Michigan's College Access Blog

The Journal of College Access – A Resource for High School Counselors, College Access Practitioners, Counselor Educators, and Researchers

Since the publication of its inaugural issue in 2015, the Journal of College Access (JCA) has published 28 articles: 10 articles describing original research; 6 ‘perspective’ articles written by and/or about influential people, organizations, and access-related issues; 4 literature review articles; 3 book reviews; 3 research report critiques; 1 resource highlight article; and finally 1 best practices article.  The Journal really does have something for everyone involved in college access work – from those on the ‘front lines’ in high schools and community organizations to researchers investigating access-related issues and the counselor educators preparing the next generation of school counselors – and everyone is invited to contribute to JCA.

What, specifically, might you find in JCA?  You’ll find research reports describing investigations into areas such as Latinx college-going, pre-college summer programming, and the effect of Naviance on college application rates.  You’ll find a special mini issue of JCA dedicated to the Obama’s influence on the college access landscape with perspectives from The White House, The Kresge Foundation, and the Secretary of Education.  You’ll find literature reviews describing college access for students with intellectual disabilities and 10 years of school counseling intervention research.  You’ll find recommendations for engaging homeless, justice-involved, and immigrant students.  You’ll find all of this, and much more! 

For people interested in reading the peer-reviewed literature related to college access, JCA is somewhat unique as it is open-access – anyone can go to JCA’s website to access it, without needing to go through a university library or have a subscription.  This makes it a great place for ‘end users’ to get peer-reviewed information, and for researchers to publish their work all articles are also indexed in ERIC. 

As hinted at above, researchers are not the only people who can submit articles – JCA welcomes submissions from anyone who has an idea they would like to share.  Have a program you developed you’d like to share?  You can do this as a Best Practices submission.  Read a book related to college access?  Submit your thoughts in a Book Review submission.  Read a thought-provoking research report?  Submit your thoughts as a Research Report Critique.  Write a literature review for a class that you think might be worth sharing?  Submit it as a literature review.  You’ll find examples of each of these areas already published in JCA – we hope you will not only ready JCA, but contribute!

Dr. Tim Poynton is an Associate Professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston and serves as an Editorial Board member for the Journal of College Access.  Sophie Schuler is a doctoral student at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Author: Dr. Tim Poynton, Associate Professor, University of Massachusetts Boston
Posted: Jan. 15, 2019





Author: Sophie Schuyler, Doctoral Student, University of Massachusetts Boston
Posted: Jan. 15, 2019


2018 COMPASS AWARD RECIPIENT: Former State Representative Brett Roberts

Ensuring public policy supports Michigan’s momentum toward achieving the Big Goal – 60 percent by 2025 – is a critical strategy of the Michigan College Access Network. Working with mission-aligned allies, MCAN advises policymakers at all levels on crafting dynamic legislation that results in reduced barriers and increased attainment across the state and country. Recipients of this award have launched and/or championed bold proposals that focus on increasing Michigan’s postsecondary attainment rate.

1. You received the Compass Award based on your ability to ensure policy supports Michigan’s momentum toward achieving the Big Goal, 60 percent degree attainment by the year 2025. Tell us why education is one of your priorities?

Education has continued to be one of my priorities because it ensures that Michigan will have a healthy economy for generations to come. By investing in our students today, we are creating a solid foundation with which students can work toward the careers that suit them best. Following the great recession, students were often choosing that college was too expensive for them, or that it was more affordable to pursue a degree in another state. I don’t want that to be the reality for my own kids. Michigan is growing more and more every day, and strengthening schools and colleges in the state will incentivize current students to invest their time and professional lives back in Michigan instead of moving elsewhere.

