Press Releases

MCAN Announces Co-Directors of New College Adviser Program, AdviseMI

Adviser program aims to get more low-income and first-generation students into college

LANSING, MICH. - June 4, 2015 – MCAN announces the hire of two co-directors to lead their innovative AdviseMI program to place new college advisers in more than 40 high schools across the state. The co-directors, Bristol Day and Jacqueline Ruhland, started this week. The goal of AdviseMI is to place recent college graduates into high schools to serve as postsecondary education advisers in communities across Michigan, especially those with low college-going rates and low adult educational attainment rates.

"Both professionals are an excellent fit for these leadership positions," said Brandy Johnson, executive director of MCAN. "Their experience teamed with a passion to make college accessible for all will ensure this new program starts successfully."

Day and Ruhland will directly supervise advisers, evaluate and make improvements to advising services and manage relationships with partnering high schools and colleges.

Day holds a master's degree in student affairs administration from Michigan State University and is a former community director within Residence Education and Housing Services at MSU. At MCAN, she will oversee the internal operations of the AdviseMI program, including program compliance, training, and human resources.

Ruhland previously worked as a transfer student recruitment specialist at Olivet College and served as a college adviser for the Michigan State University College Advising Corps. She holds a master's degree in public administration from Oakland University and will manage external relations of the AdviseMI program, including adviser recruitment and college partnerships.

The co-directors will lead AdviseMI in its charge to place 40 recent college graduates as advisers in Michigan high schools, starting in Fall of 2015. Advisers will work alongside school counselors and support students as they explore careers, apply to postsecondary education institutions, and secure financial aid.

These advisors will be graduates from 12 partnering colleges, and some will split their time between two high schools allowing 40 college advisers to serve 50 high schools. After an intensive four-week training period over the summer, advisers will be poised to help 35,000 students navigate the complex college exploration process, retake college admissions tests, apply to colleges that are a good match/fit, complete the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA), secure financial aid and enroll in a postsecondary institution.

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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 micollegeaccess.org.

Download press release (MS Word)

Media Contact: Lisa King, Consultant
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Office: 517-316-1713
Cell: 313-451-1387

Michigan High Schools Celebrate Seniors During College Decision Day

LANSING, MICH – April 27, 2015 – More than 100 high schools across Michigan and hundreds across the nation will recognize high school seniors for making plans to continue their education on College Decision Day. This annual event is held on or around May 1 to coincide with the date that most seniors must inform a college of their enrollment decision.

 “College Decision Day is inspired by the NCAA’s National Signing Day,” says Brandy Johnson, Michigan College Access Network executive director. “We want to reinforce that academic excellence and achievements should be given as much pomp and circumstance as athletic excellence.”

The goal of College Decision Day is to mimic the NCAA’s National Signing Day excitement and celebrate all seniors going to college while encouraging younger students and families to prepare early for postsecondary education.

While some high schools have been hosting this event for years, last year was the first time Michigan College Access Network organized College Decision Day as a statewide event. More than 50 Michigan high schools participated in 2014.

Michigan has ranks among the national leaders in college readiness and enrollment along 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. Statewide events such as Decision Day will ensure this upward trend continues in Michigan.

 “We want to see College Decision Day grow across our state to where every high school hosts a celebration to recognize their graduating seniors,” Johnson said.

To learn more about Michigan’s College Decision Day and the 110 high schools hosting events across the state, visit the Michigan College Access Network website at www.micollegeaccess.org/statewide-initiatives/college-decision-day. Follow the conversation on Twitter at #DecisionDay and #ReachHigher.

To view of map of College Decision Day participants in MI, 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. Michigan has recently experienced an 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.

Download the Press Release (MS Word)

Media Contacts:
MCAN: Lisa King, Consultant
lisa(a)micollegeaccess.org or 313-451-1387

Michigan's college attainment rate improving

Lumina Foundation release report highlighting increase to 38.4 percent in 2013

LANSING, MICH. – Michigan's college attainment rate has increased at its highest rate in more than five years according to new Census data released from Lumina Foundation.

In its 2015 report entitled "A Stronger Nation Through Higher Education," Lumina Foundation-- a private foundation committed to expanding student access to and success in higher education-- reported Michigan's college attainment rate increased from 37.4 percent in 2012 to 38.4 percent in 2013, and increase by one percent in a one year period.

