Press Releases

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

### 

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)

MCAN Executive Director Named to 21st Century Education Commission

Governor Snyder names Brandy Johnson to commission preparing students for global economy 

May 31 - LANSING, Mich.− Governor Snyder recently named Brandy Johnson, Michigan College Access Network executive director, to the 21st Century Education Commission. The main focus of the commission is improving Michigan’s education system to better prepare students for a global economy and positioning Michigan as a national leader developing talent.

“As the first person in my family to graduate from college, I’m extremely honored to be named to the 21st Century Education Commission. The significance of joining this prestigious group is personal,” Johnson said. “Our top priority at MCAN is helping students prepare for the jobs of the future by furthering their postsecondary education, because we know a skilled and educated workforce will help Michigan reach its fullest potential. Together, I’m confident we can work toward meaningful change for Michigan.”

The 25-member commission will include individuals representing education, business, government and nonprofit communities who have a particular interest or expertise in education. Members will focus on how Michigan’s system of public education is organized, governed, funded and held accountable for successful education outcomes.

Membership consists of 16 gubernatorial appointees, four legislative appointees, the State Board of Education president or his designee and four state department directors or their representatives, including:

  • Alloyd Blackmon, Whirlpool executive
  • Dave Campbell, Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency and a former superintendent of the Livingston ESA and Olivet Community Schools
  • JoAnn Chavez, vice president DTE Energy
  • Roger Curtis, president of the Michigan International Speedway and former vice president of sales and marketing at California Speedway
  • Randy Davis, Superintendent of Marshall Public Schools
  • Dr. Thomas Haas, president of Grand Valley State University
  • Conway Jeffress, president of Schoolcraft College
  • Brandy Johnson, Michigan College Access Network executive director
  • Ann Kalass, president and CEO of Starfish Family Services
  • Doug Luciani, chief executive officer at TraverseCONNECT
  • Matt Oney, physics and chemistry teacher at Escanaba Area High School
  • Doug Ross, President of the American Promise Schools and a former state senator, Michigan Commerce director, and U.S. assistant secretary of labor
  • Cindy Schumacher, executive director of the Engler Center for Charter Schools at Central Michigan University
  • Kevin Stotts, president of Talent 2025
  • Teresa Weatherall-Neal, superintendent of Grand Rapids Public Schools
  • Eileen Weiser, board member of the State Board of Education
  • Stephen Cook, president of the Michigan Education Association
  • Nate Walker, K12 analyst for the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Michigan
  • Scott Hughes, majority council for the Michigan Senate
  • Peter Ruddell, partner at RWC Advocacy
  • Brian J. Whiston, State Superintendent
  • Nick A. Khouri, State Treasurer
  • David Behen, Director of the Department of Technology, Management and Budget
  • Stephanie Comai, Director of the Talent Investment Agency
  • John C. Austin, President of the State Board of Education

The commission will serve as an advisory committee within the Executive Office and will complete its assessment and issue a report by Nov. 30, 2016.

The full text of Executive Order 2016-6 is available here.

###

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.  

Download Press Release (PDF)

 

200 High Schools across Michigan Celebrate College Decision Day

Third annual college decision day celebrates all seniors continuing their postsecondary education

April 26 - LANSING, Mich.− April 26 signals the kickoff of College Decision Day events across Michigan. More than 200 high schools across the state are recognizing high school seniors for making plans to continue their education beyond high school. College Decision Day is an annual event that mimics the NCAA's National Signing Day. The goal is to celebrate all seniors who are going to college while encouraging younger students and families to prepare for continuing their postsecondary education.

"College Decision Day celebrates every student and every path they choose to take, whether that's with a four-year institution or pursuing a high-quality credential," said Brandy Johnson, Michigan College Access Network executive director. "All students choosing a college deserve the same accolades as student athletes. We want every student's hard work and dedication recognized for making their postsecondary plans a reality."

Since 2014, the Michigan College Access Network has organized College Decision Day as a statewide event, an adaption of National College Signing Day, a program of the First Lady'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 at micollegeaccess.org/decision-day-host-sites. To celebrate our seniors, people across the state are wearing college gear and sharing encouragement on social media. Show your #ReachHigher and #DecisionDay support by posting pictures wearing college gear from your alma mater and join the conversation on social media like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

This year, MCAN hosted a student blog contest to show how college is going to be a game changer. Five students were selected to have their entry featured on the MCAN blog and to receive a $25 gift card to Meijer or Amazon. View the first winning student blog entry here.

