Veterans services

St. Clair County Community College’s Veteran Services Coordinator Dawn Hestand provides assistance navigating the federal and state programs used by SC4’s Veteran and active-duty students.

Dawn Hestand may be reached by calling (810) 989-5643 or dhestand@sc4.edu with any questions.

All student veterans or active-duty personnel attending SC4 will need to request a Joint Services Transcript (JST) for evaluation. Students who have served in the Air Force or Air National Guard will need to request their military transcript from the Air University (Air Force and Air National Guard will be required to pay postage).

Each semester that a student veteran or a Tuition Assistance student registers for classes with the intention of using military education benefits for tuition payment, the Office of Veterans Services Class Certification Request form must be submitted. This form is the only way that the Veterans Services office knows that a student veteran or an active duty student wishes to use their VA or TA benefits.

Association of Veterans Education Certifying Officials 2020 member

If a veteran or a Tuition Assistance student is pursuing a dual program, the Office of Veterans Services Request for Multiple Programs form must be submitted with the class certification request form.

Federal benefits

Chapter 30 – Montgomery GI Bill® is a housing allowance-only benefit. Students are expected to pay for their own tuition and books. Veterans using this benefit are paid a housing allowance for the days/weeks they are attending classes.

Chapter 31 – Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) – Veterans are approved through the VR&E process. The closest VR&E location is in Macomb County. Appointments can be set up by calling (586) 469-5315. Once a veteran has been approved for funding, that funding will pay for tuition, books, and required supplies, as well as a housing allowance for the days/weeks when the student is attending classes.

Chapter 33 – Post 9/11 GI Bill® – For qualifying veterans, the Post 9/11 GI Bill® will pay tuition, a book stipend, and a housing allowance for the days/weeks when the student is attending classes.

  • Chapter 33 has a transfer of eligibility (TOE) option for a Veteran to transfer the benefit to a spouse or dependent child.
  • Chapter 33 also includes the Fry Scholarship option for dependents of a deceased military parent who passed away due to duties in a hostile environment.

The following items apply to students using their Post-9/11 GI Bill® per PL-116-315 Isakson & Roe Act of 2020:

  • If a student registers for a class but never attends, the SC4 School Certifying Official (SCO) will terminate the student’s registered classes with the VA. The college (SC4) will then bill the student directly for the classes. Any money the student was sent by the VA for books and housing, the VA will require the student to return.
  • Students will have to contact the Education Call Center (ECC) at (888) 442-4551 to self-certify that they are meeting the attendance requirement. (This requirement is coming soon.)
  • If a student stops attending or withdraws at any time during the semester, the SC4 SCO will reduce the student’s registered hours or terminate the semester, whichever is appropriate. Any tuition funding that was sent to SC4 will be returned to the VA, and at that time the college (SC4) will bill the student directly for the amount that was returned to the VA. The student will be contacted by Debt Management to return any book or housing funds that were sent by the VA to the student.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by the VA is available at the official U.S. government website at http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

Chapter 35 – Survivors’ and Dependents’ educational benefit  This benefit is for spouses and children of deceased or 100% disabled veterans due to service-related death or injury. Some Chapter 35 students also may qualify for a CVTG benefit.

Chapter 1606 – Selected Reserve, Montgomery GI Bill® – Is a housing allowance-only benefit. Students are expected to pay for their own tuition and books. Veterans using this benefit are paid a housing allowance for the days/weeks they are attending classes.

Note: CH 30, MGIB-Active Duty or CH 1606, MGIB Selected Reserve beneficiaries are required to verify attendance each month with the VA through W.A.V.E. at https://www.gibill.va.gov/wave/index.do.

WAWF TA – Applicable to active duty service members in the Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard. TA is a tuition only benefit.

Army & Air Force TA – Applicable to active duty service members in the Army or Air Force. TA is a tuition only benefit.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

State of Michigan benefits

MING STAP – Michigan Army and Air National Guard – Members can receive a tuition only benefit of up to $14,000 per academic year.

MING STAP is currently a tuition only reimbursement program. The application for soldiers and airpersons is available at https://mingstapapp.state.mi.us/Member/STAP_Member_Home.  

CVTG – Michigan Children of Veterans Trust Grant – Children of deceased or 100% disabled Michigan Veterans may receive a tuition benefit up to $2,800 per academic year for up to four years.

Resources for Veterans

Apply for educational benefits at VA.gov.

