Press Releases

Michigan’s College Attainment Rate Increases for the Eighth Year in a Row

Lumina Foundation releases report highlighting increase to 45 percent

Feb. 20, 2019 - LANSING, MICH. – Michigan’s college attainment rate has increased to its highest rate ever, with 45 percent of Michigan residents aged 25 to 64 years old holding a degree or certificate, according to new census data released by the Lumina Foundation. 

In its 2019 report, “A Stronger Nation,” the foundation reported that Michigan’s degree attainment rate increased for the eighth year in a row.

“We’re thrilled to see the number of Michigan residents with a high-quality credential beyond high school continue to increase,” said Brandy Johnson, executive director of the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN). “The most recent Stronger Nation report, coupled with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s pledge to make postsecondary educational attainment a priority for all Michigan residents, makes us even more committed to reaching our goal of having 60 percent of Michigan residents hold a degree or postsecondary certificate.”

The Lumina Foundation, the nation’s largest private foundation focused solely on increasing Americans’ success in higher education, began reporting the attainment rate — which includes associate degrees and higher — in 2008. That year, the rate in Michigan stood at 35.7 percent. In 2018, that rate rose to 41 percent. The report estimates that 4 percent of Michigan residents between the ages of 25 and 64 hold a high-quality certificate, which brings the state’s overall postsecondary attainment rate to 45 percent.

MCAN is working to increase college readiness, enrollment, and completion rates in the state of Michigan. In eight years, MCAN has:

To view the complete report, click here. To view the Michigan brief, click here.

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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. For the eighth 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 41 percent in 2018. Additionally, it is estimated another 4 percent of Michiganders have a high-quality certificate, bringing Michigan’s official attainment rate to 45 percent as of 2019.  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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: 
Ryan Fewins-Bliss
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Phone: (517) 316-1713

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MCAN responds to education comments in Gov. Whitmer’s first State of the State Speech

The following statement is from Brandy Johnson, executive director of the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN), in response to comments about education delivered by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in her 2019 State of the State speech.

Feb. 13, 2019 - LANSING, MICH.“Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s inaugural State of the State address drew a crucial connection among Michigan’s talent pool, economic vitality and the need for postsecondary attainment. MCAN is thrilled not only with Gov. Whitmer’s ‘Blueprint’ to prioritize both K-12 and postsecondary education, but also with her bold vision of a 60 percent postsecondary attainment goal—a goal that aligns with MCAN’s agenda and aims to prepare Michigan’s residents for the jobs of tomorrow.

We applaud Gov. Whitmer’s efforts to make education a priority for all students by calling for investments in education to address the talent gap.  Affordability is a major barrier for Michigan families, and we believe the creation of the Michigan Opportunity Scholarship, which will provide a two-year debt-free pathway through Michigan’s community colleges or funding toward a four-year degree, will be an important stepping stone for students considering education beyond high school. We are also pleased she announced the ‘Michigan Reconnect’ program that will enable adults to earn a postsecondary credential valued in today’s labor market. 

The bottom line is simple: college should be accessible for all. Today’s students need a postsecondary credential to succeed in a 21st century economy. We stand ready to partner with the Governor, her administration, and the state Legislature to implement and support these important initiatives.”

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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. For the seventh 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 39.4 percent in 2015. Additionally, it is estimated another 4 percent of Michiganders have a high-quality certificate, bringing Michigan’s official attainment rate to 43.4 percent as of 2018. 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.

 

Gov. Whitmer Declares Feb. 4 – 8 School Counseling Week

Recognition to highlight important impact school counselors have on students’ lives

 

Feb. 4, 2019 - LANSING, MICH. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has declared Feb. 4 – 8 School Counseling week in Michigan. The recognition aims to highlight the pivotal role that school counselors play in students’ lives by helping them explore education and career opportunities beyond high school. Professional school counselors are certified, experienced educators with a master's degree in guidance and counseling. This coincides with National School Counseling Week, declared by the American School Counseling Association (ASCA).

“School counselors play a pivotal role helping students navigate barriers to learning and explore options for education and careers beyond high school,” said Jamie Jacobs, senior director of high school innovation at MCAN. “Thanks to Michigan’s hard-working school counselors who help students explore available tools and options. Comprehensive school counseling programs position students for success and provide a vital resource for students, parents, teachers and administrators.”

Proponents of School Counseling Week applaud school counselors for being actively engaged in helping students examine their abilities and talents, and focusing on positive ways to enhance students' personal, educational and career development so they can realize their potential and accomplish their goals.

“From college applications to navigating financial aid, the guidance that school counselors provide to students is critical to helping students explore their options beyond high school,” said Brandy Johnson, MCAN executive director. “School Counseling Week is a way to recognize the important efforts of counselors across the state for making a difference in the lives of Michigan students.”

More than 100,000 school counselors nationwide will be participating in the week's festivities to call attention to the countless benefits of a comprehensive school counseling program.

