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Release Date: 
Wednesday, September 14, 2022

HFC named Gold-Level Veteran-Friendly School for 5th year

Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency logo

For the fifth year, the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA) has named HFC a Gold-Level Veteran-Friendly School.

HFC was also the first community college in the state of Michigan to be named a Veteran-Friendly Employer in 2018.

Gold-Level is the top status

Gold-Level status is the highest status an educational institution can earn based on its commitment to providing on-campus, veteran-centered services. This ranking recognizes higher education institutions for their dedication to veterans, active-duty military personnel, and their dependents using the G.I. Bill and other educational benefits.

The honor of Gold-Level status was first bestowed upon the College in October 2017. HFC was given Gold-Level status for three consecutive years, then the pandemic required HFC to move all of its operations online. Since HFC students and employees have returned to campus and we are offering services in-person, the College has once again been awarded Gold-Level status for the last two consecutive years.

HFC Enrollment Associate and Veterans Services officer Gail Bock and HFC Enrollment Associate, School Certifying Official for Veterans Services Lori James – who recently joined the Office of Veteran Services – are proud that HFC has earned Gold-Level status a fifth time.

“We are excited and honored to be awarded this status by the MVAA,” said Bock. “The MVAA is an amazing resource and provides unwavering support for Michigan educational institutions, as well as Michigan’s military connected students and their families.”

Office of Veterans Affairs established in 2017

In 2017, the HFC Office of Veterans Affairs was established on the main floor of the Welcome Center (Bldg. WC) on the main campus. Some of the services and resources that are offered to student veterans include:

SVA and Veterans Center

In 2019, the College opened a Veterans Center for its approximately 275 student veterans in the Student & Culinary Arts Center (Bldg. M) on the main campus. The Veterans Center provides a safe place that allows veterans to unwind between classes and connect with other veterans who also understand the transition from military life to civilian life.

HFC also has a Student Veterans Association (SVA), which helps veterans and their family succeed academically. Bob James (no relation to Lori), a veteran himself, is the SVA faculty advisor.

“We have a small but mighty SVA here at HFC,” said Bock. “I work very closely with Bob James to make sure our student veterans know we’re here and ready to help them make the most of campus resources at the College.”

MVAA’s seven criteria

The MVAA uses the following seven criteria to determine the level of support provided to student veterans and military-connected students on the campuses of higher education institutions:

  1. An established process for the identification of current student veterans
  2. A veteran-specific website
  3. An active student veteran organization or club
  4. Veteran-specific career services, resources advising, or outcome monitoring
  5. An on-campus veteran coordinator and/or designated staff point of contact
  6. A system to evaluate and award academic credit(s) based on prior military training and experience
  7. Monitoring and evaluation of student veteran academic retention, progress, and graduation rates

“I am extremely excited to a part of a team who provides gold-level service to our veteran and military students,” said Lori James. “I look forward to being a part of ensuring that we surpass our 5-year Gold-Level status accomplishment. It is our goal to provide outstanding service to our service members and their families here at HFC. This accomplishment is a reflection of that effort.”

Student veterans or dependents with questions about G.I. Bill or other benefits should call 800-MICH-VET (800-642-4838) or visit the MVAA.

For questions or more information about Veterans Services at HFC, contact Gail Bock at 313-845-9688 or

HFC veterans and community members share their stories

The video below includes HFC President Russ Kavalhuna and four other community members talking about the importance of Veterans Day and support of veterans year-round.