Press Releases

MCAN Elects Curtis and DeYoung to Board of Directors

Lansing, MI – June 6, 2014 – Michigan College Access Network board of directors voted and unanimously elected Eileen Curtis, president and CEO of the Bay Area Community Foundation, and Janet DeYoung, past president and CEO of the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area, to the board of directors.

Curtis and DeYoung were identified as ideal candidates because of their commitment to college access and understanding of the disparities that exist among low-income students and first generation college-going students in Michigan. Both also bring with them a deep understanding of the role community foundations and the private sector can play in developing a community-wide strategy to improve college attainment rates.

 “The Michigan College Access Network is committed to increasing college readiness, participation and completion rates in Michigan, and Eileen and Janet bring the necessary expertise to ensure we reach our goal of increasing Michigan’s college completion rate from 37 percent to 60 percent by the year 2025,” said Amy Smitter, Michigan College Access Network board of directors chairperson.

Current board of directors members represent K-12, higher education, youth-serving nonprofit organizations, government, business and philanthropy. Members and their affiliations include:

  • Sharlonda Buckman, executive director, Detroit Parent Network
  • Laura Coleman, president, Bay College
  • Brandee Cooke, former college adviser, Michigan College Advising Corps
  • Eileen Curtis, president and CEO, Bay Area Community Foundation
  • Dan DeGrow, superintendent, St. Clair County RESA
  • Janet DeYoung, past president and CEO, Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area
  • Greg Handel, senior director of workforce development, Detroit Regional Chamber
  • David Lossing, president, Michigan Municipal League board of trustees
  • Catherine M. McNamara, CPA, assurance senior manager, BDO USA, LLP
  • Patrick O’Connor, college counseling department, Cranbrook
  • George E. Ross, president, Central Michigan University
  • Amy Smitter, director of institutional development, Campus Compact

MCAN leads the charge in changing Michigan’s culture to create an expectation that every student in Michigan continue learning after high school. Since 2010, MCAN has provided 50+ communities with more than $1.8 million. This seed funding is designed to help Michigan’s Local College Access Networks establish cross-sector collaborative leadership teams and action plans to dramatically increase the community’s college-going rate. LCANs set goals focused on student success, establish a system of data gathering and analysis, report results, and hold partners accountable for performance.

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% of 25-to-64-year-olds possessing at least an associate’s degree, to 37.4%. 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.  

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Michigan High Schools Celebrate Seniors during College Decision Day

Lansing, MI – April 22, 2014 – High schools across Michigan and the nation will recognize high school seniors for their postsecondary plans through College Decision Day.  Held annual on or around May 1, College Decision Day is designed to coincide with the date that most seniors must inform a college of their plans to enroll. This year, more than 50 Michigan high schools have shared their intent to host a College Decision Day event.

“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 excellence as an athlete.”

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 College Decision Day type events for years, this is the first year there was a concerted effort for larger statewide involvement.  Resources were created for high schools to aid in planning a College Decision Day event.

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

To learn more about Michigan’s College Decision Day and the high schools hosting events across the state, visit the Michigan College Access Network website at www.micollegeaccess.org/events/college-decision-day

 

Download press release to see full list of high schools participating.

 

Media Contact
Lisa King, consultant
lisa at micollegeaccess.org
313-451-1387

100 School Counselors Participate in Inaugural School Counselor Postsecondary Planning Training Course

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Lansing, MI – October 15, 2013 – The Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) and Michigan Virtual University (MVU) recently launched the inaugural High School Counselor Postsecondary Planning Training Course, where 100 nominated High School Counselors have received a full scholarship to participate in the eight month, hybrid professional development experience that focuses on the college-going process.

School counselors are uniquely positioned to change the postsecondary trajectories for all students, yet many indicate they feel underprepared for the process. One of MCAN's strategic priorities is to provide professional development opportunities to those who work directly with students and families on the college-going process -- especially school counselors. 

“School counselors are expected to know the ins and outs of college admissions and financial aid, yet the vast majority never received formal training on this content.  MCAN is committed to ensuring all school counselors in Michigan are qualified to advise students on their college pathways,” said Brandy Johnson, MCAN executive director.

