs of local employers, city and state agencies, be it in areas such as electrical technology, computer science, public health, or urban planning.”

Optimal transfer roadmap

The Wayne State Transfer Pathway provides HFC students an optimal transfer roadmap to satisfy both degree requirements within four years with a customized plan that eliminates or minimizes loss of credit.

The new agreement allows students to begin their academic and career pathways at HFC and seamlessly transfer to Wayne State University with guaranteed admission. Students who complete the program will earn both an associate and bachelor’s degree.

Proof of this are two HFC alumni who now attend Wayne State: Mohammad Turaani and Assita Doumbia. They spoke about their experiences at HFC and called the stigma that is sometimes attached to attending a community college “nonsense.” Both emphasized that their education at HFC prepared them for their education at Wayne State. In fact, Doumbia got misty-eyed talking about her educational journey and the obstacles she has overcome.

HFC student Jay Elias also spoke about attending HFC. He said he had a transformative experience at HFC and will transfer to Wayne State’s Irvin D. Reid Honors College in the Fall 2023 semester as a junior, where he will major in psychology. He aspires to become an art therapist.

"It was an amazing honor to participate in the HFC/Wayne State Learn4ward transfer agreement ceremony," said Elias. "I'm looking forward to next fall when I will transfer to their undergrad psych program. Many thanks to President Kavalhuna and President Wilson for helping make this a reality."

The Wayne State Transfer Pathway also supports the state’s 60x30 goal of increasing the number of state residents with a college degree or professional credential to 60% by the year 2030. An educated workforce will build and sustain the state’s prosperity and competitiveness and will help retain talent in Michigan.

Program benefits

Students will enroll at HFC and receive guaranteed, automatic admission to Wayne State University with junior status if they earn a minimum of 60 credit hours with a 2.5 or higher GPA and earn their HFC associate degree. Students who graduate from any HFC associate degree program will be eligible.

Some of the program benefits to students include:

  • Transfer of all earned associate degree credit hours, saving students time and money
  • Specialized advising and support tailored to each student’s academic and career goals at both educational institutions and virtually
  • A 3-year tuition freeze at HFC
  • Coordinated and collaborative efforts to provide a connected student experience between HFC and Wayne State
  • Wayne State scholarship opportunities for qualifying HFC students
  • Free career services, including access to exciting internships, co-ops, co-curricular experiences, and employment opportunities
  • Free access to many recreational facilities, athletic events, and cultural events at both educational institutions

“This collaboration is the future of higher education serving students and communities,” said Kavalhuna. “We are particularly excited to partner with Wayne State because they have become Michigan’s leader in social mobility, which perfectly aligns with our goal of helping students build better lives. We at HFC are proud to have the most Detroit Promise students and the most high school students earning college credit of any college in Michigan. With this agreement, students in these groups can see themselves on a path to a life-changing Wayne State degree. And, with each student’s success on this path, we build sustainable communities and enhance the region’s economy and standard of living. This is a Win, Win, Win for students, communities, and the economy.”