Annual Statewide College Decision Day Doubles in Participation

Every year on NCAA College Signing Day, we see press conferences for student athletes announcing their commitment to play at their chosen colleges. Signing Day is an event that brings together the entire community – often, athletes’ parents are sitting right behind their college team-bound students, either participating in the announcement or expressing as much surprise and excitement as those around them. Coaches from both high school and college are their supporting their former and future players.

ReachHigher Fotor Collage 

MCAN staff celebrating College Decision Day 2014

There is national excitement and anticipation around this event, which we think is awesome! MCAN staff (most of us anyway) love college sports and follow the recruitment process closely. However, what we’d love even more is to see this excitement generated around the college-going process for ALL students, not just student athletes, who are committed to attending college – whether that’s a two- or four-year degree or a technical certificate. This is why we launched College Decision Day in 2014 and why we’re so excited to see how the initiative is expanding in its second year, with the number of host sites nearly doubling.

National excitement has been building around College Decision Day. The White House, in support of the First Lady’s Reach Higher campaign, has designated May 1 as National College Signing Day and is encouraging all participating schools to register their event with the national initiative. Last year’s social media push for folks to wear their college t-shirts and encourage students to #ReachHigher saw participation from government officials across departments, NASA, celebrities such as Scandal’s Darby Stanchfield, and – perhaps most famous of all – MCAN staff. We have a feeling that national involvement in 2015 College Decision Day will be even more exciting.

More than 100 high schools across Michigan are setting their Decision Day agendas and so far, they have been so impressive! Host sites are asked to celebrate all seniors for their postsecondary educational plans in front of all students to help generate college-going culture in the school, but schools are taking their Decision Day celebrations to the next level with raffles, t-shirts, barbeques, guest speakers, pep rallies, and even a step show!

And Michigan is about to have the national spotlight for our efforts. This year, the White House has selected Detroit as the location for an incredible citywide College Signing Day, hosting Michelle Obama herself as the keynote speaker. More than 2,000 high school seniors from over 40 Detroit high schools will celebrate their futures alongside their teachers, counselors, partner organizations and representatives from higher education institutions and programs.

We’re excited to see college participation in this year’s Decision Day ramped up as well. The admissions department at Ferris State University is collaborating with MCAN on ways to formalize college participation in Decision Day, including early on-site admission for juniors to help illustrate that filling out a college application is manageable, especially with support from adults, and to start practical conversations about college with juniors. They’ll also include on-site admission for eligible seniors that may not have applied to any other colleges prior to Decision Day. We couldn’t be happier about this partnership and can’t wait to see how more colleges get involved with Decision Day in the future.

We have so many great things planned for Decision Day and encourage you to get involved! Volunteer at one of your schools – volunteer needs are being shown on our host site list. And please showcase your Decision Day participation – whether you are simply wearing your college t-shirt or supporting your old high school’s event – on social media using the hashtags #DecisionDay and #ReachHigher. We are so happy to send our seniors off to college with this last celebration, and to build college-culture school-wide for seniors to come.

 

Christ Taylor headshot 2013

Author: Christi Taylor, director of statewide initiatives and strategic partnerships, Michigan College Access Network

 

Posted: April 28, 2015

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