The course was designed collaboratively with support and expertise from Michigan Association for College Admissions Counseling (MACAC), Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (MACRAO), counselor educators from Michigan universities, Michigan Department of Education (MDE), Michigan Department of Treasury – Student Scholarships and Grants Division (SSG), Michigan School Counselor Association (MSCA), the Michigan Student Financial Aid Association (MSFAA), and the Southern Regional Education Board – Go Alliance.  Funding for this course was made possible through generous support from The Kresge Foundation.

MCAN’s work in this area has been largely informed by the 2011 and 2012 National Survey of School Counselors published by the National Office for School Counselor Advocacy (NOSCA).  The surveys were made possible by funding from The Kresge Foundation, and provided overwhelming evidence that more training is needed in the area of college and career counseling.  The majority of counselors stated their pre-service training and in-service professional development were insufficient.  College advising was identified as the area in most need of additional training.  Less than half of counselors (43%), for example, indicated that they have sufficient knowledge and training on "College Affordability Planning," which includes ways to provide information about college costs, financing, financial aid and scholarships. 

NOSCA recommended that states provide counselors with pre-service and in-service training that aligns counselors' work to the college and career readiness outcomes of their students.  Inspired to act based on this data, MCAN launched a school counselor training project with a focus on college access: the School Counselor Postsecondary Planning Training Course.  The course kicked off on September 26, 2013, with an exciting day-long event. The course will continue for eight months with in person and online components.

About Michigan College Access Network

MCAN leads the charge in changing Michigan’s culture to create an expectation that every student in Michigan continue learning after high school. 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 35.6% of 25-to-64-year-olds possessing at least an associate’s degree, to 36.8%. However, Michigan’s rate still lags behind the national average of 38.7 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: Lisa King, Assistant Director
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 517-316-1713

MCAN Highlights Port Huron High School Example of Network Efficacy, Show Dramatic Increase in College Bound Students

54 percent increase in five year period of students who are heading to college after utilizing Michigan’s College Access Network framework  

LANSING, MICHIGAN -
The number of Port Huron High School graduates who enroll in college has increased by 54 percent in a five year period after working with the Michigan College Access Network and partner organizations to develop a college access strategy. These statistics were compiled by the St. Clair County KnowHow2GO Initiative, a local college access network (LCAN) that launched in 2008.

The college enrollment rate for Port Huron High gradutes in 2008 was 46 percent, and in 2013 it increased dramatically to 71 percent. St. Clair County KnowHow2GO is a partnership that started in 2008 between the St. Clair County Regional Educational Service Agency (RESA), the county's K-12 public school districts, St. Clair County Community College, the Community Foundation of St. Clair County and other community leaders. St. Clair County KnowHow2GO is affiliated with the Michigan College Access Network, or MCAN.

“This is some of the most compelling evidence we’ve seen since launching MCAN four years ago that our strategy to boost college attainment rates works,” said Brandy Johnson, Michigan College Access Network executive director. “Education after high school is for everybody. These statistics reinforce our organization’s belief that when a community is unilaterally committed to increasing college attendance by students, we can work together to achieve great things.”

MCAN supports the creation of cross-sector community coalitions committed to increasing local postsecondary readiness, enrollment and completion rates. St. Clair County KnowHow2GO was one of the first communities to adopt MCAN’s strategy and model for local networks, or LCANs. Since 2010, MCAN has supported more than 50 communities in establishing a local college access network.

LCANs are part of the strategy to boost college attainment rates by utilizing partnerships, collaboration and network building. LCANs target low-income and first-generation students to establish a college-going culture. The partners who help in creating this culture are higher education institutions, business leaders, economic development organizations, students, their families and youth organizations. This work is crucial in a modern economy, job forecasting indicates that 62 percent of all jobs in Michigan will require post-secondary training by 2018.

St. Clair County KnowHow2GO’s leadership team recognizes the importance of data driven decisions to make the largest impact in their community. By utilizing the LCAN model, the leadership team is able to have a constructive dialogue about data successes and areas for improvement.

