MCAN applauds new campaign to increase educational attainment in Michigan

Business, government and higher education institutions join to form Michigan Higher Education Partnership  

Dec. 11, 2015 - Lansing, Mich.− The Michigan College Access Network supports the new campaign to increase educational attainment in Michigan, Keep Learning, Michigan. For all it’s worth. This campaign launches this week, aiming to improve awareness in Michigan to continue education and training beyond high school. The effort is spearheaded by the Michigan Higher Education Partnership Council, which includes a unique panel of business, government, college and university leaders who are collaborating to improve educational attainment in Michigan.

Keep Learning, Michigan has launched after a recent report from the Michigan Postsecondary Credential Attainment Workgroup. This report serves as an important roadmap to boosting postsecondary credentials in Michigan to 60 percent. Michigan needs 779,000 more citizens with education beyond high school by 2025 to meet the needs of state employers. This includes college degrees and technical certificates, and we need to grow this from 46 percent today to 60 percent by 2025.

“This campaign is an integral part of growing the number of students and adults who are thinking of continuing their education beyond high school,” said Brandy Johnson, MCAN executive director. “We’re backing this campaign because we know if we’re going to improve the number of students increasing their educational attainment, this needs to a be a multifaceted approach in order to fill the demand for skilled and educated workers in the economy both today and in the future.”

Currently, Michigan ranks 31st in educational attainment of working aged adults who hold an associate degree or higher. To increase the number of state residents with postsecondary credentials to 60 percent, the state will need 439,000 more citizens with technical certificates and industry-recognized certifications, 64,000 more with associate degrees, 232,000 more bachelor’s degrees and 45,000 more graduate degrees, the report states.

Average hourly wages for somebody with an associate degree or higher are nearly double those with just a high school diploma.

“We know that within the next five years, 70 percent of Michigan jobs are going to require more than a high school diploma,” said Doug Rothwell, president and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan, which is part of the Council. “Currently, however, only 46 percent of state residents currently have the degrees and certificates they need to be successful. We need to turn this around—and quickly—if we are going to be competitive as a state.”

The report that recommended the creation of the voluntary Michigan Higher Education Partnership council can be found here. To learn more about the initiative, visit


Download the press release (PDF)

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