Michigan ranks among the national leaders in college readiness and enrollment among low-income students. Between 2008 and 2014, Michigan's college participation rate for students increased to 39.3 percent. Another 4 percent of Michiganders have a high-quality certificate, bringing Michigan's official attainment rate to 43.3 percent. 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 and the more than 200 high schools hosting events across the state, visit the Michigan College Access Network website at www.micollegeaccess.org/statewide-initiatives/college-decision-day.

Download Press Release (PDF)
Download Host Site List (MS Word)

Michigan Veteran Education Initiative Seeking New College Partners

Program provides outreach and transition services to Michigan veterans

April 20 - LANSING, Mich.− The Michigan Veteran Education Initiative (MVEI) is accepting applications for two new partner institutions to provide outreach and transition services to veterans during their transition from military to college life.

The program offers public colleges and universities the opportunity to host veteran resource representatives in their campuses, who connect veterans to appropriate institutional, local, state and federal resources. More than 13,500 student veterans and their dependents utilized GI Bill and other federal education benefits in 2015 in Michigan.

The VEI program was launched in 2014 as a partnership with the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency and the Michigan College Access Network to benefit student veterans and service members attending institutions of higher education. These students tend to be older and are more likely to be first-generation students and students of color than students who didn’t serve in the military. Currently, 12 veteran resource representatives serve at 15 college campuses around the state.

“From the battlefield to the classroom is a big jump. We encourage institutions to apply for this partnership in order to help student veterans achieve success on college campuses,” said Brandy Johnson, MCAN executive director. “Our veterans have given so much to their country, and it is a small token of our appreciation to dedicate resources to ensuring they have a successful transition from military to civilian life.”

Once the campus partnerships are awarded, veteran resource representatives will be assigned to campuses depending on the veteran population and needs of the campus.

The deadline to apply is Friday, May 27, 2016. To  apply, visit www.micollegeaccess.org/statewide-initiatives/mvei.

###

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.  

About the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency
MVAA serves as the central coordinating point for Michigan veterans, connecting those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, and their families, to services and benefits throughout the state. Learn more at MichiganVeterans.com or call 800-MICH-VET (800-642-4838).

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Lisa King
Email: Lisa(a)micollegeaccess.org
Office: 517-316-1713
Cell: 313-451-1387

Download press release (PDF)

 

Michigan College Access Network adds staff as it heads into its sixth year

 Organization restructuring, board changes and new hires to expand MCAN’s reach

April 19 - LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) is kicking off its sixth year with staff updates and an organizational restructuring intended to put MCAN in the best position to carry out its mission of increasing Michigan’s college readiness, participation and completion rates.

Cheryl McPherson has been named to the new position of director of finance and operations, bringing a wealth of experience in financial management, budgeting and human resources to MCAN. In this position, McPherson will manage MCAN’s internal operations with the support of Dawn Stemen, operations assistant, who joined MCAN in January.

“Given our exponential growth of services to students across the state over the last year, we knew our staff needed to grow,” said MCAN Executive Director Brandy Johnson. “We’re happy to welcome Cheryl McPherson to our staff.”

Before joining MCAN, McPherson worked for Oakland University School of Nursing as an assistant dean for finance and administration. Cheryl received a bachelor’s degree in public resources management from Michigan State University and a Master of Science Administration degree from Central Michigan University. She is also an active community volunteer and member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

Earlier this year, MCAN launched a new organizational structure to streamline operations and build in more capacity. The aim of the restructuring was to allow the organization to work efficiently and effectively toward MCAN’s goal to increase Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate to 60 percent by the year 2025. Michigan has recently experienced a modest increase in its college attainment rate, from 38.4 percent of 25-to-64-year-olds possessing at least an associate degree, to 39.3 percent.

MCAN’s strategic approach is still guided by the 11-person board of directors, which also has new members. Montcalm Community College President Robert (Bob) Ferrentino and Daniel Mitchell, who serves as an MSU College Advising Corps member in Northern Michigan.  

With its four new departments – capacity building, community investment, partnership and advocacy, and operations and finance – MCAN continues to grow in its ability to offer services to high school students making it easier for them to gain additional education after high school.  

 ###

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, according to census data, 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: Lisa King
Email: lisa(a)micollegeaccess.org 
Office: 517-316-1713
Cell: 313-451-1387

Download press release (PDF)

Michigan College Access Network | 200 N Washington Square, Suite 210, Lansing, MI 48933 (map) | (517) 316-1713 Contact Us | Site Map | Terms and Privacy