Port Huron High was identified by St. Clair County KnowHow2GO to receive a part-time college advisor in 2008 because its college enrollment rate was one of the lowest in the county at less than 50 percent. It also has the highest percentage of students whose family income levels make them eligible for free or reduced price lunches. 

“Going to college shouldn’t be dictated by ethnicity or your family’s income, but should be an opportunity we expand to all eligible students in Michigan,” said Johnson.

After observing early data improvement following the placement of the Port Huron High college advisor, St. Clair County KnowHow2GO implemented a strategy to provide college advisors at six high schools in the county. The college advisors are funded by the University of Michigan College Advising Corps, Michigan State University College Advising Corps, the Community Foundation of St. Clair County, St. Clair County RESA, Michigan College Access Network and through various local funds.

In St. Clair County, 58 percent of graduates enrolled in college in 2008. In 2013, the countywide percentage was 66 percent.

“KnowHow2GO has played a crucial role in emphasizing the importance of post-high school education, and the data demonstrates the program is working,” said Dan DeGrow, St. Clair County Regional Education Service Agency superintendent and MCAN board member. “We’re thrilled with the results, KnowHow2GO has truly been a team effort, spanning from school administrators to advisors to community leaders.”

To learn more about the effort to establish local college access networks and boost college attainment rates across the state, visit the Michigan College Access Network at micollegeaccess.org. Michigan College Access Network at www.micollegeaccess.org. The organization’s goal is to increase the percentage of Michigan residents with high-quality degrees or credentials to 60 percent by the year 2025.

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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 36.8% of 25-to-64-year-olds possessing at least an associate’s degree, to 37.4%. 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.  

 

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MCAN to Host Fourth Annual Conference on College Access

 

Conference will examine the word “college”

April 7, 2014 – Lansing, MI – The Michigan College Access Network will bring more than 400 college access professionals together on Monday, April 14 to examine the word “college” and redefine its commonly help perception for the collective messaging of the college access movement in Michigan.

What: Fourth Annual Michigan College Access Network Conference
Theme: College is…

The conference theme, College is…, will focus on messaging the college access movement in Michigan. The time has come for a paradigm shift in the work of college access professionals. Attendees will participate in workshops related to one of four tracks: College is Postsecondary Education, College is a Necessity, College is for Everyone, and College is a Public Good.

In addition to various workshops, the conference will feature State Superintendent Mike Flanagan and J.B. Schramm of College Success Initiative at New Profit. The opening session and the luncheon keynote will both address how Local College Access Networks can be drivers of change in the messaging of our collective work. The goal is to ensure all students are provided the necessary support to access and succeed in college.

When: Monday, April 14, 2014, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Where: Lansing Center, 333 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing

Social Media: Download our free Conference App http://guidebook.com/g/MCAN2014/ and follow the conversation on Twitter at #MCAN2014 and #CollegeIs.

Press:  The conference is open to the media. We ask that you please RSVP to Lisa King at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 517.316.1713. If you are unable to RSVP, please check in at event registration.

Event highlights follow. A full schedule is available at www.micollegeaccess.org/events/2014-conference

Opening Session: 9:00- 10:15 am
State Superintendent Michael Flanagan with welcome attendees and address how we can be drivers in change in the messaging of “college”. A stalwart of education leadership and reform in Michigan, Flanagan pushes local, state and federal policy to re-imagine instruction for all students. Flanagan has directed the Michigan Department of Education since May 2005 and chairs the State Board of Education.

Luncheon Keynote: 11:45 am – 1:00 pm
J.B. Schramm currently co-chairs the College Success Initiative at New Profit, a venture philanthropy and social innovation organization that provides funding and strategic support to help the most promising social enterprises achieve scale. He will discuss his recent paper “College for All” as we continue our conversation to define the word “college.” Forbes named Schramm to its 2012 Impact 30 list of top global social entrepreneurs for his work founding and leading College Summit, the organization President Obama saluted with a portion of his Nobel Peace Prize award in 2009.  

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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 can also find MCAN on Facebook at www.facebook.com/micollegeaccess.

Media Advisory
Media Contact: Lisa Sommer King, Consultant
Email:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">Cell: 313-451-1837

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