Release Date: 
Saturday, September 9, 2023

Get to Know HFC: Ty Collins came out of retirement because he missed working with students

Ty Collins wearing a blue shirt and smiling at the camera.

After spending 42 years as a counselor at his alma mater, Ferris State University, Tyrone “Ty” Collins retired but returned to the field after two years, joining HFC in December 2022 as a College Completion Coach.

“I returned to the workforce because I missed working with the students,” he said.

Collins is one of four College Completion Coaches at HFC, reporting to HFC Manager of Orientation and New Student Engagement Kelly Baratono. He is an AmeriCorps member at HFC through the Michigan College Access Network’s College Completion Corps.

“As a College Completion Coach, my job is to serve as an advocate for our students at HFC, foster connections for them, and integrate them into the campus support structure,” said Collins.

Proud Ferris State alumnus and military vet

A native of Monroe, LA, Collins’s family moved to Detroit when he was 6 months old. He lives in Detroit with his wife. They have two adult children, one grandchild, and four great-grandchildren.

A graduate of St. Martin de Porres High School in Detroit, Collins earned both his bachelor’s degree in public administration and his master’s degree in career and technical education from FSU. He earned a second master’s degree in counseling and higher education from Central Michigan University. He completed doctoral work in educational administration at Michigan State University.

Collins is a licensed professional counselor. He earned his certificate in gerontology and long-term care from FSU. He also served in the Army National Guard for six years during his time at FSU. His primary military specialty was light infantry and he rose to the rank of specialist F-4 before earning an honorable discharge. During his time in the military, Collins was awarded the Michigan Service Medal with a Gold Star.

A valuable mentor for coworkers and students alike

Collins’ first job in higher education came about more than four decades ago when he was offered a position in the Financial Aid office at FSU.

“I was offered a position in financial aid a few years after I earned my bachelor’s degree,” he recalled. “The place I was working at during that time had closed. The timing was just right.”

Collins held a number of positions at FSU before retiring in 2020.

Although he has been at HFC less than a year, Collins has enjoyed the work and the people. He has also enjoyed being in the Welcome Center.

“Working with the people here at the College has been a pleasure,” he said. “I’ve found them to be friendly, supportive, welcoming, and genuine.”

“Working alongside Coach Ty is an honor,” said Baratono. “His wealth of experience in higher education makes him a valuable mentor for our team and the students he supports. I’m anticipating a year full of remarkable achievements.”