Reach Higher System Impact Renewal Grant

Systematize, Scale, Sustain

Important Dates

Application Release: Funding opportunity made available on June, 2019.
Deadline to complete Reach Higher System Impact Grant: Current grantees must complete their project and spend all grant funds by August 30, 2019.
Applications are due August 31, 2019 at 11:59 p.m.
Application Notification: Successful applicants will be notified by September 16, 2019.
Michigan Postsecondary Strategy Institute Registration (MPSI): Full team registration must be completed by October 15, 2019.
MPSI: November 4th-5th in East Lansing at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center.


Eligibility questions should be directed to: Jamie Jacobs, Senior Director of High School Innovation, jamie(a)

Grant Priorities

MCAN is seeking innovative, aggressive, reform-minded high school applicants with buy-in, engagement, and formal participation from the building principal and school counseling staff for the Reach Higher System Impact Renewal grant.   High Schools with a plan to systematize, scale, or sustain their bold systems change initiative project(s) from year 1 should consider applying.

The Michigan College Access Network 2017-2021 Strategic Plan outlines MCANs strategies for addressing four priority areas: Foster a College-going Culture; Identify Multiple Postsecondary Education Pathways and Facilitate Smooth Transitions; Improve College Affordability; and Support Credential Completion.

Priority One: Foster a College-Going Culture
Residents across our state believe college is very important to succeed in the labor market. In every high school across the state, professionals support this belief and help all students define and achieve their postsecondary goals.

      Examples of Targeted Focus Strategies

  • Staff expansion focused on postsecondary education planning
  • 9-12th grade advisory period curriculum in postsecondary education awareness/planning/navigation
  • Dedicated course(s) in postsecondary education awareness/planning/navigation

Priority Two: Identify Multiple Postsecondary Education Pathways and Facilitate Smooth Transitions
All students graduating from a Michigan high school understand their postsecondary options, and they enroll in a postsecondary institution that is a good match or fit for their aspirations, academic readiness, and career ambitions.

       Examples of Targeted Focus Strategies

  • Strategic Educational Development Plan implementation with an emphasis on postsecondary education pathways
  • Systematic approach for addressing Summer Melt
  • K-12/Higher Education partnership focused on Guided Pathways/transfer planning

Priority Three: Improve College Affordability
All students graduating from a Michigan high school will have the financial knowledge, literacy, and readiness to understand the costs and benefits of postsecondary education. Students will also have the resources, advising, and coaching they need to enroll in and efficiently complete their degree or certificate program. 

       Examples of Targeted Focus Strategies

  • Required Financial Literacy coursework focused on college financial planning
  • Systemic award letter/financial aid screening and gap closing

Priority Four: Support Credential Completion
All students who enroll in college will attain a postsecondary degree or certificate, while minimizing their time to completion.

       Examples of Targeted Focus Strategies

  • K-12/Higher Education partnership focused on remediation avoidance
  • Alumni success coaching
  • Systematic expansion of early college credit taking opportunities (AP/IB, Dual Enrollment, Early/Middle College, articulated CTE)

With the Reach Higher System Impact grant, MCAN seeks to align the investment of high school innovation resources in Priority Areas with a particular interest in the Targeted Focus Strategies.  Applicants demonstrating that one or more of the Priority Areas are clearly aligned and a significant part of the proposed project focus and intended outcomes will receive priority consideration and extra points for submitting an application within the designated Priority Areas.

Applications focusing outside of the example Targeted Focus Strategies will still be reviewed and considered.  Applications focusing outside the designated Priority Areas are unlikely to be considered.

Grant Award

MCAN expects a highly competitive grant process.  Grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded.  The actual level of funding provided will be subject to the availability of funds.  Grants require 50 percent cash match funding.  For example, if an applicant requests $10,000, match funds of at least $5,000 cash must be provided.  The grant period is generally one year, with a start date of October 1, 2019 and an end date of September 30, 2020.  The project start date may occur prior to the grant award start date; however, grant funding cannot be utilized prior to the grant start date of October 1, 2019

Each participating school district will be required to bring a team of four (4) consisting of at least one senior administrator, the building principal, and a school counselor to the Michigan Postsecondary Strategy Institute (MPSI).  Participation is required for all System Impact Renewal Grantees

Michigan Postsecondary Strategy Institute (MPSI)

The Michigan Postsecondary Success Institute will help school districts develop their internal capacity to support every student toward attaining a successful postsecondary pathway. MPSI will employ a holistic approach based on the integration of three critical components:

  • A district postsecondary framework & strategy—School leadership has a clear plan for increasing student postsecondary outcomes that is tied to measurable data points.
  • A data strategy—Connecting student information with state datasets, analyzing data by subgroups, and using data to identify where strategies need to be developed.
  • Engagement of counselors as leaders—School empowers counselors to lead the postsecondary access work within their schools, engaging partners in the process

Proposal Submission

Proposals are only accepted using Michigan College Access Network’s online grants system.

Eligible high schools will have access the Reach Higher System Impact Renewal grant through their final reporting process for the Reach Higher Systems Impact grant.

Application Assistance

You are encouraged to contact MCAN to inquire about eligibility and to request technical assistance. Please contact Senior Director of High School Innovation at jamie(a) or call (517) 316-1713 for assistance with your application or for help with the online application portal. 

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