2015 College Access Impact Awards: Honoring Those Who Reach for the Goal!

Program Spotlight

The theme of Michigan College Access Network’s 2015 conference focused on Goal 2025, and having a “Decade to Deliver,” which refers to increasing the number of Michigan residents with high-quality degrees or credentials to 60 percent by the year 2025. Conference participants were asked to share their own commitments to achieving this goal, and social media was abuzz with inspiring tweets and posts; some of which can be viewed on Storify.

              FosteringSuccess                       Lansing Community College picmonkeyed

                                        Goal 2025 "Commitments," from left to right:
                                     Fostering Sucess and Lansing Community College

In keeping with the conference theme, the inaugural College Access Impact Awards Ceremony, held on Sunday, April 12 in Lansing, honored six recipients for their leadership in the field of college access, and commitment to reaching Goal 2025. Following are brief descriptions of the influential professionals and organizations that received these awards.

The Steward Award: Creating College Access TalentMICAN-Inaugual-Awards-0354 copy 2 Honoree: Western Michigan University
Through its efforts, WMU has dramatically contributed to increasing the skills, talent and knowledge of college access professionals in Michigan. MCAN selected WMU based on several factors including:

  • Leadership in supporting/facilitating MCAN's counselor professional development course;
  • First institution in Michigan implementing the new counselor postsecondary planning training course for Masters students; and
  • Launch of the Journal of College Access.

The Cardinal Award: Rallying Communities to Impact

2015 Honoree: Ashley Johnson, Detroit College Access Network

Johnson has advanced the college-going culture of her community while moving the needle on critical postsecondary metrics. MCAN selected her based on several factors including:

  • Talent in focusing energy on coordinating services rather than providing direct service;
  • Number of schools within the LCAN utilizing campaigns; and
  • Steady increase in participation of schools involved in campaigns.

The Beacon Award: Strengthening Success through Partnerships
2015 Honoree: The Kresge Foundation
The Kresge Foundation has continually endeavored to unite programs, activities and/or operations in support of postsecondary attainment. MCAN selected The Kresge Foundation based on several factors including:

  • Philosophical support for MCAN’s mission and activities;
  • Financial support for MCAN’s mission and activities; and
  • Thought-partnership for MCAN’s staff and board.

The Flagship Award: Developing Sustainable Networks

2015 Honoree: Destination Education
Destination Education has provided leadership in the creation of effective alliances focused on postsecondary attainment. MCAN selected Destination Education based on several factors including:

  • Commitment to Collective Impact;
  • Strong leadership team; and
  • Use of disaggregated data to make change.

The Compass Award: Advocating for Attainment

2015 Honoree: Governor Rick Snyder
Gov. Snyder has launched and/or championed bold proposals that focus on increasing Michigan’s postsecondary attainment rate. MCAN selected Governor Snyder based on several factors including:

  • Increased financial support for higher education institutions;
  • Vocal philosophical commitment to increasing postsecondary attainment; and
  • Strong and increasing support for MCAN in the state budget.

The Board of Directors Award

2015 Honoree: State Superintendent Michael P. Flanagan

MCAN’s Board of Directors saw fit to create a sixth award that will be presented when the occasion arises, but may not always be a consistent offering. The Board of Directors Award was given to Supt. Flanagan in honor of his impending retirement, and for being particularly supportive of MCAN’s mission and the Big Goal – 60 percent by 2025.

Have you shared YOUR commitment to Goal 2025? Conference participants shared their commitments in our photo booth, but the sharing shouldn’t stop. Post your commitment on Twitter or Facebook using hashtag #Goal2025.


 Author: Brandy Johnson, executive director, Michigan College Access NetworkBrandyCommitment2015 1

Posted: April 15, 2015

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