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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. For the seventh 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 39.4 percent in 2016. Additionally, it is estimated another 4 percent of Michiganders have a high-quality certificate, bringing Michigan’s official attainment rate to 43.7 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 micollegeaccess.org.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: 
Christopher Tremblay
Email: 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Cell: 
517-816-7774

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Michigan College Access Network Expands Board of Directors and Announces New Chairperson

 Eight new members from across Michigan increase depth of board experience
to advance college-going culture

 

Jan. 29, 2019 - LANSING, Mich.—The Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) has announced the election of eight new members to its Board of Directors. The newly elected board members are Bart Daig, Ph.D., Maddy Day, LLMSW, David Gamlin, Donna L. Givens,  Dr. Daniel Little, Sarah Wycoff McCauley, David R. McGhee and Sharon Mortensen.  

“We are thrilled to welcome such talented, diverse individuals to our board,” said Brandy Johnson, MCAN executive director. “All of these individuals bring experience, expertise and fresh energy to the table. I’m confident their contributions will broaden our perspective as we increase college readiness, participation and completion throughout Michigan.”

In addition, Patrick O’Connor, Ph.D., becomes the incoming board chairperson. O’Connor is associate dean of college counseling at Cranbrook Kingswood High School in Bloomfield Hills. O’Connor has served on the MCAN Board since 2011 and most recently served as Vice Chairperson of the Board. O’Connor is also one of the co-founders/co-editors of the Journal of College Access.

“Our new board, at 15 members, will enable us to expand our reach as we support the important work of this statewide network,” said Dr. Patrick O’Connor, MCAN board chairperson. “We are committed to ensuring that the MCAN Strategic Plan grows our impact in this college access movement. I also want to thank Sharlonda Buckman for her dedication and service as Chairperson of the Board over the last two years,” added O’Connor.

The new board of directors members convened their first meeting Jan. 22, 2019.

The new members include:

Bart Daig, Ph.D., has served in a variety of roles at Baker College over the past 28 years. Currently as the CEO/President, he is responsible for providing vision, strategic direction, and executive leadership for the Baker College System that ensures the achievement of the College’s mission, philosophy, strategies and annual goals. Bart holds a Ph.D. in leadership, a master’s degree in business administration, and a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He has been a life-long resident of Genesee County and currently resides in Atlas Township.

Maddy Day, LLMSW, holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Washington. In 2010, while pursuing her MSW, Maddy co-founded the University of Washington Champions Program, a recruitment and retention program for students from foster care. She graduated with her master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Washington in 2011 and worked as Director of Outreach and Training for the Center for Fostering Success at Western Michigan University for six years, developing and directing the Fostering Success Michigan statewide initiative and supervising the Center for Fostering Success training specialist. In July 2018, Maddy started her own consulting company, Maddy Day LLC, and joined the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative as a Site Consultant. Day resides in Portage.

David Gamlin is the vice president of Midnight Golf Program, a 30-week empowerment and mentoring experience that provides high school students in Detroit with invaluable character education lessons including financial literacy, college preparation, community activism and learning to play golf. Since its creation in 2001, the Midnight Golf Program has helped thousands of at-risk, underserved high school students in the Detroit area enter college and various professional careers. Gamlin has been with the program in some capacity for the past 18 years, having held titles including workshop presenter, program director and, now, vice president. In addition to his work with Midnight Golf Program, Gamlin has 30 years of experience mentoring youth, including work with New Detroit, a civic leadership organization. Gamlin resides in Southfield.

Donna L. Givens has over 30 years of nonprofit leadership experience in areas of youth and family development, community economic development, community partnerships and community education. Over the years, she has developed and implemented demonstration programs and worked in partnership with a number of community organizations with the consistent goal of increasing opportunity, building capacity and fostering growth. Now serving as President and CEO of Eastside Community Network, Givens formerly held leadership positions in a number of nonprofit organizations and boards, including Youth Development Commission, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit, New Detroit, Inc., and Bridges to Hope, among others. She has a master of educational leadership degree from Wayne State University, a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Michigan and a certificate of completion from the Harvard University Summer Leadership Institute. Givens resides in Detroit.

Daniel Little, Ph.D., holds appointments of professor of sociology and professor of public policy at the University of Michigan. Little served as chancellor of the University of Michigan-Dearborn from 2000 to 2018, where he is also a professor of philosophy. Little received his undergraduate degrees in mathematics and philosophy from the University of Illinois in 1971 and his Ph.D. in philosophy from Harvard University in 1977. Little has had substantial involvement in the Metro Detroit community, including board memberships on New Detroit, City Year Detroit, the Urban League of Detroit, Detroit Drives Degrees, the Metropolitan Affairs Coalition, and Detroit Public Television. Little resides in Ann Arbor. 

Sarah Wycoff McCauley is the founder and president of Strategic Policy Consultants, a policy consulting firm that represents clients in Michigan and throughout the country on issues related to education and the workforce, economic prosperity, criminal justice, regional collaboration and more. Sarah has nearly a decade of experience with public policy, including work in both state and local government. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Albion College and a Master of Public Policy from the University of Michigan. McCauley resides in Traverse City.

