Maritime Training: A Compass and North Star to Guide our Work

Local College Access Networks  (LCANs) are community-based college access alliances supported by a team of community and education leaders representing K-12, higher education, the nonprofit sector, government, business and philanthropy. These networks are committed to building a college-going culture and dramatically increasing college readiness, participation and completion rates within their community. Each year, individuals working in an LCAN attend Maritime Academy, where they undergo a rigorous, three-day comprehensive training in order to strengthen their college access strategy. 

Mark Litt serves as the LCAN Coordinator for the Wayne County College Access Network and attended Advanced Maritime Academy.

1. What was your biggest ah-ha moment?

The fact that during the “Great Recession” in the U.S., the huge masses of good people who lost their jobs were almost all workers in the “high school or less” educational category. Employment for workers with college degrees or certificates remained fairly steady and even increased toward the end of those dismal economic years. In my opinion, no other single fact so clearly highlights the critical importance of college access work and the need to achieve our goal of 60% college attainment by 2025!

2. How does your own background and experience inform you about the value of the Maritime 101 training?

After working 10 years implementing change processes in K-16 education, I can truly say that the MCAN model and staff are a breath of fresh air. Historically, when I’ve started a new project, I have either been handed several struggling legacy programs, or given no guidance at all and tasked to create all of my own programming from scratch.  In contrast, the MCAN model is a comprehensive, research-based, data-driven process that comes with great support. In addition, the MCAN staff has been a pleasure to work with and learn from. As individuals, I found them to be brilliant and committed—with a touch of humility, a good sense of humor, and a lot of fun to work with.

3. What is the one thing you are excited to implement that you learned?

Actually, I am eager to implement the complete MCAN collective impact model.  While each of its individual components provides value, the only way to reap its full benefit is to implement the model in its entirety. The asset map and data analysis are the foundational elements that really drive all of the other components. I am excited to guide our leadership team into taking a fresh pass at our county’s college enrollment and attainment data, and use that analysis to refocus the other foundational elements of our Organizational Plan (i.e. Common Agenda and Data Dashboard.) This will lay the framework for a new, high quality implementation of MCAN’s entire model in Wayne County over the next few years—a new foundation for success!


Author: Mark Litt, Wayne County College Access Network College Access Coordinator
Date Posted: Sept. 24, 2018 

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