2. What specific upcoming policies/initiatives around education do you see having a big impact in Michigan?

The Legislature recently approved the Marshall Plan, which is a $100 million project designed specifically to support Michigan's educational systems and guide them toward preparing students for careers and in-demand jobs. It’s no secret that Michigan’s unemployment rate has dropped significantly in recent years, however, we now have thousands of job openings in careers where the labor supply is struggling. With the approval of the Marshall Plan, I think that Michigan can reasonably expect that students today will be guided, if they’re interested, toward jobs that Michigan is in desperate need of filling. Doing so will result in a positive impact on the state’s economy.

 3. Do you have any advice for constituents interested in advocating for or engaging in policy such as education policy?

The most effective leaders in any policy start where it matters most: the local level. If you’re interested in education policy, get involved. Go to school board meetings and don’t be afraid to engage with teachers, parents, or other school leaders. If you feel strongly enough about education policies, I would encourage you to either run for a seat on your local school board or pursue degrees that allow you to reach new conclusions about the most effective policies that schools and colleges can use when instructing their students.

Author: Former State Representative Brett Roberts
Posted: January 8, 2019


Reflecting on 2018: A Year of Gaining Momentum

Happy New Year! As we enter 2019, we can't help but look back on some of the exciting and new accomplishments that happened at MCAN in 2018. It was a year of momentum and energy. We are excited to see what 2019 brings!

In 2018, the MCAN staff:

  • Awarded $1.13 million in grants to more than 41 different organizations across the state;
  • Engaged 346 high schools in the Michigan College Month campaign and 291 high schools in the College Cash Campaign;
  • Celebrated a $50,000 grant from the FCA Foundation for AdviseMI;
  • Trained 60 LCAN colleagues at our combined Maritime Academy and coached 27 Local College Access Networks in their collective impact work;
  • AdviseMI received one Outstanding National Service Award;
  • Awarded 10,177 SCECHs through MCAN’s various training opportunities;
  • Said goodbye to Sarah Anthony (now State Rep. Anthony) after eight years of service to MCAN and to Connor McLaughlin after two years of service to MCAN;
  • Welcomed three new staff members: Shavonna Green, Jahshua Smith, and Christopher Tremblay;
  • Moved to a new office at 200 N. Washington Square in downtown Lansing;
  • Welcomed 692 members in our first year of membership;
  • Released the Total Talent report in partnership with 15 Michigan Higher Education Attainment Roundtable (MIHEART) members;
  • Hosted 100 students during Michelle Obama’s book tour event in Detroit; 
  • Leveraged a new partnership with scholarship platform Scholly impacting 10,000 students at 82 high schools; and
  • Recognized an additional 82 school counselors among 45 counties for completing the Postsecondary Planning Training Course and launched the Advanced Counselor Training course modules with 101 completers. 

Watch for our annual report to be released this spring, where we will elaborate more about our 2018 accomplishments. To everyone who has dedicated their time, energy and support, we at the Michigan College Access Network thank you!


Author: Christopher Tremblay, MCAN director of external engagement
Posted: Jan. 3, 2019

2018 Blog Review

The Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) is grateful for our 31 blog offers of 2018! MCAN’s college access blog is a platform utilized to share the success stories and initiatives that are making strides toward advancing college access. Before the year comes to a close, we would like to reflect on all the amazing efforts and accounts that we published this year.

Advanced Maritime Academy Reflections: 

My Experience at Maritime Academy
Author: Ann Konarski, Lapeer County CAN! Coordinator

Navigating Challenges and Sharing Insight at the Maritime Academy
Author: Melissa Miller, WE CAN! Newaygo County Student Advancement Consultant

Maritime Training: A Compass and North Star to Guide our Work
Author: Mark Litt, Wayne County College Access Network College Access Coordinator

Adviser Blog Series:

The birth of the “Bro Code”
Author: J'Mesha Anderson, AdviseMI Adviser, Henry Ford Academy

Advising Two Schools, Achieving One Goal
Author: Mary Wilson, Second-year AdviseMI Adviser Maple Valley High School & Relevant Academy  

