Press Releases

MCAN Innovative Program Grant Awarded to Grand Valley State University, Godwin Heights High School

The grant aims to help improve Michigan residents’ college readiness and completion of postsecondary degrees

Aug. 30, 2016, LANSING, Mich. – Grand Valley State University (GVSU) was awarded the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) Innovative Program Grant, one of the initiative’s first grants. This grant funding will be used to hire a graduate student college adviser to develop and maintain a college-going culture at Godwin Heights High School (GHHS).

“The Innovative Program Grants will help to strengthen college readiness and participation on a local level,” said Brandy Johnson, executive director, Michigan College Access Network. “The evidence is clear, postsecondary education increases students’ earning potential and job market competitiveness. We’re excited to see this program take off in West Michigan.”

Godwin Heights High School was selected because of their strong application and high percentage of low-income,  minority students, and students who will be first in their family to pursue postsecondary education. The presence of a college adviser will help students manage the college and financial aid application process. The college adviser will work alongside high school counselors to develop college readiness techniques conducive to students’ needs.

To achieve program goals, GVSU has agreed to recruit a current graduate student and equip him/her with an effective work plan. In return, GHHS will play a critical role in ensuring the students’ adoption of the college advising program. Successful implementation of the program will be based on metrics, including:

  • Percentage of parents who think it is very likely their child will earn a college education
  • Percentage of seniors completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Percentage of high school graduates enrolled in a higher education institution within one year

Innovative Program Grants are designed to fund programming that increases college readiness, enrollment and completion in local communities and across the state through grants of up to $10,000. 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.  


Media Contact

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

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100 Michigan High Schools Selected to Receive MCAN “Reach Higher” Grants

“Reach Higher” is a program meant to help high school students pursue higher education

August 11, 2016 - LANSING, Mich. – As part of Michigan College Access Network’s (MCAN) “Reach Higher” Program, more than $500,000 will be awarded to 100 high schools across the state. Schools will each receive $5,000 grants to help students pursue postsecondary education. Reach Higher grants are geared toward creating a college-going culture inside high schools to increase the number of students furthering their education.

“Last year was the first year for Reach Higher grants, and they created the push we needed to help develop these goals inside Michigan high schools,” said Brandy Johnson, executive director of the Michigan College Access Network. “We have seen how these grants positively impact students’ decisions to go on to higher education, which is why we will continue with this successful program.”

High schools were selected based on a competitive grant review process.  Schools receiving the Reach Higher grants will address four essential elements of a high school strategy aimed at getting more students to attend college, including:

  • Establish a Postsecondary Advisory Council (PAC): Each PAC will set up a dedicated team to lead the college access strategy, including: administrators, counselors, college advisers, teachers and members of community based-organizations.

  • Reach Higher High School Self-Assessment: Each PAC will assess the current effectiveness of college and career readiness counseling, support, and programming.

  • Triad of College Access Events: Each PAC will plan and host college access events for seniors, including College Application Week in the fall, College Cash Campaign in the winter and College Decision Day in the spring.

  • Postsecondary Success Asset Mapping: Each PAC will evaluate the school’s college-going culture using a research-based survey and set of tools.

“These schools play an important role in making college readiness, participation and completion within their community possible through the Reach Higher program,” Johnson said.

The list of grant recipients includes: 

West
Allendale
Whitehall
Montague
Plainwell
Union
Maple Valley
Saugatuck
Wyoming
White Lake Area Community Education
Grand Rapids UPrep
Allegan Tech Center
Orchard View
Reeths-Puffer
Hastings
Vestaburg
Holton
Muskegon
Delton-Kellogg
Fennville
Ionia
Muskegon Heights Public School Academy
Walkerville

Southwest
Comstock
Niles
Bridgman

East Central
Coleman
Bullock Creek
ACEA
Meridian

South Central
Holt
Bath

East
Corunna
New Lothrop
Yale
Port Huron Northern
Harbor Beach
Bay City Central
Bay City Western
Port Huron
Owosso
Lincoln Alternative
Morrice
North Branch

Southeast
Pittsford
Ypsilanti Community
Ypsilanti New Tech
Milan
WAVE
Whitmore Lake
Hartland
Springport
Jonesville
Whiteford
Monroe
LISD Tech Center
Northwest
Adrian
Hillsdale
Lincoln Senior High
Madison

Metro Detroit
East Detroit
Warren Mott
Avondale Academy
Detroit International Academy for Young Women
Woodhaven
John F. Kennedy
John Glenn
Cody Academy of Public Leadership
Detroit School of Arts
Osborn College Prep
Lincoln Park
Belleville
Frederick Douglass Academy for Young Men
Detroit Cristo Rey
East English Village
Chandler Park
Osborn Evergreen
Academy of Design and Alternative Energy
Hazel Park
Loyola
Detroit Institute of Technology
Cody River
Cody River Rouge
Robichaud
Taylor Preparatory

Northwest
CASMAN
Onekama
Manistee
Manistee Catholic Central
Manton
Alanson
Pine River
Lake City
Mancelona
Pellston
Boyne City
Brethren
Petoskey

Northeast
Alcona
Alpena
ACES
Oscoda

Upper Peninsula
Gladstone
Escanaba
Hannahville Indian School

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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

Download Press Release (PDF)

 

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

Download Press Release (Word)

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

Download Press Release (PDF)

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)

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