Press Releases

MCAN Hosts Regional "Reach Higher" Convening

“Reach Higher” aims to strengthen school counseling and advising to help more high school students pursue higher education

EAST LANSING, Mich. – As part of the First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Reach Higher Initiative,” the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) hosted a regional 2016 Reach Higher convening August 1-2.  The First Lady’s initiative strives to ensure all students understand the importance of furthering their education beyond high school. MCAN hosted the convening in partnership with six Midwestern states, including: Ohio, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa and Indiana.

The Reach Higher Midwest Convening was held at Michigan State University and brought together state teams made up of state agencies, school counselors, counselor educators and college access professionals to explore strategies to improve school counseling and college advising. 

“We’re working to educate students that a high school diploma is not enough to succeed in today’s global economy,” said Brandy Johnson, executive director of the Michigan College Access Network. “We’re honored to host the Reach Higher Convening in Michigan and proud to collaborate with states in our region on the best strategies to increase the number of students furthering their postsecondary education.”

Educators and policymakers increasingly realize the important role school counselors play in guiding students through their  postsecondary decisions. There is currently an average ratio of one counselor for every 471 students, making it clear more support is needed for counselors as they strive to help students.  The Reach Higher Initiative is committed to helping high school counselors assist more students continue their education beyond high school. 

“School counseling should not be an extra or a luxury just for school systems that can afford it,” Michelle Obama said. “School counseling is a necessity to ensure that all our young people get the education they need to succeed in today’s economy.”

In 2014, Reach Higher hosted a national convening at Harvard University that brought experts from the field together to discuss how to better support school counselors and college advising in their efforts to help every student reach their fullest potential. This led to six states organizing their own regional convenings in 2016, including Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Michigan, Massachusetts and Maryland.

At these convenings, state teams are encouraged to develop commitments that align with President Obama’s 2020 North Star goal to place the United States as one of the top nations with the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.

The Reach Higher Initiative is an administration-wide effort administered by the White House in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education.

Notable speakers from Monday and Tuesday’s event included Don Yu from Civic Nation and Rebecca Villareal from The Kresge Foundation. 

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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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MCAN Begins Training of College Advisers for AdviseMI

Innovative program kicks off second year of training sessions to prepare advisers

July 18, 2106 - LANSING, Mich. Michigan College Access Networks kicked off training last week for 49 college advisers through the AdviseMI program. This innovative program is in its second year. Once trained, they’ll work with 62 high schools across the state to serve as postsecondary education advisers, with a special focus on schools where a lower percentage of students go on to attend college.

These selected college advisers are recent graduates of 16 partner colleges in Michigan, and are attending a four-week training program at Michigan State University in East Lansing. This advanced training is designed to prepare all new advisers to begin working this fall at their assigned schools to assist more Michigan students to continue their education.

“With the success that came from the first year of AdviseMI, we are excited to continue this program to provide students with the tools they need to pursue higher education,” said Brandy Johnson, executive director of MCAN. “These advisers share our vision and commitment and want other students to have a successful college experience.”

The training session brings together college access experts from across the state and country to discuss 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. These experts will range from high school counselors to financial aid representatives to national organizations such as the College Board and uAspire. In addition to attending classes, college advisers will tour college campuses and meet with financial aid and admissions staff.

Once they complete their training, some of the advisers will split their time between two high schools, allowing 49 college advisers to serve 62 high schools across the state.

The program has grown from 40 advisers serving 51 high schools in its first year to 49 advisers serving 62 high schools this year. To learn more about AdviseMI, visit www.micollegeaccess.org/statewide-initiatives/advisemi.

For media interested in attending a training session, please contact Sarah Anthony.

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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.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: 
Sarah Anthony
Email: sarah(a)micollegeaccess.org
Cell: 313-355-4078

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Michigan education leaders determine next steps to improve college attainment

“Reaching for Opportunity Regional Briefing” to push for education beyond high school 

June 29, 2016 - LANSING, Mich.— Last year,leaders from education, business, and government came together to release a report dubbed “Reaching for Opportunity: An Action Plan to Increase Michigan’s Postsecondary Credential Attainment” for Michigan residents to achieve the necessary education and training beyond high school to compete for the jobs of the 21st Century. The Reaching for Opportunity Regional Briefing convened on Wednesday with leaders from across the Capital Region to provide a briefing of the Reaching for Opportunity report and to analyze local data to determine regionally appropriate strategies to drive postsecondary educational attainment. In order to meet the needs of state employers, Michigan needs 779,000 more citizens with education beyond high school by 2025, according to the report.

Key stakeholders and education officials reviewed current trends in the report, which was released in December 2015. They also discussed the intersection between college attainment and economic development.