"We are thrilled to see our state's efforts to expand college access and completion are creating lasting results," said Brandy Johnson, executive director of the Michigan College Access Network which was created in 2010 to increase college attainment in Michigan. "Though this is a step in the right direction, we will continue to work to ensure that every Michigan student has the opportunity and desire to continue their education after high school."

The Michigan College Access Network is working to increase college attainment rates in the state of Michigan and driving home that college is for everyone. In five years, they've worked to:

  • Created and supported local college access networks that are increasing college participation and completion rates.
  • Supported college advising programs that recruit, train, and place recently graduated college advisors in high schools, focused on helping low-income and first generation college-going students.
  • Developed public awareness and outreach campaigns and assist students to families applying for federal student aid.

Michigan's college attainment rate has increased steadily during the past six years. The latest increase from 37.4 percent to 38.4 percent is the largest annual increase the Foundation has recorded in Michigan since it began collecting data in 2008. Lumina Foundation uses Census data to track the number of working-age adults (ages 25-64) holding a two or four-year college degree.

"We live in a world where furthering your education is vital to a person's success. The Presidents Council of State Universities is excited to see an increase in college attainment rates in our state," said Michael A. Boulus, executive director of the Presidents Council State Universities of Michigan, which represents the 15 public universities in Michigan. "Research shows the path to success and prosperity for individuals starts with continuing their education. The math is simple: High income states in our country have a high percentage of people who have an advanced degree."

Among Michigan's young adults aged 25-34, postsecondary education attainment increased a full two percentage points from 38.5 percent to 40.5 percent in one year.

To view the complete report, visit http://strongernation.luminafoundation.org/report/

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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 an 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.

Download the Press Release (MS Word)

Media Contacts:
MCAN: Lisa King, Consultant
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 313-451-1387

Presidents Council State Universities of Michigan: Michael Boulus, President
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 517-482-1563

Fifty-one Michigan High Schools Selected to Join New College Adviser Program, AdviseMI

 Getting more low-income and first-generation students into college is program’s goal

LANSING, MICH. – Fifty-one Michigan high schools will have new college advisers in place next fall to help more students make it into college after being selected to join the Michigan College Access Network’s new AdviseMI program.

The goal of AdviseMI is to place recent college graduates into high schools to serve as advisers in communities across Michigan, particularly those with low college-going rates and low adult educational attainment rates.

Working alongside high school counselors and other school staff, these advisers will support students as they make the transition from high school to a postsecondary education institution. Michigan high school counselors currently average caseloads of more than 700 students apiece, making it hard for them to provide one-to-one college advising or help students navigate the complex process of college admissions and financial aid.

MCAN’s advisers will be ready to fill the gap starting in fall 2015 at the high schools selected to participate in AdviseMI. Some advisers will split their time between two high schools allowing 40 college advisers to serve 51 high schools. After an intensive five-week training period, advisers will be poised to help students navigate the complex college exploration process, retake college admissions tests, apply to colleges that are a good match/fit, complete the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA), secure financial aid, and enroll in a postsecondary institution.

“This is an exciting step to help increase college attainment rates across Michigan,” said Brandy Johnson, MCAN executive director. “These well-trained, dedicated college graduates will be able to provide important support to students and will supplement the great work of high school counselors.”

The advisers will be recent graduates from 13 partner colleges, including Alma College, Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University, Ferris State University, Grand Valley State University, Madonna University, Michigan Technological University, Oakland University, Saginaw Valley State University, University of Michigan-Dearborn, University of Michigan-Flint, Wayne State University and Western Michigan University.

The high schools selected through a competitive review selection process to receive the 40 college advisers include:

Northwest Michigan

  1. Manistee Middle High School & Brethren High School

Northeast Michigan

  1. Alcona Community High School & Oscoda Area High School
  2. Alpena High School & ACES Academy

West Michigan

  1. Fennville Public High School & Saugatuck High School
  2. Grand Rapids University Preparatory Academy & Muskegon Heights Academy
  3. Montague High School
  4. Muskegon High School
  5. Vestaburg  Community High School
  6. Wyoming High School

East Central

  1. Bay City Central High School
  2. Bullock Creek High School & Academic and Career Education Academy
  3. Coleman Junior/Senior High School & Meridian Early College High School

East Michigan

  1. Harbor Beach Community High School & Owendale-Gagetown Jr/Sr High School
  2. Port Huron High School
  3. Port Huron Northern High School

