Press Releases

Michigan Veteran Education Initiative appoints new program director

December 21, 2015 - Lansing, Mich.− The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, in partnership with the Michigan College Access Network, has hired Army veteran Leonard Rusher as the new program director of the Michigan Veteran Education Initiative. The initiative is an effort to support veterans transitioning to civilian life and aid in their pursuit of a college education.

The program provides one-on-one support to help thousands of veterans in Michigan’s educational institutions by providing outreach services, support and information. The program was launched in 2014 as a partnership with the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency and the Michigan College Access Network.

“Between 30,000 and 50,000 veterans will leave the military and move to Michigan in the next five years,” said Brandy Johnson, MCAN executive director. “As a leader in the state’s college access movement, we’re incredibly excited to watch this program continue to grow and help thousands of veterans receive a college education under the leadership of Leonard Rusher.”

Rusher entered the Army in 1982 and transitioned into the Michigan Army National Guard in 1986 as a track vehicle mechanic. He became a field artillery officer in 1989 and has since been deployed twice to Kuwait for Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn. Rusher is an adjunct professor at Baker College teaching Homeland Security and Anti-Terrorism.

As the MVEI program director, he will oversee 13 veteran resource representatives who are located within 15 colleges in Michigan.

“Since the program was created, VRRs have connected with more than 1,000 student veterans and assisted many of them with education benefits, health care applications and compensation claims,” MVAA Director Jeff Barnes said. “The mission of the VRRs and the VEI program is to provide support and answers to veterans and assist them in successfully completing their education.”

Rusher holds a master’s degree in entrepreneurial management and a bachelor’s degree in marketing, both obtained from Davenport University.

To learn more about the program, visit www.micollegeaccess.org/statewide-initiatives/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. Michigan has recently experienced a modest increase in our college attainment rate -- from 37.4 percent of 25-to-64-year-olds possessing at least an associate’s degree, to 38.4 percent. However, Michigan’s rate still lags behind the national average of 40 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 www.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).

 

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

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MCAN applauds new campaign to increase educational attainment in Michigan

Business, government and higher education institutions join to form Michigan Higher Education Partnership  

Dec. 11, 2015 - Lansing, Mich.− The Michigan College Access Network supports the new campaign to increase educational attainment in Michigan, Keep Learning, Michigan. For all it’s worth. This campaign launches this week, aiming to improve awareness in Michigan to continue education and training beyond high school. The effort is spearheaded by the Michigan Higher Education Partnership Council, which includes a unique panel of business, government, college and university leaders who are collaborating to improve educational attainment in Michigan.

Keep Learning, Michigan has launched after a recent report from the Michigan Postsecondary Credential Attainment Workgroup. This report serves as an important roadmap to boosting postsecondary credentials in Michigan to 60 percent. Michigan needs 779,000 more citizens with education beyond high school by 2025 to meet the needs of state employers. This includes college degrees and technical certificates, and we need to grow this from 46 percent today to 60 percent by 2025.

“This campaign is an integral part of growing the number of students and adults who are thinking of continuing their education beyond high school,” said Brandy Johnson, MCAN executive director. “We’re backing this campaign because we know if we’re going to improve the number of students increasing their educational attainment, this needs to a be a multifaceted approach in order to fill the demand for skilled and educated workers in the economy both today and in the future.”

Currently, Michigan ranks 31st in educational attainment of working aged adults who hold an associate degree or higher. To increase the number of state residents with postsecondary credentials to 60 percent, the state will need 439,000 more citizens with technical certificates and industry-recognized certifications, 64,000 more with associate degrees, 232,000 more bachelor’s degrees and 45,000 more graduate degrees, the report states.

Average hourly wages for somebody with an associate degree or higher are nearly double those with just a high school diploma.

“We know that within the next five years, 70 percent of Michigan jobs are going to require more than a high school diploma,” said Doug Rothwell, president and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan, which is part of the Council. “Currently, however, only 46 percent of state residents currently have the degrees and certificates they need to be successful. We need to turn this around—and quickly—if we are going to be competitive as a state.”

The report that recommended the creation of the voluntary Michigan Higher Education Partnership council can be found here. To learn more about the initiative, visit keeplearningmichigan.com.

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Fifth Annual Michigan College Application Week Promotes Universal Access to Higher Learning

October 26, 2015 - LANSING, MICH. — Hundreds of high schools statewide will kick off Michigan College Application Week beginning Monday, Oct. 26 through Friday, Oct. 30. The national initiative, hosted by Michigan College Access Network, seeks to provide each high school senior with the opportunity to apply to institutions that will further their education. Emphasis is placed on students who are the first generation in their families to attend college, minorities and those of low-income status.

Several schools throughout Michigan will be designated host sites where activities will take place to guide high school seniors through completing a college application. Resources and materials will be provided to educators by MCAN, and schools will dedicate classroom time to isolate 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 for the week, removing financial barriers that may hold students back.

“Navigating the college application process can be daunting, especially when you’re the first in your family to consider secondary education,” said Brandy Johnson, Michigan College Access Network executive director. “We want to drive home the idea that each student should have the opportunity to attend college regardless of circumstance.”

By the end of the week, all seniors are encouraged to have at least one college application completed. During the 2014 College Application Week, 35,313 college applications were submitted with 91 percent of applications going to in-state institutions.

“Since our pilot year in 2011, we have seen significant increases in application submissions and overall college acceptance,” Johnson said. “We’re committed to continuing this trend to provide an educated and sustainable workforce for Michigan.”

