AdviseMI Logo RGBAmeriCorps logo

College Advising Program

 Program Context, History and  Need   The Model  College and University  Partnerships  Funding and  Administration 
 High School Partnership  Expectations  Award Process                       Host High Schools (2017-18) 
 Application Timeline  Contact Us College Adviser  Application                       



Program Context, History and Need

Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) mobilizes state and local leaders to increase college readiness, enrollment, and completion rates. MCAN is committed to expanding the quantity and quality of college access professionals serving in Michigan high schools. 

In Michigan, the student-to-counselor ratio exceeds 700:1 and high schools have inadequate capacity to provide one-to-one college advising.  High school students need support navigating the complex process of college admissions and financial aid.  We believe that well-trained school counselors are poised to be the best method of ensuring students access to postsecondary education. Where school counselors are overstretched, college advisers are able to serve as a capacity builder and a support in partnership with the high school counseling staff.  

Previously, MCAN partnered with the National College Advising Corps to establish college advising programs at University of Michigan and Michigan State University. Despite growth, the UM and MSU College Advising Corps only serve a fraction of Michigan high schools that need the program. MCAN launched the AdviseMI program in Fall of 2015 to help serve that need. AdviseMI placed 40 well-trained, recent college graduates as dedicated college advisers in 51 high schools across the state. In 2016, the program expanded to 49 advisers serving 62 high schools. AdviseMI college advisers are recent graduates of the program’s 17 partner institutions, listed below.


The Model

Since 2015, the AdviseMI program has embedded well-trained, dedicated, near-peer college advisers in high schools that serve significant numbers of low-income and first generation college-going students. The goal of the program is to increase the number of high school students who enter and complete postsecondary education. The advisers are recent college graduates from partner colleges. After an intensive five-week training, 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 FAFSA, secure financial aid, and matriculate to college.  These game-changing advisers serve as experts, mentors, champions, and guides to the students they serve in partnership with school counselor(s), where they exist. They also play a transformative role in the buildings in which they are placed by fostering a college-going culture in partnership with school staff and providing needed supplemental support to overburdened school counselors.

For the 2016-2017 academic year, MCAN expects to maintain its current relationships with the previously-granted high schools. Pending AmeriCorps approval, the program intends to expand by 1-5 schools, joining the 49 current advisers and 62 current schools.  

Application Timeline

 Adviser Candidate Interviews Winter/Spring 2018
 Program Begins July 9, 2018
 Tentative Adviser Training (required) July 9-August 3, 2018
 Adviser Reports to High School Placement August 13, 2018
 Program Ends June 30, 2021

*Dependent on academic school calendar

2018-2019 Cohort Recruitment

AdviseMI is now recruiting college graduates (or those who will graduate by May 2018) for its third-year cohort of college advisers. Applicants may have a Bachelor’s degree in any subject area with a 2016, 2017 or 2018 graduation date. Since 2015, the AdviseMI program has embedded well-trained, dedicated, near-peer college advisers in high schools that serve significant numbers of low-income and first-generation college-going students.
Applicants are asked to submit a resume that includes three references, a copy of transcripts and a short essay found in the position description. Additional information and submission requirements can be found in the position description. Please send all application materials to advisemi(a) Applicant interviews will be conducted between February and May 2018. The start date will be in July 8, 2018
Questions about AdviseMI and the application process should be directed to Jacqueline Ruhland, AdviseMI assistant director, by sending an email to advisemi(a)

College and University Partnerships

We are proud to be partnering with the following universities: 

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 Alma College




 CMU logo



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  SVSU Logo




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Wayne State University 1



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Funding and Administration

MCAN has secured investment commitment from these leading colleges and other funding partners to sustain the program over multiple years. By braiding together relatively small amounts of funding from multiple sources, the program does not cause a financial strain on any one organization. Successful applicant high schools, a local philanthropic partner, or other entity must provide a cash match for each adviser. MCAN will administer the program by employing and training the advisers. 

High School Partnership Expectations

MCAN is seeking response from high school leadership (administrators and school counselors) who are committed to supporting a dedicated full-time college adviser and dramatically raising their college- going rates through a systematic team approach. Interested high schools are asked to complete this application online, provide several assurances and attach a minimum of three letters of support (described in the application linked below). By completing the application, high schools commit to participating in the program for a minimum of three academic years (2017-18, 2018-19, and 2019-20) and providing the required match funding. The funding match expectation will increase over the first three years of the program.

 Annual Match Requirement 
 Year 1  $5,000 
 Year 2  $10,000
 Year 3 & Beyond  $15,000

These funds can be provided by district and non-district sources including but not limited to: a community foundation, an intermediate school district, a United Way, a family foundation, a corporation/business, a local government, or any combination. Match funding must be secured by the high school. If you need assistance locating match funding or drafting a funding request, MCAN is willing to provide support.

Award Process

High schools will be selected through a competitive selection process. Final decisions regarding selection will be based on the information provided in your application, the school buy-in as demonstrated by the letters of support provided, and the level of need communicated in the proposal.

MCAN expects a high volume of applicants for the 2017-2018 program year and, as such, will provide a pre-review process for proposals completed by Friday, December 2. High schools will receive feedback and comments on their proposal prior to formal submission through this process. Pre-reviewed proposals are not guaranteed to be selected.

Host High Schools

High schools are selected through a competitive review selection process. Final decisions regarding selection are based on the information provided in applications, the letters of support provided, and the demonstrated level of need.  

2017-18 AdviseMI cohort


Contact Us

For more information or to set up an application pre-review, contact Mel Steward, director of AdviseMI, by calling 517.316.1713 or via email at melissa(a)

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