Press Releases

MVAA and MCAN name new Michigan Veteran Education Initiative program director

Michael Lee will start his new role advocating for veterans’ postsecondary education on Jan. 17

Jan. 17, 2017 - LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Veteran Affairs Agency (MVAA), in partnership with the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) named retired Colonel Michael Lee the new program director for its Michigan Veteran Education Initiative (MVEI). He will begin the new position on January 17. MVEI is focused on helping veterans transition to civilian life and pursue their postsecondary degrees. 

“We want to make the adjustment to civilian life as seamless as possible for our nation’s veterans,” said Brandy Johnson, MCAN Executive Director. “With his immense military and human resources experience, Col. Lee will play a crucial role in helping Michigan service members and veterans transition into higher education after they have served our country.”

Michael Lee enlisted in the Michigan Army National Guard in 1983 as a construction materials analyst. He earned his commission from Northern Michigan University in 1988 and served the next four years on active duty at Fort Hood, Texas. He deployed in support of Operation Desert Shield/Storm in 1990 and 1991. He was promoted to colonel in 2009 and in 2010 and2011 he served as the Chief of Staff for the 46th Military Police Command during its deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Lee holds master’s degrees from Northern Michigan University in public administration and the US Army War College in strategic studies. Lee is a graduate of the US Army Engineer Officer Advanced Course and the US Army Airborne and Rigger Schools.

“Acclimating from the battlefield to civilian life is a challenging mission,” said Michael Lee, program director, MVEI. “As a veteran and college graduate, I understand the specific needs veterans have when returning home and enrolling in postsecondary education. I’m confident my experiences will help MVEI reach more veterans, and offer increased opportunity through higher education.”

Lee will oversee MVEI’s 12 Veteran Resource Representatives at 15 Michigan colleges and universities. Veteran Resource Representatives are veteran advocates throughout the campus and surrounding community. Veteran Resource Representatives help veterans:

  • Complete benefits applications
  • Apply for financial aid
  • Participate in activities with Student Veterans of America
  • Conduct conversational interviews to discuss postsecondary experience

Visit http://www.micollegeaccess.org/statewide-initiatives/mvei to learn more about MVEI.

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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
Email: Sarah(a)micollegeaccess.org
Cell: 313-355-4078

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Michigan High School Counselor Invited to White House Event

“Reach Higher” event will host top high school counselors from across the country

Jan. 5, 2017 - Lansing, MI – Michigan school counselor Terri Tchrozynski has been selected to attend First Lady Michelle Obama’s School Counselor of the Year event on January 6. The Calhoun Area Career Center counselor from Battle Creek, Michigan has earned national recognition for her dedication to improving college and career readiness in her community.

“I’m thrilled to be invited to attend the School Counselor of the Year event at the White House,” said Tchrozynski. “It takes a network of crucial advocates to increase access to postsecondary education.  Education is key to properly equipping students with the tools needed to succeed in a knowledge-based economy.”

The third annual “School Counselor of the Year” program will recognize the nation’s top school counselors and will serve as the last educational event held at the White House under the Obama administration. This event will celebrate the important role school counselors have in helping increase postsecondary attainment nationwide. School counselors assist in the planning and development of college and career readiness strategies unique to each student. On average, postsecondary degrees provide students with the potential to earn more income over their lifetime.

The event is part of the First Lady, Michelle Obama, and the U.S. Department of Education’s “Reach Higher Initiative.” This initiative focuses on the importance of education in four key areas: college affordability, college exposure, academic planning and the role of school counselors.

The Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) supports counselors across Michigan and has created a new scholarship program as well as MCAN’s School Counselor Postsecondary Planning Training Course. The course combines online and in-person training over an eight-month period for school counselors and more than 300 counselors have participated in the last three years.

“Terri’s dedication to postsecondary attainment has greatly impacted the students in her community,” said Brandy Johnson, executive director of Michigan College Access Network. “School counselors are a fundamental aspect of helping students understand how to navigate the college-going process.”

