MCAN Innovative Program Grant Awarded to Grand Valley State University, Godwin Heights High School

The grant aims to help improve Michigan residents’ college readiness and completion of postsecondary degrees

Aug. 30, 2016, LANSING, Mich. – Grand Valley State University (GVSU) was awarded the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) Innovative Program Grant, one of the initiative’s first grants. This grant funding will be used to hire a graduate student college adviser to develop and maintain a college-going culture at Godwin Heights High School (GHHS).

“The Innovative Program Grants will help to strengthen college readiness and participation on a local level,” said Brandy Johnson, executive director, Michigan College Access Network. “The evidence is clear, postsecondary education increases students’ earning potential and job market competitiveness. We’re excited to see this program take off in West Michigan.”

Godwin Heights High School was selected because of their strong application and high percentage of low-income,  minority students, and students who will be first in their family to pursue postsecondary education. The presence of a college adviser will help students manage the college and financial aid application process. The college adviser will work alongside high school counselors to develop college readiness techniques conducive to students’ needs.

To achieve program goals, GVSU has agreed to recruit a current graduate student and equip him/her with an effective work plan. In return, GHHS will play a critical role in ensuring the students’ adoption of the college advising program. Successful implementation of the program will be based on metrics, including:

  • Percentage of parents who think it is very likely their child will earn a college education
  • Percentage of seniors completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Percentage of high school graduates enrolled in a higher education institution within one year

Innovative Program Grants are designed to fund programming that increases college readiness, enrollment and completion in local communities and across the state through grants of up to $10,000. For more information or to apply for the Innovative Program Grants, visit


About Michigan College Access Network

As the leader in the state’s college access movement, MCAN’s mission is to increase Michigan’s college readiness, participation and completion rates, particularly among low-income students, first-generation college going students, and students of color. For the sixth year in a row, Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate has increased — from 35.7 percent of 25-to-64-year-olds possessing at least an associate degree in 2008, to 39.3 percent in 2014. Additionally, it is estimated another 4 percent of Michiganders have a high-quality certificate, bringing Michigan’s official attainment rate to 43.3 percent. It is MCAN’s goal to increase Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate to 60 percent by the year 2025. For more information, visit  

Media Contact

Sarah Anthony
Cell: 313-355-4078

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