Capital Area

  1. Everett High School
  2. Maple Valley Jr/Sr High School & Relevant Academy of Eaton County

Southeast

  1. East Jackson HS & Springport HS
  2. Michigan Center Jr/Sr High School & DaVinci Institute High School
  3. Monroe High School
  4. Washtenaw Alliance for Virtual Education

Metro Detroit

  1. Belleville High School
  2. Center Line High School
  3. Consortium College Prep High School
  4. Detroit Edison Public School Academy Early Colle­­­ge of Excellence
  5. East Detroit High School
  6. Ecorse Community High School
  7. Jalen Rose Academy
  8. John Glenn High School (Westland)
  9. Lincoln Park High School
  10. Melvindale High School
  11. Old Redford Academy
  12. Oscar A. Carlson High School
  13. Pershing High School
  14. River Rouge High School
  15. Robichaud Senior High School
  16. Southeastern High School
  17. Warren Mott High School
  18. Wayne Memorial High School
  19. Woodhaven High School

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Download press release

 

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 36.8 percent of 25-to-64-year-olds possessing at least an associate’s degree, to 37.4 percent. However, Michigan’s rate still lags behind the national average of 39.4 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: Lisa King, Consultant
Email: 
lisa(a)micollegeaccess.org 
Office: 
517-316-1713 Cell: 313-451-1387

Michigan College Access Network Hosts Fifth Annual Conference, Announces Impact Awards

Six Outstanding College Access Advocates Receive Awards

LANSING, MICH. – The Michigan College Access Network held the fifth annual conference in Lansing and announced six outstanding college advocates from across the state on Sunday and Monday. The theme of this year’s conference was “Goal 2025: A Decade to Deliver”and focused on showcasing high-impact strategies and bold commitments toward increasing college attainment in Michigan.

“This event always helps us reignite a collaborative effort to increase college attainment levels,” said Brandy Johnson, executive director of MCAN. “Our community partners work with college access coordinators from across the state to participate in productive conversations. Together we’re working to develop new, innovative strategies and to meet our shared goals.”

New to this year’s conference as a celebration of MCAN’s fifth anniversary, was an awards dinner Sunday night that honored six outstanding college access advocates from across Michigan. The award recipients included:

The Compass Award – Governor Rick Snyder
The Compass Award recognizes those that advocate for postsecondary attainment. Gov. Snyder was honored for his increased support of higher education institutions and vocal philosophical commitment to increasing postsecondary attainment.

The Steward Award – Western Michigan University
The Steward Award recognizes those that have dramatically contributed to increasing the skills, talent and knowledge of college access professional in Michigan. MCAN selected Western as recipient of the Steward Award because of its leadership in supporting/facilitating MCAN’s counselor professional development course. Western also was the first institution in Michigan to implement the new counselor postsecondary planning training course.

The Cardinal Award – Ashley Johnson, executive director, Detroit College Access Network
The Cardinal Award recognizes those that rally communities by promoting campaigns that help create a sense of urgency around the postsecondary planning process. Ashley Johnson received the Cardinal Award due to her talent in focusing energy on coordinating services and advancing the college-going culture of her community.

The Beacon Award – Kresge Foundation
The Beacon Award recognizes those that strengthen success through partnerships. The Kresge Foundation earned MCAN’s Beacon Award through its philosophical and financial support of MCAN’s mission and activities.

The Flagship Award – Destination Education
The Flagship Award recognizes those that develop sustainable college access networks. Destination Education, a local college access network serving the communities of Holland and Zeeland, was selected as the recipient because of their strong leadership team and commitment to collective impact.

The Board of Directors Award – Superintendent Mike Flanagan
In honor of the inaugural awards to celebrate MCAN’s fifth anniversary, its board of directors saw fit to create a sixth award that they may present when the occasion arises but may not necessarily be a consistent offering. Michigan State Superintendent Mike Flanagan received the Board of Directors Award to honor his impending retirement and to thank him for his support of college access and the Big Goal – 60 percent by 2025.

The conference continued on Monday and featured keynote speakers Dr. Dane Claussen, on the key points about the history of higher education in the U.S., and Jeff Nelson, co-founder and CEO of OneGoal.

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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 college readiness, participation and completion rates in Michigan, particularly among low-income students, first-generation college-going students and students of color.  For more information, visit
 www.micollegeaccess.org. You also can find MCAN on Facebook at www.facebook.com/micollegeaccess.

 

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

 

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