Press Releases

MCAN leading a team of Michigan residents at “Reach Higher White House Convening”

Representatives from Michigan will share strategies for increasing postsecondary attainment

Oct. 27, 2016 - LANSING, MICH. —The Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) will participate in the third annual “Reach Higher White House Convening” on October 28-30 in Washington D.C. MCAN is leading a team of Michiganders who are committed to increasing postsecondary attainment in our state, particularly among low-income students and underserved youth. Participants will explore the intersections of cultural competence, counseling and college, and career readiness of underserved youth.

Sarah Anthony, the deputy director for partnerships and advocacy at MCAN, is one of the many speakers leading a session on the importance of increasing the number of residents with degrees and high-quality credentials. 

“The broader conversations at this convening align perfectly with MCAN’s goal of making college attainable for everyone,” said Sarah Anthony, deputy director for partnerships and advocacy at MCAN. “It is an honor to present some of the innovative strategies we are pursuing here in Michigan. I’m looking forward to sharing some of the tactics as well as collaborating with others to bring those ideas back to Michigan.”

While Michigan continues to see modest increases in its overall postsecondary attainment rate, significant gaps persist for low-income students and students of color. The session will highlight Michigan’s statewide and local strategies for addressing these gaps, including a review of best practices and practical solutions for school counselors and college access professionals.

MCAN has brought together a powerful group of presenters for the convening, including Roberto Jara, executive director of “Destination Education” in Holland, Dr. Brandy Lovelady Mitchell, a consultant with the Kent Intermediate School District and Dr. Beverly Brown, with the Michigan Department of Education.

“As a first-generation student, I want to send a message that it’s vital to provide support to students who didn’t think they were college material,” Roberto Jara, Executive Director of Destination Education in Holland commented. “This convening is an excellent opportunity for others to share and exchange ideas that will expand opportunity for more students.”

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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 sixth 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 39.3 percent in 2014. Additionally, it is estimated another 4 percent of Michiganders have a high-quality certificate, bringing Michigan’s official attainment rate to 43.3 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

 

Media Contact
Sarah Anthony
Deputy Director for Partnerships and Advocacy
Sarah(a)micollegeaccess.org
Cell: 313-355-4078
 

Gov. Snyder Declares October Michigan College Month

High schools across state hosting college application and financial aid campaigns throughout the month

Sept. 29, 2016 - LANSING, MICH. — Governor Rick Snyder has proclaimed October Michigan College Month. Hundreds of high schools statewide will kick off Michigan College Month on October 1 and will host concurrent college application and financial aid campaigns throughout the month.

The goal of “Michigan College Month” is to make sure that  every graduating senior has submitted at least one college application, applied for at least one scholarship and filed for Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) by the end of October. Special efforts are being made to reach out to minority and low-income students as well as those who would be the first in their family to attend college.

“Encouraging students to invest in higher education is ultimately an investment in the future of Michigan,” said Governor Snyder. “I’m proud the month of October will be focused on providing students the tools and help they need to further their education. Helping students gain the skills they need through education can serve as a gateway to wonderful careers and unlimited opportunity.”

Several schools throughout Michigan will be designated host sites where activities will take place to guide high school seniors through completing a college application or applying for financial aid. Resources and materials will be provided to educators by Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) and schools will be dedicating classroom time to isolating the different parts of the application process so that seniors have a clear step-by-step understanding of how to determine what schools or training fits their needs.

In collaboration with area high schools, many Michigan colleges will be waiving their application fees or removing financial barriers that may hold students back.

“We want every graduating high school senior to believe they’re college material by submitting at least one college application and applying for financial aid,” said Brandy Johnson, MCAN Executive Director. “Navigating the college-going process is intimidating and this will help students understand this process, particularly first-generation college students.”

In the past, the push was to submit college applications in one month in October. MCAN, partnering  with the governor’s office, decided to expand the campaign from a week to a month and to combine applying for financial aid and applying to colleges. During the 2015 College Application Week, more than 48,000 college applications were submitted. 81.5 percent of graduating seniors participated in College Application Week activities and 66 percent of students completed their first college application during the week.

“Since we kicked off our efforts in 2011, we have seen significant increases in application submissions and overall college acceptance,” Johnson said. “We hope expanding our efforts throughout the entire month of October will grow our efforts even more to provide an educated and sustainable workforce for Michigan.”

 

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 sixth 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 39.3 percent in 2014. Additionally, it is estimated another 4 percent of Michiganders have a high-quality certificate, bringing Michigan’s official attainment rate to 43.3 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

 

Media Contact
Sarah Anthony
Sarah(a)micollegeaccess.org
Cell: 313-355-4078
 

 

 

MCAN Kicks Off Year-Long High School Counselor Training

Fourth annual training program to teach 150 counselors strategies to help students to further education 

Sept. 27, 2016 - LANSING, Mich. – One hundred and fifty high school counselors from around the state began training from the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) on tactics and strategies they can use to increase the number of students attending college. The training spans a year of courses that will equip counselors with strategies to help students further their post-secondary education.

MCAN’s fourth annual School Counselor Postsecondary Planning Training Course will include information on financial aid programs, how to help with the college application process, how to work with special populations and navigating other obstacles students sometimes find in the path to furthering their education.

The professional development course will continue throughout 2016-2017 and will a mix of in-person sessions and online coursework. These courses aim to teach counselors tactics to help all students, but are especially targeted at getting more low-income and students of color to attend college, as well as students who would be first generation college students.

