Michigan Army and Air National Guard renewed their tuition agreement, now in its ninth year, with Lake Superior State University. This partnership encourages active drilling members to seek degrees at LSSU. Essentially, the program takes the stipend active duty members receive through the National Guard Federal Tuition Assistance program, which is intended to partially cover the costs of taking college courses, and accepts that stipend as full payment for tuition.
When LSSU’s President, Dr. Rodney Hanley, was in the Illinois Army National Guard, he took advantage of a similar program at Eastern Illinois University. “When I was a member of the Illinois Army National Guard, I utilized a program such as this, and it not only fostered my appreciation for higher ed, but opened my eyes to the limitless opportunities that a degree could offer me,” President Hanley stated. “I finished my bachelor’s, and then went on to obtain two master’s, and doctorate degree as well. I hope that our continued partnership with the Michigan Army and Air National Guard will inspire the next generation of leaders to achieve their higher educational goals.”
LSSU has a tradition of being a military-friendly institution. In fact, when it was established in 1946, it was to address the needs of returning World War II veterans, and to provide educational opportunities to the people of the Eastern Upper Peninsula. Thus this agreement, along with others like it, are a natural fit for the University. It is available at LSSU’s main campus in Sault Ste. Marie, as well as at its regional centers in Dearborn, Escanaba, Gaylord, and Petoskey.
“The Michigan National Guard appreciates our continued partnership with Lake Superior State University,” said Maj. Gen. Paul D. Rogers, director, Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “This advantage enables Michigan National Guard Soldiers and Airmen to reach their goals, both professionally and personally, and it stands as an example of why Michigan is one of the best choices in the nation in terms of quality of life for National Guard members and their families.”
The Michigan National Guard consists of the Michigan Army National Guard and the Michigan Air National Guard. The Michigan Army National Guard has more than 8,000 Soldiers serving in units located from Ironwood and Sault Ste. Marie to Sturgis and Monroe and they operate two premier training facilities at Camp Grayling and Fort Custer, near Battle Creek. The Michigan Air National Guard has nearly 2,400 Airmen serving in Mt. Clemens at the Selfridge Air National Guard Base, the Battle Creek Air National Guard Base, Alpena Combat Training Facility, and in Lansing at the Joint Forces Headquarters.
The National Guard is the only military service with a unique dual mission that consists of both state and federal roles. For state missions, the Governor can call the National Guard into action during local or statewide emergencies, such as storms, fires, or civil disturbances. In addition, the President of the United States can activate the National Guard for participation in federal overseas missions for both peacekeeping and combat operations.