Two Years of Preparing for Michigan College Month: An Adviser's Perspective
Author: Nedra Hall, Second-Year AdviseMI Adviser, Fitzgerald High School 

What Service means to me: An Adviser's Reflection
Author: Alexa Girouard, Second-Year AdviseMI Adviser, Belding High School

Mastering Service: An Adviser's Reflection
Author: Brittany Hall, College Adviser, Ferndale High School

Alumni Adviser Blog Series:

Alumni Feature: Lindsay Mieden
Author: Lindsay Mieden, MA, SCL, LLPC, School Counselor (A-K), Gabriel Richard Catholic High School

Award Winner Features:

Author: Jennifer Brown, School Counselor and Early College Coordinator, Bullock Creek High School

In the Community:

Expanding Early College in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula
Author: Chelsea Hart, Early College Liaison, Upper Peninsula Intermediate School District Michigan Nonprofit Association AmeriCorps VISTA Program

Are there Invisible Students on Your Campus?
Author: Pam Kies-Lowe, State Coordinator for Homeless Education Michigan Department of Education, Office of Educational Supports

Breaking Barriers as a First-Generation College Student
Author: Felipe Lopez Sustaita, Executive Director of the Hispanic/Latino Commission of Michigan  

Innovative Program Grant Tales of Success: 

Leveraging Innovation for College Readiness
Author: Jenny Griffen, Development and Communications Manager West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology

Pursuing Persistence and Completion: Innovative Program Grant jump starts Washtenaw's Community Scholarship Program
Author: Ashley Kryscynski, formerly the Coordinator for Washtenaw Futures

Legislative Work:

MCAN Legislative Recap
Author: Brandy Johnson, Executive Director, MCAN 

Higher education costs are out of hand, keeping degrees out of reach
Author: Gilda Z. Jacobs, President and CEO, Michigan League for Public Policy

Michigan Needs to Commit to “Total Talent”
Author: Brandy Johnson, Executive Director, Michigan College Access Network 
Author: John Austin, Director of the Michigan Economic Center, Former President of Michigan State Board of Education

MCAN Updates: 

Top 5 Reasons to Attend the MCAN Conference
Author: Lisa King, Communication Consultant

MCAN is Moving!
Author: Vicky L. Wright, Operations Manager, MCAN 

Stronger Nation, Stronger Michigan: 2018 Update on Michigan’s Progress Toward Goal 2025
Author: Jamie Jacobs, Senior Director of Capacity Building, MCAN

2018 College Advocacy Day Recap
Author: Emma Walter, Strategy Assistant, MCAN

Decision Day 2018 Recap: Celebrating the Journey to Higher Education
Connor McLaughlin, Former Program Associate, MCAN

MCAN Legislative Recap
Author: Brandy Johnson, Executive Director

College Adviser to Admissions Counselor
Author: Dan Mitchell, Northern Michigan University Admissions Counselor, MCAN Board Member

Gearing Up for Michigan College Month
Author: Joan Helwig, Marlette Jr./Sr. High School Counselor

My “Drive” for College Access
Author: Christopher Tremblay, Director of External Engagement, Michigan College Access Network

School Counselor Highlights:

#NSCW18: Why I Love Being A School Counselor
Guest Author: Cathy Longstreet, Counselor, Hastings High School  

Second Year Adviser Feature Stories:

Adviser Spotlight: Kanyn Doan
Author: Kanyn Doan, AdviseMI Adviser Alumna

Adviser Spotlight: Ashley Popp
Author: Ashley Popp, AdviseMI Adviser Alumna

Adviser Spotlight: Simone Dixon
Author: Simone Dixon, AdviseMI Adviser Alumna

MCAN features people and partners in the community who are doing exceptional work in the college access field. If you would like to be considered for a spotlight feature or learn more, please contact Emma Walter, MCAN's strategy assistant for external engagement, by sending an email to Emma(a)micollegeaccess.org.

Author: Emma Walter
Posted: December 18, 2018

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