100 School Counselors Participate in Inaugural School Counselor Postsecondary Planning Training Course

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Lansing, MI – October 15, 2013 – The Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) and Michigan Virtual University (MVU) recently launched the inaugural High School Counselor Postsecondary Planning Training Course, where 100 nominated High School Counselors have received a full scholarship to participate in the eight month, hybrid professional development experience that focuses on the college-going process.

School counselors are uniquely positioned to change the postsecondary trajectories for all students, yet many indicate they feel underprepared for the process. One of MCAN's strategic priorities is to provide professional development opportunities to those who work directly with students and families on the college-going process -- especially school counselors. 

“School counselors are expected to know the ins and outs of college admissions and financial aid, yet the vast majority never received formal training on this content.  MCAN is committed to ensuring all school counselors in Michigan are qualified to advise students on their college pathways,” said Brandy Johnson, MCAN executive director.

The course was designed collaboratively with support and expertise from Michigan Association for College Admissions Counseling (MACAC), Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (MACRAO), counselor educators from Michigan universities, Michigan Department of Education (MDE), Michigan Department of Treasury – Student Scholarships and Grants Division (SSG), Michigan School Counselor Association (MSCA), the Michigan Student Financial Aid Association (MSFAA), and the Southern Regional Education Board – Go Alliance.  Funding for this course was made possible through generous support from The Kresge Foundation.

MCAN’s work in this area has been largely informed by the 2011 and 2012 National Survey of School Counselors published by the National Office for School Counselor Advocacy (NOSCA).  The surveys were made possible by funding from The Kresge Foundation, and provided overwhelming evidence that more training is needed in the area of college and career counseling.  The majority of counselors stated their pre-service training and in-service professional development were insufficient.  College advising was identified as the area in most need of additional training.  Less than half of counselors (43%), for example, indicated that they have sufficient knowledge and training on "College Affordability Planning," which includes ways to provide information about college costs, financing, financial aid and scholarships. 

NOSCA recommended that states provide counselors with pre-service and in-service training that aligns counselors' work to the college and career readiness outcomes of their students.  Inspired to act based on this data, MCAN launched a school counselor training project with a focus on college access: the School Counselor Postsecondary Planning Training Course.  The course kicked off on September 26, 2013, with an exciting day-long event. The course will continue for eight months with in person and online components.

About Michigan College Access Network

MCAN leads the charge in changing Michigan’s culture to create an expectation that every student in Michigan continue learning after high school. 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. Michigan has recently experienced a modest increase in our college attainment rate -- from 35.6% of 25-to-64-year-olds possessing at least an associate’s degree, to 36.8%. However, Michigan’s rate still lags behind the national average of 38.7 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 www.micollegeaccess.org.

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Media Contact: Lisa King, Assistant Director
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