Michigan Veteran Education Initiative

 Program Context and History       The Need  About Veteran Students 
Veteran Resource Representatives   Institutional Partnerships


Program Context and History


The Michigan Veteran Education Initiative is an effort to support veterans transitioning to civilian life and to aid in their pursuit of a college education. This new program provides one-on-one support to help the thousands of veterans who enroll in Michigan’s educational institutions by providing outreach services, support and information. The program launched in 2014 and is a partnership of the Michigan Veteran Affairs Agency and the Michigan College Access Network. MVAA serves as the central coordinating point for Michigan veterans; connecting individuals who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, and their families, to services and benefits throughout the state.

As the leader in the state’s college-access movement, MCAN’s mission is to increase Michigan’s college readiness, participation and completion rates, particularly among students, first-generation college going students, and students of color. It is MCAN’s goal to increase Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate to 60 percent by the year 2025.


The Need

An estimated 30,000 to 50,000 veterans will leave the military and move to Michigan in the next five years. MVEI hopes the extra guidance will encourage veterans to pursue a higher education and provide them with valuable networking opportunities when they return to civilian life.

About Veteran Students 

Student-veterans and service members attending institutions of higher education tend to be older and are more likely to be first-generation students and students of color than their nonveteran/civilian student peers. (Based on the Department of Defense’s Armed Forces personnel data from the Defense Manpower Data Center and data from the U.S. Census)

These differences provide an important backdrop for other results, which indicate that many veterans and service members do not feel as supported by their institutions and are not as engaged.

Veteran Resource Representatives

 A veteran resource representative assists two student veterans at Ferris State University.

Currently, 12 veteran resource representatives serve at 15 college campuses around the state. These representatives are housed on campus and interact with student-veterans, assisting them as they complete benefits applications and navigate the higher education and financial aid processes.

Veteran Resource Representatives complete activities such as conducting personal interviews with veterans to assess needs, coordinating activities with the Student Veterans of America, and serve as an advocate for veterans on campus and in the community. To learn more about the role of a veteran resource representative, view the video below.

To obtain contact information for Veteran Resource Representatives, view the Veteran Resource Representatives map


Institutional Partnerships  

The list of participating campuses includes: 


  Eastern Michigan University

  Ferris Box Flame Stacked Wordmark web 2012

 markleft 301 rGVSU

GRCC Logo New-294
 JC Logo Final - Color

 kirtland logoKirtland Community College


LCC-logo-color MIAT College for WEB  MSU

MMCC Logo Blue-White

Mid Michigan Community College

NCMC nmu logo 380  Oakland Community College SAU Logo Black JPEG



For more information, please contact Mike Lee, MVEI Program Director, at leem23(a)michigan.gov. or 517-284-5218.

COL (ret) Mike Lee enlisted in the Michigan Army National Guard in 1983 as a construction materials analyst. He earned his commission from Northern Michigan University in 1988 and served the next four years on active duty at Fort Hood, Texas. He deployed in support of Operation Desert Shield/Storm in 1990 and 1991. He was promoted to colonel in 2009, and in 2010/11 he served as the Chief of Staff for the 46th Military Police Command during its deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Lee holds master’s degrees from Northern Michigan University (public administration) and the US Army War College (strategic studies). Lee is a graduate of the US Army Engineer Officer Advanced Course and the US Army Airborne and Rigger Schools. Lee will oversee 12 veteran resource representatives who are located on 15 college campuses in the State of Michigan. 

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