This is the fifth year that Michigan is participating in the national College Application Week initiative. Last year, nearly 300 high schools hosted college-readiness activities. Michigan ranks nationally in college readiness and enrollment of low-income students. Between 2002 and 2012, Michigan’s college participation rate for low-income students increased by 22.4 percent, ranking Michigan fourth among all states.

Michigan College Application Week is part of MCAN’s three-part series through the academic year that outlines the entire college-going process with College Cash Campaign in the winter and College Decision Day in the spring.

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. Michigan has recently experienced a modest increase in our college attainment rate -- from 37.4 percent of 25-to-64-year-olds possessing at least an associate’s degree, to 38.4 percent. However, Michigan’s rate still lags behind the national average of 40 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 www.micollegeaccess.org.

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Media Contact: Jessica Tramontana
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Office: 517-485-6600
Cell: 
517-974-6302

Download press release (pdf)

 

Lenawee College Access Network Receives $60,000 Implementation Grant

Grant supports collaborative process to increase college-going rates in Lenawee County

LANSING, MICH.—The Michigan College Access Network has announced Lenawee College Access Network will receive a $60,000 implementation grant to support strategic efforts to improve college-attainment rates within the community. 

MCAN provides planning, implementation and continuous improvement grants to support college-access and -success initiatives. The three types of grants are designed to help Michigan communities establish cross-sector collaborative leadership teams and action plans to dramatically increase their college-going rates.

“The difference this grant is making in the lives of Lenawee County residents is astounding,” said Peggy Molter, Lenawee College Access Network coordinator. “It will support our network and in turn, support our schools and community. We continue to seek and align the resources that we have. The use of a shared measurement system, along with continuous communication and mutually reinforcing activities, is making a difference. Lenawee College Access Network supports the need for postsecondary  career training for our students and this grant will help move us toward a goal that 60 percent of our young adults will achieve credentialing, certification or a degree.”

The Lenawee College Access Network serves Lenawee County. The Lenawee Community Foundation serves as the backbone support organization for the Network, which includes a diverse cross-section of community leaders from all county schools, city and county government, economic development and program providers.

Local access networks set goals focused on student success, establish a system of data gathering and analysis, report results, and hold partners accountable for performance. These LCANs coordinate programs, services and resources that lower the barriers preventing students - particularly low-income and first-generation college-going students and students of color - from pursuing postsecondary educational opportunities.  

“Each local college access network plays a critical role in sparking systematic change necessary to increase college readiness, participation and completion within their community,” said Brandy Johnson, executive director of the Michigan College Access Network.

MCAN supports 50 local college access networks across the state. Funding from the State of Michigan and The Kresge Foundation make MCAN grants possible. To learn more about Planning, Implementation and Continuous Improvement grants, visit 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. Michigan has recently experienced a modest increase in our college attainment rate -- from 37.4 percent of 25-to-64-year-olds possessing at least an associate’s degree, to 38.4 percent. However, Michigan’s rate still lags behind the national average of 40 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 www.micollegeaccess.org

 

Media Contact: Jessica Tramontana
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Office: 517-485-6600
Cell: 
517-974-6302

Download press release (pdf)

 

Third Year of Successful School Counselor Training Program Brings 150 Students and Course Updates

Postsecondary Counselor Course Continues Streak of Excellence with over 200 Trained Counselors to Date

Sept. 24, 2015 - Lansing, Mich.− More than 130 Michigan school counselors will be returning to their schools this September armed with new strategies to help students navigate the college-going process, thanks to the School Counselor Postsecondary Training Course offered by Michigan College Access Network and Michigan Virtual University.

More than 200 counselors have been trained since the program began in fall 2013 to give participating school counselors an eight-month, hybrid, professional development experience focused on the college-going process. A new group of 150 school counselors began their course on Sept. 24.

The curriculum has been fully updated this year for school counselors and also includes a pilot geared at supporting direct service providers who are not school counselors. School Counselors who complete the course will be able to more readily provide support to students and families on college and career advising.

“We’re ecstatic about the success we’ve had so far, which has allowed us to train and place hundreds of school counselors who are making a difference in helping Michigan students get to college,” said Brandy Johnson, MCAN executive director. “The demand is definitely there and MCAN is committed to ensuring all school counselors in Michigan are prepared to advise students on their college pathways.”

The course includes 12 sessions on topics around college access, including college affordability planning, admission processes, college and career assessments, and transition from high school graduation to college enrollment. This session, the course is taught by six facilitators − five school counselors and one associate professor.

Enrollment in the course is based entirely on nominations from a community member, administrator or higher education professional. If the nominated individual is accepted, he or she is provided with an $800 scholarship to participate in the course.

The course was designed collaboratively with support and expertise from Michigan Association for College Admissions Counseling, Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, counselor educators from Michigan universities, Michigan Department of Education, Michigan Department of Treasury – Student Scholarships and Grants Division , Michigan School Counselor Association, the Michigan Student Financial Aid Association, and the Southern Regional Education Board – Go Alliance.  

Funding for this course was made possible through generous support 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. Michigan has recently experienced a modest increase in our college attainment rate -- from 37.4 percent of 25-to-64-year-olds possessing at least an associate’s degree, to 38.4 percent. However, Michigan’s rate still lags behind the national average of 40 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 www.micollegeaccess.org

Media Contact: Jessica Tramontana
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Office: 517-485-6600
Cell:517-974-6302

Download press release (pdf)

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