Veterans Crisis Line

Women Veterans Hotline

  • Call (855) 829-6636, which connects to the Center for Women Vets
  • Visit their website by clicking the link for the Center for Women Vets.

State and local Veterans agencies

Campus resources for SC4 student veterans

  • Anne McPherson, MS
    Coordinator of Academic Success and Disability Resources
    (810) 989-5558
    amcpherson@sc4.edu
    Located in the Achievement Center, appointments can be made online.
  • Brenda Rinke, MA
    Director of Academic Success
    (810) 989-5566
    brinke@sc4.edu
    Helps create student academic plans to assist in managing a student’s hectic schedule. The Achievement Center provides tools and resources for student success. Appointments can be made by walking in and scheduling an appointment.
  • David Goetze, MA, LLP, NCP
    Director of Behavioral Intervention/Advising and Career Specialist, Adjunct Instructor of Psychology
    (810) 989-5552
    dpgoetze@sc4.edu or bestservices@sc4.edu
    Students are able to meet with one of the professional staff members that are part of the BEST Team (Behavioral Education Success Team). The BEST staff members are able to address student veterans needs.
  • Josephine Cassar, MBA
    Director of Financial Assistance and Services
    (810) 989-5539
    jcassar@sc4.edu
    Administers local, state, and federal aid programs and is available to assist student veterans with funding-related questions.
  • Dawn Hestand, BBA
    SC4 Veteran Services Coordinator
    (810) 989-5643
    dhestand@sc4.edu
    Assists with veteran educational benefits, ordering JSTs, advises on program/course enrollment, and helps match up student veterans with local and state services.

PL 115-251 compliance:
Any individual using educational assistance under either Chapter 30 (Montgomery GI Bill® – Active Duty Program), Chapter 31 (Veteran Readiness & Employment), or Chapter 33 (Post-9/11 GI Bill®), of Title 38, United States Code, and/or the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (38 U.S.C. § 3311(b)(9)) who lives in the State of Michigan while attending St. Clair County Community College will be charged in-State tuition (regardless of his/her formal state of residence or number of years removed from service).

Title 38 United States Code Section 3679(e) compliance:
St. Clair County Community College complies with Title 38 United States Code Section 3679(e) under which covered individuals (i.e. any individual who is entitled to educational assistance under Chapter 31, Veteran Readiness & Employment, or Chapter 33, Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits) can attend or participate in the course of education during the period beginning on the date on which the individual provides to the educational institution a certificate of eligibility for entitlement to educational assistance under Chapters 31 or 33 (a “certificate of eligibility” also can include a “Statement of Benefits” obtained from the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) website – eBenefits, or a VAF 28-1905 form for Chapter 31 authorization purposes) and ending on the earlier of the following dates:

  1. The date on which payment from the VA is made to the institution.
  2. 90 days after the date the institution certified tuition and fees following the receipt of the certificate of eligibility.

St. Clair County Community College will not impose any penalty, including the assessment of late fees, the denial of access to classes, libraries, or other institutional facilities, or the requirement that a covered individual borrow additional funds, or any covered individual because of the individual’s inability to meet his or her financial obligations to the institution due to the delayed disbursement of funding from VA under Chapters 31 or 33.

Covered individuals wanting to use their educational benefits at St. Clair County Community College are required to submit to the School Certifying Officer (SCO) a completed and signed Request for Certification Form (available via the link provided and at the Veterans Services office in the Welcome Center building). Additionally, covered individuals may be required to provide additional information as necessary to properly certify enrollment.

Additional compliance relating to Section 1018 of the Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020 (Public Law 116-315):

Prior to initial enrollment, prospective covered individuals (i.e. those using benefits under Chapters 30, 31, 32, 33, or 35 of Title 38, U.S.C., or Chapters 1606/1607 of Title 10) will receive a personalized document containing details relevant to making an informed education decision. Contact Dawn Hestand, Veteran Services Coordinator, for details.

St. Clair County Community College (SC4) is committed to working with individual military-connected students who must temporarily suspend studies due to service requirements. Military-connected students who are called to service should contact the Veteran Services Coordinator at SC4 as soon as possible upon receiving orders.

Upon providing orders to the Veteran Services Coordinator, the Coordinator will work with the student’s instructors on a plan for continued studies as appropriate to the length of service requirement. Depending on the timing of the orders, options may include Incomplete grades, independent study, or legal drops.