David R. McGhee joined the Skillman Foundation in 2014 and serves as the associate vice president of organizational excellence and impact. Prior to joining the Foundation, David served as a program director for Big Brothers, Big Sisters and as a congressional liaison for U.S. Representative Dan Kildee, who represents Michigan’s 5th Congressional District. David’s work with youth and communities and role as a thought-leader has been recognized across the state and beyond. He was featured in the September 2012 issue of Black Enterprise Magazine and contributed to the National Urban League’s 2013 State of Black America Report. In 2016, he was selected as a Next City Vanguard, joining a group of 45 top urban innovators making equitable change, and was also selected to take part in the 2016 American Express Leadership Academy Alumni Summit, a gathering of the nation’s emerging nonprofit and philanthropic leaders. David received his bachelor’s degree in public administration & public policy from Oakland University and a master’s degree in leadership from Central Michigan University.  David is a lifetime resident of Flint.

Sharon Mortensen serves as president/CEO of the Midland Area Community Foundation, a position she has held since June 2012. Under her leadership, the Foundation has begun a career and college access network designed to encourage first generation and economically-disadvantaged students to complete postsecondary training. Sharon has worked in the nonprofit world for over 25 years and has extensive nonprofit and community involvement having served or currently serving on a number of councils, boards and commissions, including the Midland County Health and Human Services Council, Mid-Michigan Medical Center-Midland, City of Midland Housing Commission, Midland Community Center Advisory Board, ROCK Advisory Board, among others. Mortensen resides in Midland. 

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ABOUT THE MICHIGAN COLLEGE ACCESS NETWORK (MCAN)

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 seventh 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 39.4 percent in 2016. Additionally, it is estimated another 4 percent of Michiganders have a high-quality certificate, bringing Michigan’s official attainment rate to 43.7 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 micollegeaccess.org.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact:
Christopher Tremblay
Email:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Cell:
517-816-7774

 

 

MIHEART Coalition Hosts Talent Summit

Broad coalition emphasizes importance of investment in education beyond high school

 Jan. 24, 2019 - LANSING, MICH. — MIHEART, a broad coalition of business, military, law enforcement, philanthropic, education and government leaders, is hosting a Talent Summit today, Thursday Jan. 24, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. to educate members of Michigan’s 100th Legislature and the Whitmer Administration on the urgency of supporting education beyond high school for all Michigan citizens. The Talent Summit has more than 100 attendees from a variety of sectors.

“Progress has been made, but Michigan still has work to do if we want to keep a competitive edge when it comes to filling the need for talent,” said Sandy Baruah, President and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber. “The time has come to provide all Michiganders 21st century skills to fill the job needs of tomorrow.”

MIHEART released the Total Talent Report in September detailing the need to support strategies that help Michiganders earn employer-valued postsecondary credentials, degrees, and certificates that position them for long-term success and meet the state’s talent demands. 

“Effective career exploration and navigation for students from middle school to college is essential if Michigan is going to produce the talent industry needs now and in the future,” said Kevin Stotts, Talent 2025. “Students and their parents want to know more than what are today’s hot jobs. They want to know which postsecondary education and training programs lead to high-wage jobs fulling careers that are match their interests and abilities.” Talent 2025 is a catalyst working to ensure an ongoing supply of world-class talent for West Michigan. Composed of over 100 CEOs from the region, Talent 2025 illuminates gaps, evaluates leading practices, and advocates for the implementation of those leading practices to make West Michigan a top 20 employment region by the year 2025. 

The Talent Summit is focused on the critical need to improve post-secondary education and training programs to help develop diverse career pathways for Michigan students.

“Michigan’s pressing challenge is to build up our talent, equipping all with the skills and postsecondary credentials needed for the jobs of today and tomorrow,” said Tim Sowton, Business Leaders for Michigan.

Michigan business representatives are taking part in a constructive conversation, addressing the skills gap Michigan is facing. By 2025, more than 60 percent of Michigan jobs will require education beyond high school, such as a postsecondary degree or professional or technical certificate. Despite this looming need, only 44 percent of adults in Michigan have that level of education.

“Talent is the new currency of economic development. It is our ticket to building a stronger region and more vibrant state,” said Tim Daman, President & CEO Lansing Regional Chamber. “If we are to solve the growing talent gap in Michigan, business and education leaders must work together to create and promote diverse career pathways for our students. We need to take a visionary and creative approach to bridge the gap between business, education and talent to develop a workforce that is prepared and empowered to succeed now and well into the future.”

“Our state’s economic vitality is rooted in the education levels and workforce readiness of all Michiganders,” said Caroline Altman Smith, Deputy Director-Education of The Kresge Foundation. “Total Talent reveals promising gains in postsecondary participation. But we must invigorate this pace and help more students complete a degree, especially those for whom college attainment is most transformative – students of color and students from low-income households. The Kresge Foundation remains committed to supporting Michigan-based organizations working to improve student outcomes.”

More information on the MIHEART coalition can be found here.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Brandy Johnson

Email: brandy
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