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)  Host Site Application
 Timeline About MCAN     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.  

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

Host Site Application and Timeline 

Intent To Apply 2018-2019 ADVISEMI/MSUCAC

The AdviseMI program places near-peer college advisers in high schools across the state that serve significant numbers of low-income and first generation college-going students. MCAN is pleased to announce the release of the Intent to Apply form for high schools interested in hosting an adviser in 2018-2019! Anyone who is interested may learn more here. Questions may be sent to Mel Steward at melissa(a)

To view a paper version of the RFP guidelines and application, please click here

2017-2018 AdviseMI Interested Applicants Webinar

The webinar will provide an overview of AdviseMI and go over strategies for a successful application.

Webinar Recording

The first step to completing an application, is to fill out an intent to apply form by clicking on the green button below.



Application Timeline
 Request for Proposals Available October 16, 2017
 Application Deadline November 27, 2017
 Initial High School Partnerships Announced December 22, 2017
 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

2017-2018 Cohort Recruitment

AdviseMI is now recruiting college graduates (or those who will graduate by May 2017) for its third-year cohort of college advisers. 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. Additional information and submission requirements can be found in the position description.  
Questions about AdviseMI and the application process should be directed to Jacqueline Ruhland, AdviseMI assistant director, by sending an email to advisemi(a)micollegeaccess.orgThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." target="_blank">. Applicant interviews will be conducted between February and May 2017. The start date will be in July 2017

About Michigan College Access Network

MCAN’s mission is to increase college readiness, participation, and completion in Michigan, particularly among low-income students, first-generation college going students, and students of color. In order to build and sustain a vibrant economy and strong communities based on a highly educated population, MCAN works to ensure everyone in Michigan has the opportunity to access and succeed in postsecondary education. MCAN’s goal is to increase the proportion of Michigan residents with college degrees and postsecondary credentials to 60 percent by the year 2025. At its core, MCAN believes:

College is Postsecondary Education: MCAN uses the term “college” to refer to the attainment of valuable postsecondary credentials beyond high school, including professional/technical certificates and academic degrees.

College is a Necessity:  Postsecondary education is a prerequisite to success in a knowledge-based economy. Everyone must pursue and complete a postsecondary credential or degree beyond high school.

College is for Everyone: The postsecondary education attainment rates among low-income students and students of color are significantly lower than those of other students. MCAN is committed to closing these gaps.

College is a Public Good: Postsecondary educational opportunity and attainment are critical to a just and equitable society, strong economy, and healthy communities.

MCAN seeks proposals that align to its mission and values as articulated above. 

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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