Michigan's College Access Blog

National School Counseling Week: Celebrating Our School Counselors

School counselors are a critical player in the college access movement in their school buildings and their communities. To celebrate National School Counseling Week, February 1-5, we asked our AdviseMI college advisers to tell us why they appreciate their school counselor and how the counselor has supported them in their new AdviseMI position. 


Check out the great things our AdviseMI advisers had to say. Help us celebrate the week and tell us why you appreciate your school counselor on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using #NSCW16 and #ReachHigher.

I appreciate my school counselor(s) because...

  • "she comes to work motivated to empower change throughout the city of Detroit by igniting college readiness at VCP." – Aysha Boston, college adviser, Voyageur College Prep High School
  • "she juggles 100 different responsibilities every day! She loves her school and community with passion and dedication!" – Elyse Hogan, college adviser, Fennville High School and Saugatuck High School
  • "because she is always supportive and a fundamental component to my daily success." – Corey Lariscy, college adviser, Ecorse Community High School
  • "they always go above and beyond for the LPHS students. They are friendly and are the backbone of the positive school environment." – Lydia Miller, college adviser, Lincoln Park High School
  • "although I know things can sometimes be challenging, they make it so that no one would ever know. They are always joyous. The dedication placed into making sure that all students' needs are met, and the love and support they give to each one of them is nothing short of amazing." – Marcia Molett, college adviser, John Glenn High School
  • "they've taught me just how noble a profession within the realm of education can be." – Devon Perdue, college adviser, Oscar A. Carlson High School
  • "she allows me to expand my creativity and improve the lives of my students without limitations." – Ellise Smith, college adviser, Belleville High School
  • "they dedicate the majority of their lives to helping, advising, comforting, and advocating for them in many aspects of their lives." – Ericka Williams, college adviser, East Detroit High School


My school counselor(s) has/have helped me...

  • "develop in a leadership role through her resourcefulness and self-efficient mentality. My counselor is an enabler and has put me in numerous positions to take on responsibility while also creating initiatives for my own advancement." – Aysha Boston, college adviser, Voyageur College Prep High School
  • "transition seamlessly into a new environment and has provided me with endless support." – Angelina Coletti, college adviser, Melvindale High School
  • "assimilate to the school culture, explore future career options and make important contacts." – Elyse Hogan, college adviser, Fennville High School and Saugatuck High School
  • "work better with my students through the example she sets and has taught me how to navigate the professional setting that is a high school in an effective way." – Shelbe Klebs, college adviser, Maple Valley Jr/Sr High School
  • "find my role in my school. They have also helped me to explore the field of counseling." – Jon Lockwood, college adviser, Alpena High School
  • "become more confident in my leadership role as the college adviser. They have given me many opportunities to contribute to the college-going culture in whichever way I see best; the support is undeniable." – Marcia Molett, college adviser, John Glenn High School
  • "confirm my passion to help students be successful and prepared for life." – Jessica Rettig, college adviser, Montague High School
  • "grow professionally by sharing his insight on what it takes to help the students. My counselor has also helped me in connecting with students and giving me the knowledge and information I need to succeed." – Allen Seales, college adviser, Washtenaw Alliance for Virtual Education


BristolBristol Day, AdviseMI co-director



J.RuhlandJacque Ruhland, AdviseMI co-director




Posted: February 3, 2016

2015 in Review

Happy New Year! As we enter 2016, we can't help but look back on some of the exciting and new accomplishments that happened at MCAN in 2015. It was a year of growth with new staff members, new programs and new babies. We are excited to see what 2016 brings!

In 2015, the MCAN staff:
Watch for our annual report to be released in March where we will share more about our 2015 accomplishments. To everyone who has dedicated their time, energy and support, we at the Michigan College Access Network thank you.


Posted: January 6, 2016

Some Early Wins from 2015 College Application Week

CAW_I_applied_to.pngMCAN staff has been busy gathering data and wrapping up the final report from our fifth annual College Application Week. The report will be available early January, but we were so excited about some of the data and successes that we’ve seen so far, we wanted to share some highlights now! We couldn’t wait until January to talk about all of the amazing things our high schools have accomplished this year.