“There are 466 graduate programs in the country for school counselors, but only two programs require a course in college admission advising,” said Brandy Johnson, MCAN executive director. “In order to achieve MCAN’s goal of increasing Michigan’s postsecondary attainment rate to 60 percent by 2025, we need to enhance counselors’ existing training so they have the knowledge and skills to help even more students get to college.”

Michigan college advising and postsecondary planning experts coordinate and lead 12 sessions about the college access and postsecondary planning space, including:

·         College affordability planning
·         College admission processes
·         College and career assessments
·         Academic planning for college readiness
·         College aspirations
·         Enrichment and extracurricular engagement
·         Transition from high school graduation to college enrollment

A maximum of 150 counselors could enroll in the eight-month program. The course is a mix of in-person sessions and online readings, activities research and discussion board posts. Since 2013, MCAN has trained more than 330 high school counselors in postsecondary attainment.

“High school counselors play a pivotal role in preparing Michigan high school students socially, academically, logistically and financially for postsecondary education,” Johnson said. “MCAN is doing its best to helping them fulfill that role."

For more information about the School Counselor Postsecondary Planning Training Course, please visit http://www.micollegeaccess.org/events/school-counselor-training.

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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 sixth 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 39.3 percent in 2014. Additionally, it is estimated another 4 percent of Michiganders have a high-quality certificate, bringing Michigan’s official attainment rate to 43.3 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

Media Contact
Sarah Anthony
Sarah(a)micollegeaccess.org
Cell: 313-355-4078
 

National College Access Network Hosts Conference in Detroit

College access professionals meet in Michigan to discuss postsecondary attainment

Sept. 20, 2016 - LANSING, Mich.The National College Access Network (NCAN) held its annual conference this week at the Renaissance Center in Detroit. The event is the largest of its kind in the country and brought more than 1,000 college access professionals together to discuss strategies to increase postsecondary attainment. The conference sessions focused on showcasing successful college access strategies with experts and professionals from throughout the nation.

“We’re committed to moving the needle in our state to increase college attainment and are honored NCAN chose to host its conference in Michigan,” said Brandy Johnson, executive director, Michigan College Access Network. “We’re excited to share our experiences with education professionals and learn more about the college access methods that are working in other states.”

The three-day event hosted by the National College Access Network highlighted many distinguished speakers, including:

  • Jaime Casap, chief education evangelist, Google, who spoke about technology, education and innovation.

  • Tonya Allen, president and CEO, Skillman Foundation, who outlined Detroit’s plan to increase educational attainment.

  • Michael Middleton, interim president, University of Missouri System, who discussed equity and access in higher education.

  • Carol D’Amico, Lisa Katz and the Honorable Sandy Baruah, who highlighted how employers, government and nonprofits can collaborate to solve the mismatch of available skills and employer needs.

There also were a number of effective practice workshop sessions that included: engaging parents through text messages, mobilizing cohesive state policy agenda, sharing solutions for student success and tips and tools to encourage students to think about paying for college.

“Increasing postsecondary attainment isn’t a one-size fits all approach. It’s about collaboration and implementing best practices from other states that help arm professionals with tools and strategies to make a difference in the lives of students,” said Johnson.

For more information on the NCAN National Conference, please visit http://www.collegeaccess.org/2016Conference.

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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 sixth 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 39.3 percent in 2014. Additionally, it is estimated another 4 percent of Michiganders have a high-quality certificate, bringing Michigan’s official attainment rate to 43.3 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.  


Media Contact: Allie Ciaramella
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Cell: 971-241-1408
 

 

New Grant to Launch Text Messaging Program to Help Students Prepare for College


Sallie Mae Fund grant awards $9,000 to MCAN in an innovative effort to reach students

Sept. 12, 2016 - LANSING, Mich. — The Sallie Mae Fund has awarded a $9,000 grant to the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) to launch a new texting initiative aimed at reaching students. This innovative program will text message students crucial reminders throughout the school year to submit college applications, apply for financial aid and other coordinated efforts to improve college readiness, enrollment and completion throughout Michigan.

This grant is part of a coordinated effort by MCAN to reach its goal of increasing the percentage of Michigan residents with degrees or postsecondary certificates to 60 percent by the year 2025.

“These grants are fueling innovation to reach students and ensure they comply with necessary benchmarks to pursue postsecondary education,” MCAN Executive Director Brandy Johnson said. “We appreciate the Sallie Mae Fund’s generosity with this grant and think it will provide a unique tool connecting with students by texting them directly on their cell phones.”

The Sallie Mae Fund’s grant will provide funding for the pilot program that will send educational text messages to students over the 2016-17 school year, reaching nearly 3,000 students across Michigan. College advisers and high schools will work to onboard students into the texting program.

The Sallie Mae Fund is a charitable organization and supports expanding pathways for the successful development of America’s youth by supporting programs and initiatives that help open doors to higher education.

To learn more about the Michigan College Access Network and their efforts to improve Michigan’s college attainment rate, visit http://www.micollegeaccess.org/

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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 sixth 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 39.3 percent in 2014. Additionally, it is estimated another 4 percent of Michiganders have a high-quality certificate, bringing Michigan’s official attainment rate to 43.3 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

 

Media Contact
Sarah Anthony
Sarah(a)micollegeaccess.org
Cell: 313-355-4078
 
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