Career and College Readiness Specialist Professional Learning Community

Michigan College Access Network has invested in professional development and training as a key strategy since 2013. The development and dissemination of comprehensive training in postsecondary education planning targeted at school counselors continues to be the primary vehicle in which this strategy is carried out. Over time, schools, nonprofit organizations, intermediate school districts and others have begun to hire or reassign staff around the specific topic of career and college readiness. MCAN is committed to supporting all individuals whose job responsibilities are focused on assisting students in postsecondary education planning. In order to ensure that individuals are provided with dedicated training and a support network, MCAN is launching the Career and College Readiness Specialist Professional Learning Community (PLC).

MCAN seeks to partner with career and college advising professionals in communities throughout the state to ensure that all individuals providing dedicated career and college readiness support to students are trained, with the ultimate goal of increasing college readiness and enrollment. In order to formalize the partnership, MCAN will provide PLC members access to the National College Access Network’s Access Advisor Certified Badge training in addition to hosting professional development convenings and an online listserv.  


Professional Learning Community Online Training Units

The Access Advisor NCAN Certified badge is available to those who demonstrate mastery in college access advising. To earn the NCAN Access Advisor Certified badge, participants must complete the following units:

  • Roles & Responsibilities – Unit 1
  • The Hows & Whys of College Entrance – Units 1-3
  • Finding the Right College Fit – Units 1-2
  • Career Advising - Unit 1
  • Financial Aid Fundamentals – Units 1-3
  • FAFSA Filing Process – Units 1-2
  • Serving Target Populations – Units 1-5
  • Student Success - Units 1-2

To learn more about certification and the course units, visit NCAN's E-Learning for College Access & Success web page. 


Eligibility and Agreement

Eligibility Requirements:

  • MCAN membership: http://www.micollegeaccess.org/goal-2025/membership.
  • Professional whose position is dedicated to providing college and career readiness advising directly to students.
  • Professional not currently serving with AdviseMI, Michigan State University College Advising Corps, or University of Michigan College Advising Corps.
  • Professional who is not a certified school counselor. MCAN provides other professional development opportunities specifically for school counselors.

Member Agrees to:

  • Complete the NCAN Access Advisor Certified Badge training within 30 days of joining the PLC – valued at $1065.
  • Share your Access Advisor completion certification with MCAN.
  • Participate in the online listserv.
  • Attempt to attend in-person PLC Professional Development Convenings (approximately three annually).
  • Attend the MCAN annual conference at your own expense.

MCAN Agrees to:

  • Provide access to the NCAN Access Advisor Certified Badge training.
  • Host an online listserv.
  • Share partner provided professional development opportunities to PLC members.
  • Host PLC Professional Development Convenings (approximately three annually).


Selection Process

MCAN has a limited number of seats available from Oct. 1, 2018 - Sept. 30, 2019 for those interested in participating in the Career and College Readiness Specialist Professional Learning Community. Seats will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis with particular prioritization for professional serving communities with the following:

  • High population of low-income students, first-generation college-going students, and students of color; and
  • Low college enrollment and/or large equity gaps therein.


How to Join

If you fit these parameters and are interested in joining the Career and College Readiness Specialist Professional Learning Community, please contact Jamie Jacobs, senior director of high school innovations, by sending an email to Jamie(a)micollegeaccess.org.

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