“The report outlines a direct connection between post-high school education and our state’s economic growth,”said John Austin, President of the Michigan State Board of Education. “It’s time to foster an important conversation about how to bridge the gap between the report’s findings, and making those recommendations a reality. We know the jobs highest in demand require technical certificates or college degrees. Postsecondary educational attainment will result in competitive advantages in the workplace, increased opportunity and higher incomes for Michiganders.”

The report outlined challenges that must be addressed, including:

  • Increasing the number of high school counselors and college advisers.
  • Encouraging more Michigan high school students to obtain college credits while still in high school through early college or CTE programs. 
  • Creating an Adult Training Scholarship to re-engage the 25 percent of Michigan adults with some education past high school, but no degree.
  • Streamlining credit transfers to help more students move from community colleges to four year universities and colleges.

“This report identified problems, but more importantly effective solutions we need to be implementing as a state,” said Brandy Johnson, executive director of the Michigan College Access Network. “We hope to build a strong coalition of leaders, both at the state and regional levels, to join the movement to make sure more of Michiganders have the skills and education necessary to compete for the jobs of tomorrow.”.”

The report can be downloaded at www.mitalentgoal2025.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.  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact:
Sarah Anthony
Email: sarah(a)micollegeaccess.org
Cell: 313-355-4078

Download Press Release (PDF)

MCAN Welcomes New AdviseMI Program Coordinator

AdviseMI expands program to help students get into college


June 16 - LANSING, Mich.
— Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) announced today that Joshua Kennedy will join the Community Investment Department as the new program coordinator for AdviseMI, which places recent college graduates into Michigan high schools to help students apply to and prepare for college.

Kennedy will work closely with AdviseMI co-directors Bristol Day and Jacque Ruhland to continue growing and strengthening AdviseMI, now in its second year. The program is gearing up to place 49 advisers from 16 colleges into 62 schools in the 2016-17 academic year. The advisers will be placed in communities with low college-going rates and low adult educational attainment rates as part of MCAN’s efforts to increase the number of students gaining additional training or degrees after high school.

“AdviseMI continues to gain momentum as we grow to expand the services we offer to students in Southeast Michigan,” said MCAN Executive Director Brandy Johnson. “With Joshua’s extensive background in college admissions and passion to help students pursue higher education, we know his expertise will be a great addition to this innovative program.”

As the AdviseMI program coordinator, Kennedy will supervise nine advisers in Southeast Michigan to support program grants compliance, recruitment and training logistics. His office will be located at Southeast Michigan Community Alliance (SEMCA) in Taylor to enable him to work closely with the AdviseMI high school advisers. SEMCA aids the developing Wayne County College Access Network and serves as a partner with MCAN to increase Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment in Wayne county.

Before joining MCAN, Kennedy worked for the Department for Student Success at the University of Michigan-Dearborn and was the senior undergraduate admissions advisor at Marygrove College in Detroit. He graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with bachelor degrees in Africana Studies and Urban Education. He currently is pursuing his master’s degree in criminal justice at Marygrove College. Josh is a Detroit native and graduated from Detroit Public Schools.

Kennedy can be reached at joshua(a)micollegeaccess.org or 734-229-3541.

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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.  

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

Download Press Release (PDF)

New Innovative Program Grant Available for College Access and Success Programs

Grants of up to $10,000 to direct service programs for innovative work will support the Big Goal

June 6 - LANSING, Mich. — Applications are now available for Innovative Program Grants aimed at benefiting programs that support increasing college readiness, enrollment and completion throughout Michigan. The grants are being offered by the Michigan College Access Network to help achieve its goal of increasing the percentage of Michigan residents with degrees or postsecondary certificates to 60 percent by the year 2025.

“These grants are intended to ensure that we improve postsecondary completion and readiness, because college truly is for everyone,” MCAN Executive Director Brandy Johnson said. “We encourage organizations and schools to join us in our effort to improve postsecondary attainment in communities across the state.” 

Innovative Program Grants are available until funding is depleted within the fiscal year, which ends September 30. The grants cover a period of 12 months from the award date.

Applicants can apply for up to $10,000 to support their postsecondary education program. Grants require 50 percent match funding. Of that amount, half can be in-kind and at least half must be cash. If desired by the grantee, MCAN staff can help consult on sustainability plans for programming. Innovative Program Grants are not intended for long-term or renewable funding.

Applications and programs that are associated with a Local College Access Network are preferred, since they provide a comprehensive approach to increasing postsecondary education within a community. Other organizations and programs are still eligible and encouraged to apply. 

For more information or to apply for the Innovative Program Grants, visit www.micollegeaccess.org/grants/innovative-programs-grant

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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.  


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Sarah Anthony, Deputy Director for Partnerships and Advocacy
Email: sarah(a)micollegeaccess.org
Office: 517-316-1713

Download press release (PDF)

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