MCAN Kicks Off Year-Long High School Counselor Training

Fourth annual training program to teach 150 counselors strategies to help students to further education 

Sept. 27, 2016 - LANSING, Mich. – One hundred and fifty high school counselors from around the state began training from the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) on tactics and strategies they can use to increase the number of students attending college. The training spans a year of courses that will equip counselors with strategies to help students further their post-secondary education.

MCAN’s fourth annual School Counselor Postsecondary Planning Training Course will include information on financial aid programs, how to help with the college application process, how to work with special populations and navigating other obstacles students sometimes find in the path to furthering their education.

The professional development course will continue throughout 2016-2017 and will a mix of in-person sessions and online coursework. These courses aim to teach counselors tactics to help all students, but are especially targeted at getting more low-income and students of color to attend college, as well as students who would be first generation college students.

“There are 466 graduate programs in the country for school counselors, but only two programs require a course in college admission advising,” said Brandy Johnson, MCAN executive director. “In order to achieve MCAN’s goal of increasing Michigan’s postsecondary attainment rate to 60 percent by 2025, we need to enhance counselors’ existing training so they have the knowledge and skills to help even more students get to college.”

Michigan college advising and postsecondary planning experts coordinate and lead 12 sessions about the college access and postsecondary planning space, including:

·         College affordability planning
·         College admission processes
·         College and career assessments
·         Academic planning for college readiness
·         College aspirations
·         Enrichment and extracurricular engagement
·         Transition from high school graduation to college enrollment

A maximum of 150 counselors could enroll in the eight-month program. The course is a mix of in-person sessions and online readings, activities research and discussion board posts. Since 2013, MCAN has trained more than 330 high school counselors in postsecondary attainment.

“High school counselors play a pivotal role in preparing Michigan high school students socially, academically, logistically and financially for postsecondary education,” Johnson said. “MCAN is doing its best to helping them fulfill that role."

For more information about the School Counselor Postsecondary Planning Training Course, please 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

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