Mobilizing the Network as an LCAN Coordinator

LCAN Spotlight: Wexford-Missaukee College Access Network

MHowellWe're often celebrating the great work of an LCAN and its leadership team, but it's important we shine some light on the LCAN coordinator role. LCANs require a dedicated staff person with a specific skillset in order to coordinate the multiple stakeholders, organizations and resources within the network. In this LCAN Spotlight, we meet Meghan Howell, Wexford-Missaukee College Access Network (WMCAN) coordinator, to learn more about her experience mobilizing the network.

LCAN coordinators need to have a 15,000 foot view of the community and a larger understanding of all the moving pieces and parts that impact college access. One of the more difficult job expectations can be facilitation of the work. Many coordinators find there's a balancing act of how to guide the leadership team and the action teams in an appropriate direction while giving the teams space and time to build trust and relationships.

"In such a collaborative community, at times I feel like an imposter trying to tell very seasoned community leaders and professionals how to coordinate our work," said Howell. "In our early states, they felt the work was already coordinated, and while much of it is, there is always room for improving and doing more."

The creation of the common agenda has helped reinforce Meghan's role and the need for larger collaboration among partners. The leadership team meets quarterly to review their goals and objectives, and Meghan uses the common agenda to guide the conversation. Often the team discusses ideas or suggestions from the community and each suggestion is vetted through the common agenda to determine if the suggestion falls within a current priority area.

The same is true with the WMCAN action teams. Thanks to their action plans, it's hard to get off track or slow down because goals and action steps are so neatly laid out.

Wex-Miss CAN LogoMany LCAN coordinators find they spend much of their time facilitating meetings or providing presentations about the local efforts, the college access movement and working toward Goal 2025.

"This position really requires you to interact with a wide range of people. You need the ability to easily navigate relationships and other's agendas," said Howell. "I give many presentations and have to be able to get up in front of groups in the community with confidence to ensure they have confidence in me."

To learn more about the Wexford Missaukee College Access Network visit their website here or find them on Facebook.

Lisa King headshot 2013Author: Lisa King, public relations consultant for the Michigan College Access Network

Posted: October 1, 2014

Michigan College Access Network | 200 N Washington Square, Suite 210, Lansing, MI 48933 (map) | (517) 316-1713 Contact Us | Site Map | Terms and Privacy