Journal of College Access launches through Western Michigan University

KALAMAZOO, MI--Two Michigan college access advocates have launched a new digital academic journal focused on various aspects of the national college access movement.  Drs. Patrick O’Connor and Christopher Tremblay have co-founded the Journal of College Access (JCA).

This journal focuses on the current trends, research, practices, and development of all types of programs, policies, and activities related to the access of and success in postsecondary education.  Issues of college aspiration, qualification, application, enrollment, and persistence are the primary emphases.

The Journal will be housed through Western Michigan University’s ScholarWorks site: journal becomes the University’s eleventh online journal hosted through ScholarWorks.

JCA is also affiliated with the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) (, a statewide nonprofit organization with a mission to increase college readiness, participation, and completion in Michigan, particularly among low-income students, first-generation college going students, and students of color.

According to MCAN Executive Director Brandy Johnson, "MCAN is thrilled to support the launch of the Journal of College Access.  It is critical that scholars share promising practices on college access strategies directly with the practitioners who work with students and their families."  MCAN’s mission aligns with the goals of the Journal.

“I was inspired to create this Journal due to the convergence of two aspects of my professional life.  I was nearing the end of my doctorate degree and reflecting on my role with college access and where I saw it going.  A presentation about WMU’s ScholarWorks by Maira Bundza in the WMU libraries prompted me to explore this possibility,” stated Tremblay.

JCA is planning to publish two issues annually.  The inaugural issue is expected to be published in September 2014.  It will feature scholarly and research articles, best practices articles, book reviews, research report critiques, literature reviews, and perspective pieces.

Submissions are currently being accepted for the first issue.  Submissions may be made using the Journal’s website.  Submissions are welcomed from a wide community of practitioners including, but not limited to, college and university faculty, graduate students, administrators, college access professionals, and others with an interest in the college access movement.

Members of the editorial board are being assembled and will be announced on the Journal’s website as they are confirmed.

“This is an exciting step forward for the college access field,” said co-editor Patrick O’Connor.  “More than even before, disparate groups are focusing on the vital task of expanding college opportunities for young people.  The Journal will give voice to the goals of these groups, and serve as a center of best practices, emerging theory, and inspiration.”

“We are excited to see that the Journal of College Access has launched with its first call for papers. It will be filling a necessary niche, facilitating scholarly communication between those professionals interested in seeing that all of our youth have access to a college education. As a peer reviewed open access journal, JCA will provide both quality and accessibility,” stated Maira Bundza, manager of ScholarWorks at WMU. 

Tremblay serves as Associate Provost for Enrollment Management at Western Michigan University.  He earned his doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Michigan.  Tremblay has been active in multiple local college access networks (LCANs) in Michigan.

O’Connor is Associate Dean for College Counseling at Kingswood Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and is a board member for the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN). 


Editors:  Patrick O’Connor, Ph.D & Christopher W. Tremblay, Ed.D

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