MCAN Announces Co-Directors of New College Adviser Program, AdviseMI

Adviser program aims to get more low-income and first-generation students into college

LANSING, MICH. - June 4, 2015 – MCAN announces the hire of two co-directors to lead their innovative AdviseMI program to place new college advisers in more than 40 high schools across the state. The co-directors, Bristol Day and Jacqueline Ruhland, started this week. The goal of AdviseMI is to place recent college graduates into high schools to serve as postsecondary education advisers in communities across Michigan, especially those with low college-going rates and low adult educational attainment rates.

"Both professionals are an excellent fit for these leadership positions," said Brandy Johnson, executive director of MCAN. "Their experience teamed with a passion to make college accessible for all will ensure this new program starts successfully."

Day and Ruhland will directly supervise advisers, evaluate and make improvements to advising services and manage relationships with partnering high schools and colleges.

Day holds a master's degree in student affairs administration from Michigan State University and is a former community director within Residence Education and Housing Services at MSU. At MCAN, she will oversee the internal operations of the AdviseMI program, including program compliance, training, and human resources.

Ruhland previously worked as a transfer student recruitment specialist at Olivet College and served as a college adviser for the Michigan State University College Advising Corps. She holds a master's degree in public administration from Oakland University and will manage external relations of the AdviseMI program, including adviser recruitment and college partnerships.

The co-directors will lead AdviseMI in its charge to place 40 recent college graduates as advisers in Michigan high schools, starting in Fall of 2015. Advisers will work alongside school counselors and support students as they explore careers, apply to postsecondary education institutions, and secure financial aid.

These advisors will be graduates from 12 partnering colleges, and some will split their time between two high schools allowing 40 college advisers to serve 50 high schools. After an intensive four-week training period over the summer, advisers will be poised to help 35,000 students navigate the complex college exploration process, retake college admissions tests, apply to colleges that are a good match/fit, complete the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA), secure financial aid and enroll in a postsecondary institution.

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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. Michigan has recently experienced a modest increase in our college attainment rate -- from 37.4 percent of 25-to-64-year-olds possessing at least an associate's degree, to 38.4 percent. However, Michigan's rate still lags behind the national average of 40 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 micollegeaccess.org.

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