Press Releases

Michigan School Counselor Selected for Summer Admissions Coach at the University of Southern California (USC)

Counselor is one of only 12 individuals serving in this prestigious role

May 14, 2019 - LANSING, Mich.− Cathy Longstreet, department head of school counseling at Hastings High School in Hastings, Michigan, has been selected to serve as an Admissions Coach for the University of Southern California Bovard Scholars Program.  She is the first individual from Michigan to serve in this role with the program.  Longstreet has been affiliated with the Michigan College Access Network for five years and most recently was named to a two-year term on the Governor’s Education Advisory Council. 

The University of Southern California Bovard Scholars Program convenes from July 8 to August 3, 2019. Longstreet will work closely with a cohort of 10 college-bound students.  She will work individually with each student to help identify best-fit colleges, review college application essays, discuss career interests, teach college knowledge, and provide support and encouragement throughout the college application process, even after the three week intensive summer experience.  In addition, Longstreet will continue her support of these students virtually throughout their senior year of high school to help with college and financial aid applications and the decision-making process.

“Cathy Longstreet is an outstanding educator who exudes passion for student success in high school and beyond,” said Dr. Carrie Duits, superintendent of Hastings Public Schools. “She researches opportunities that will personalize education, and works collaboratively to implement new programs that ensure student success. Cathy inspires students to achieve beyond their own expectations.”

Longstreet was selected through a competitive process.  She demonstrated experience assisting high-achieving, low-income high school students with the college application process, strong writing and public speaking skills, a capacity for engaging students in the classroom, and a passion for expanding student access and academic opportunity.

 About the Bovard Scholars Program

USC Bovard Scholars aims to help very high-achieving high school rising seniors with financial need gain admission to and succeed at the nation’s top universities.  Scholars will receive expert admission and financial aid guidance, comprehensive test preparation, personalized career exploration and leadership development opportunities.  The program includes an intensive, three-week residential experience during the summer on USC’s campus at no cost to the students.
 

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
 

About Longstreet

Cathy Longstreet is the chair of the counseling department at Hastings High School, where she has worked since 2009.  Longstreet earned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Alma College, a master of arts degree in teaching from Aquinas College, and a master’s degree in counselor education from Western Michigan University. She serves as instructor for the School Counselor Postsecondary Planning Course offered by MCAN and has facilitated for an online college course on “counseling in the college selection process” offered through MACAC.  She has been a volunteer college coach for Scholarmatch and has presented at several MCAN conferences.  In 2017, Longstreet was named MCAN’s Michigan School Counselor of the Year.  Her professional training includes experiences at Harvard University, Yale University and UCLA.  Longstreet serves as Executive Board Secretary for the Michigan Association of College Admission Counseling (MACAC) and is a current member of the National College Access Network, the National Association for College Admission Counseling, the American School Counselor Association and the Michigan School Counselor Assocation. 

Media Contact: Christopher Tremblay
christopher(a)micollegeaccess.org
517-816-7774

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Michigan College Access Network Sponsors Camp Colleges at Kalamazoo College, Saginaw Valley State University

May 13, 2019 - LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) is sponsoring two Camp College workshops. Camp College is a free, interactive and informative college planning workshop for high school sophomores and juniors from underrepresented and underserved populations. The purpose of the program is to encourage students to begin considering and preparing for post-secondary education.

The Michigan Association for College Admission Counseling (MACAC) is the host and organizer of Camp College. Each year in May, the program is held in different locations in Michigan. Topics covered at the workshop include the community college experience, big v. small colleges, college athletics, test preparation, college search, financial aid and more.  One hundred students are registered for each event. 

“Increasing the number of residents who pursue education beyond high school is critical for Michigan’s future,” said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, MCAN interim executive director. “MACAC is an important resource that increases awareness about postsecondary options for students. These workshops shine a spotlight on access and equity for some of our underserved students as they explore education beyond high school.”

Camp College is offered to students at no charge and is funded by donations from colleges, universities, and sponsors from across the state.

"One of MACAC's goals for the 2018-19 school year was to add an additional site for Camp College,” said Holly M. Markiecki-Bennetts, MACAC President. “MCAN’s generosity has made this goal a reality.  Camp College is a premier program where experts in the college admission process provide a conference-style program for high school students."

Camp College will be held at these locations:

  • Tuesday, May 14, 2019, at Kalamazoo College
  • Thursday, May 16, 2019, at Saginaw Valley State University

For more information about Camp College and sponsorships, please visit macac.org.

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About the Michigan Association for College Admission Counseling
The Michigan Association for College Admission Counseling (MACAC) was founded in 1970 and is an affiliate of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC). It is an organization of 1,100 professionals from across the state and region serving students as they make choices about pursuing post-secondary education. MACAC effectively brings together secondary school counselors, college admission and financial aid officers, enrollment managers, independent counselors, and organizations engaged in guiding students through the secondary-to-higher-education transition process.