MCAN has actively participated in recent “Reach Higher” events. In early December, MCAN’s Deputy Director for Partnerships and Advocacy, Sarah Anthony, and other Michigan education leaders presented at the “Reach Higher White House Convening.”

Watch the event live in your schools, campuses or communities at https://www.whitehouse.gov/live or follow on social media with #ReachHigher and #BetterMakeRoom.

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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
Email: Sarah(a)micollegeaccess.org
Cell: 313-355-4078

Download Press Release (PDF)

MCAN Launches New Professional Development Scholarship Program

School counselors encouraged to apply for scholarships to help fund college and career readiness training   

 

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) is rolling out a new scholarship program. The “College Access Professional Development Scholarship” will enable school counselors to attend additional training and professional development opportunities dedicated to helping ensure all students are college and career ready.

MCAN’s mission is to increase Michigan’s college readiness, participation and completion rates among Michigan residents to 60 percent by 2025. To achieve this goal, MCAN is making efforts to amplify the important impact of school counselors by encouraging participation in college and career readiness training and professional development opportunities.

“In three years, we’re proud to have helped provide foundational training for more than 300 high school counselors in college and career readiness,” said Brandy Johnson, MCAN executive director. “We hope this scholarship program grows the number of counselors who are able to attend additional national and statewide training opportunities. We know helping school counselors better understand the college-going process ultimately helps Michigan students prepare academically, financially, socially and logistically for college.”

School counselors can apply for scholarships on a rolling basis. All school counselors can apply, but preference will be given to school counselors who are involved in their Local College Access Network (LCAN). LCANs unite community leaders to use a hands-on approach to increasing the college attainment rate within their community.

In addition to the new scholarship program, school counselors can participate in MCAN’s School Counselor Postsecondary Planning Training Course. The course combines online and in-person training over an eight-month period for school counselors. The scholarship program, in combination with the training course, will strengthen Michigan school counselors’ postsecondary strategies.

“We know school counselors make a crucial impact on Michigan students,” Johnson said. “We want to provide school counselors with every tool possible to help position themselves and their students for success.”

To apply for the College Access Professional Development Scholarship, please 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 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
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Cell: 313-355-4078

Download Press Release (PDF)

Michigan College Access Network Welcomes Two New Employees

New staff members will work to increase access to postsecondary education in Michigan

Nov. 30, 2016 - LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) welcomed Emma Walter and Melissa Steward to their team to help increase Michigan residents’ college readiness, participation and completion of postsecondary degrees.

“Our staff has been paramount to our success,” said Brandy Johnson, MCAN Executive Director. “Emma Walter and Melissa Steward will be great additions to our team.”

Walter will serve as MCAN’s operations assistant. Prior to joining MCAN, she worked as an executive assistant for Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in New York City. Before that, she held positions with the Michigan Senate and several non-profit organizations. Walter has a bachelor’s degree in public policy and a minor in philosophy and law from Michigan State University.

“Our state’s success depends upon Michigan residents obtaining postsecondary degrees,” said Walter, operations assistant, MCAN. “I’m eager to join MCAN and work on education initiatives that will enhance the lives of our communities.”

Steward was named MCAN’s Director of AdviseMI. The program partners with 16 Michigan colleges and universities and has helped train nearly 50 college advisers to help students in the college exploration, application, financial and preparation processes. AdviseMI is expected to expand by the end of the 2016-2017 academic year.

Steward is perfect for MCAN because of her love for service. Her experience as VISTA Leader for Michigan Campus Compact fostered her passion for college access and student success. She earned her bachelor’s degree in interpersonal and public communication from Central Michigan University.

“Advisers play a key role in helping our students gain access to higher education,” said Steward, Director of AdviseMI, MCAN. “Placing well-trained advisers in Michigan high schools will continue to ensure students are equipped with the best postsecondary options.”

Visit http://www.micollegeaccess.org/about/who-we-are#Staff to learn more about the staff dedicated to improving college attainment rates among Michigan residents.

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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
 

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
 
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