To name a few…

  • We have a record number of high schools following through with hosting CAW events and submitting data to us at the conclusion of the week. To date, 94 percent of participating high schools have sent data back to us. This is especially impressive given our record number of participating high schools – 330 this year! We know data can be tricky, so we really appreciate the effort and time schools have taken to get this important data back to us.
  • Every year, we see more and more schools with 100 percent of their graduating seniors applying to college by the conclusion of CAW. This year, 47 high schools accomplished this enormous win.
  • While we believe in the importance of CAW, and the huge impact of providing time and space during the school day to support students through applications – especially students who wouldn’t have otherwise applied – we also think it’s incredibly important for students to apply as soon as they’re ready. This means students should not wait until College Application Week to apply if they are ready beforehand. Right now, our data shows that 30,626 applications were completed prior to CAW.
  • Finally, we love to share the number of applications completed DURING College Application Week! This year, according to our current data, over 46,000 students submitted a college application during CAW.

So far, we’ve gotten great feedback from the week – the overwhelming majority of participating high schools agree or strongly agree that College Application Week helps promote a college-going culture in their building. Students responded positively to the sunglasses, and high schools continue to see the value of the week – especially now that it takes place in October.

Michigan CAW 2015

Despite the positive feedback, we’re already thinking about improvements for next year! We’ve heard loud and clear that schools are looking for more templates and examples of things that are already working well in high schools. This means we’ll be calling on veteran CAW sites to keep sharing their examples with us and with their peers across the state. Based on the success we’ve seen this year, we know schools have wonderful things to share!

Stay on the lookout for our final report, which will be released next month!

Christ Taylor headshot 2013Author: Christi Taylor, director of statewide initiatives
Posted: Dec. 16, 2015

Reaching for Opportunity

Earlier this week, MCAN, along with the Michigan Postsecondary Attainment Workgroup - a coalition of K-12 and higher education groups, foundations, business leaders, the governor's office and legislators - participated in the release of a new report with crucial insight to boosting postsecondary credentials in Michigan to 60 percent by 2025. The report, Reaching for Opportunity: An Action Plan to Increase Michigan's Postsecondary Credential Attainment, outlines the challenges and opportunities along with recommendations for strategic actions and policies to increase credential attainment, necessary to succeed in Michigan's growing economy.

Reaching for Opp press conf

MCAN joined John Austin, State Board President who emceed the press conference, along with: Dan Phelan, president of Jackson College, Daniel Hurley, CEO, Michigan Association of State Universities, Robert Lefevre, President, Michigan Independent Colleges and Universities, Dan DeGrow, chair of Michigan College Access Network, Senator Tonya Schuitmaker, Representative Sam Singh and Tim Sowton, with Business Leaders for Michigan.

Michigan needs 779,000 more citizens with education beyond high school by 2025 to meet the needs of state employers, according to the new report that includes a detailed action plan to achieve the goal of boosting the number of employees with postsecondary credentials. This includes college degrees, graduate degrees and technical certificates and we need to grow this from 46 percent today to 60 percent by 2025. Michigan can't compete unless its residents are ready for today's knowledge-based jobs.


The report lays out a series of challenges that must be overcome to achieve its goals – and solutions to those challenges. Among them:

  • Because too many students are receiving inadequate advice during high school and college, the report proposes increasing the number of school counselors and college advisers while also providing them high-quality professional development.
  • Because Michigan students are less likely to obtain college credits while in high school than the national average (just 11 percent), the report calls for high schools and higher education institutions to adjust the policies and increase financial incentives to boost that number.
  • Because many low-income and minority students fail to complete their credential due to financial difficulties, the report calls for an increase in state-provided need-based financial aid.
  • Because we need to help more students move from community colleges to four year universities and colleges, the report calls for additional work to streamline credit transfer.

You can learn more at www.mitalentgoal2025.org

Brandy Johnson headshot 2013Author: Brandy Johnson, MCAN executive director
Posted: Dec. 2, 2015

Michigan College Access Network | 222 North Chestnut Suite 200 Lansing, MI 48933 (map) | (517) 316-1713 Contact Us | Site Map | Terms and Privacy