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

Media Contact: Christopher Tremblay
christopher(a)micollegeaccess.org
517-816-7774

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MCAN welcomes Michael Rice as State Superintendent pick

The following statement is from Ryan Fewins-Bliss, interim executive director of the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN), in response to Michigan’s Board of Education choosing Michael Rice as State Superintendent.

“Superintendent Rice has the vision and dedication to strengthen public education in Michigan,” said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, interim executive director of the Michigan College Access Network. “Superintendent Rice has demonstrated a commitment to students and innovation in education serving as superintendent of Kalamazoo Public Schools and working to close an achievement gap among students. His experience and passion for learning make him a great choice, and we look forward to working with him to give Michigan, and its students, an advantage in education.”

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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

Media Contact: Christopher Tremblay
christopher(a)micollegeaccess.org
517-816-7774

Download PDF here

Michigan College Access Network awards $25,000 grant to Jackson County Cradle to Career Education Network

Grant to support continued network development
to enhance college access strategy for Jackson County

 

May 2, 2019 - LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) announced the Jackson County Cradle to Career (C2C) Education Network will receive a $25,000 Continuous Improvement Grant to support shared measurement systems for the college access and success work in the county. This is the sixth grant that MCAN has awarded to this Local College Access Network (LCAN).

MCAN’s Continuous Improvement Grants are awarded to prepared communities to build sustainability, leverage local investments, grow the college access movement and strengthen collective impact within the LCAN’s region. The Jackson County LCAN will use this grant to focus on shared measurement systems. The measurement system will compile data related to college access and attainment.

“Developing a data dashboard is particularly important so we can show progress on our objectives, track where we need improvement and learn from those missed opportunities,” said Irene LeCrone, C2C Coordinator. “This continued support from the Michigan College Access Network will enable us to continue the momentum of this important work in our community." 

Local college access networks (LCANs) set goals focused on student success, establish a system of data-gathering and analysis, report results and engage cross-sector partners in meeting goals. These LCANs coordinate programs, services and resources that lower the barriers preventing students, particularly low-income and first-generation college going students and students of color, from pursuing postsecondary educational opportunities.

“Each local college access network plays a critical role in sparking systematic change necessary to increase college readiness, participation and completion within their community,” said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, interim executive director of the Michigan College Access Network. “Jackson’s LCAN in Michigan and is often viewed as a network leader among the other LCANs.”

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About Jackson County Cradle to Career (C2) Network

Jackson County Cradle to Career (C2C) was launched in 2012 with a Planning Grant from MCAN. C2C is the network of education and community leaders working together to achieve common goals in education. It is the communitywide, collaborative effort to address the social, financial and academic barriers to student success, from early childhood through adulthood. C2C is a network, not a program or initiative –it is coordinated, purposeful connections between schools, businesses, community resources and people to improve our education outcomes. C2C uses a Collective Impact framework to bring people together in a structured way to achieve social change. Within this model, educators and community leaders work together toward clearly defined goals by building collaborative relationships, reinforcing each others efforts and tracking progress with proven data. The work of the network is managed by a coordinator and overseen by the C2C Coordinating Council.

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

Media Contact: Christopher Tremblay
christopher(a)micollegeaccess.org
517-816-7774
Download PDF Here

 

Record Number of High Schools across Michigan Celebrate College Decision Day

College Decision Day celebrates all seniors continuing their education
 
May 1, 2019 - LANSING, Mich. − The month of May kicks off College Decision Day events across Michigan. A record 300 high schools across the state are recognizing high school seniors for making plans to continue their education beyond high school. College Decision Day, which mimics the NCAA’s National Signing Day for athletes, celebrates high school seniors who are going to college while encouraging younger students and families to prepare for their education beyond high school.
 
“College Decision Day celebrates every student who decides to further their education,” said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, Michigan College Access Network interim executive director. “From Manistee to Detroit, we want to celebrate students who decide to head to college. Different schools will hold varying celebrations, but all aim to recognize and applaud this important decision in the lives of students.”
 
Since 2014, the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) has organized College Decision Day as a statewide event, an adaption of National College Signing Day. Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Reach Higher” initiative aimed to inspire every student across the country to take charge of their future by completing their education past high school. Events in Michigan start today and run through the month of May.
 
MCAN has made a map available of all College Decision Day events here.
 
To celebrate our seniors, people across the state are wearing college gear and sharing encouragement on social media. Show your support by using #MIDecisionDay and #ReachHigher support by posting pictures wearing college gear from your alma mater and join the conversation on social media like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. MCAN’s goal is to increase Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate to 60 percent by the year 2025.
 
To learn more about Michigan’s College Decision Day, visit the Michigan College Access Network website.
 
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.
 
 
Media Contact: Christopher Tremblay
christopher(a)micollegeaccess.org
517-816-7774
 
 
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