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$1.5M Student Success Grants Awarded to Increase Completion Rates at Michigan Community and Tribal Colleges
September 22, 2023
Office of Sixty by 30, Global Detroit and Michigan College Access Network partner to help students complete degree and certificate programs
LANSING, MICH – Today, the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity’s (LEO) Office of Sixty by 30, Global Detroit and Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) awarded $1.5M Student and Immigrant Success Grants to support 12 Michigan community and tribal colleges in their innovative efforts to increase college completion for adult learners, international, immigrant, refugee or first-generation students.
“By increasing our state’s college completion rates, we are setting Michigan up to be a front-runner in a globally competitive economy,” said Susan Corbin, LEO director. “The Student Success Grants will support community and tribal colleges across the state in doing what they do best – help more people get the skills and credentials they need to succeed in high-demand, high-skill jobs.”
The grants were awarded in two categories – both of which work toward achieving the same goal of equipping 60% of Michigan’s workforce with a degree or credential by the year 2030.
The Sixty by 30 Adult Student Success Grant provides grants up to $200,000 over two years to selected Michigan community and tribal colleges to implement new, or upscale existing, strategies to improve persistence and completion rates among adult students, with a particular emphasis on Futures for Frontliners and Michigan Reconnect students.
The Immigrant Student Success Grant provides grants of up to $150,000 over 18 months to selected Michigan community and tribal colleges to increase enrollment, retention and program completion rates for international, immigrant, refugee or first-generation students.
In conjunction with the Immigrant Student Success Grants, all Michigan community colleges interested in better serving immigrant students are invited to participate in the Immigrant Student Success Learning Cohort. The yearlong, virtually-held learning cohort offers community colleges the opportunity to expand practitioners’ depth of knowledge on the make-up of local immigrant populations and their needs, lift up best practices to meet the population’s need and foster community among professionals who are leading this work. All community colleges taking part in the Immigrant Student Success Grant are also receiving stipends to take part in the learning cohort. Community colleges wanting to learn more about the learning cohort can email Shanea Condon at email@example.com.
SIXTY BY 30 ADULT STUDENT SUCCESS GRANT RECIPIENTS
- Bay de Noc Community College has been awarded $92,840 to fund a project that focuses on leveraging technology to address unmet tutoring needs of adult students, including offering 24-hour access to tutoring for adults with busy lives.
- Glen Oaks Community College has been awarded $199,997 to scale evidence-based improvements in advising through professional learning and certification related to appreciative advising.
- Jackson College has been awarded $200,000 to systematize its approach to credit for prior learning (CPL) and support the professional learning of faculty and staff through technical assistance provided by the Competency Based Education Network (C-BEN).
- Kalamazoo Valley Community College has been awarded $58,850 to address unmet transportation needs of adult learners as part of a wider effort to support adult student and immigrant student success.
- Kellogg Community College has been awarded $54,713 to implement new features of an existing technology solution to better meet the long-term planning needs of adult students.
- Mid Michigan Community College has been awarded $200,000 to scale up its mentor model to better meet the needs of adult learners.
- Northwestern Michigan College has been awarded $193,600 to respond to student experience data through implementation of a multifaceted, evidence-based approach focused on student onboarding aimed at supporting adult students’ sense of purpose and efficacy.
IMMIGRANT STUDENT SUCCESS GRANT RECIPIENTS & COHORT PARTICIPANTS
- Mott Community College has been awarded $156,000 to create and strengthen ethnic community partnerships, provide career and educational support, foster relationship-building with students and conduct an audit of the college's global community.
- Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) has been awarded $81,000 to pilot an accelerated English language workshop to help students succeed in English proficiency tests so that they may more quickly pursue other coursework. GRCC's funds also support a deeper assessment of the immigrant student population in their district and the barriers they face.
- Kalamazoo Valley Community College has been awarded $156,000 to support a Completion Coach to provide wraparound support services to immigrant, refugee and first-generation students, in addition to improving transportation access across the college's campuses.
- Muskegon Community College has been awarded $56,000 to support a deeper assessment of the immigrant student population in their district and the barriers they face.
- Monroe County Community College has been awarded $56,000 to support a deeper assessment of the immigrant student population in their district and the barriers they face.
- Schoolcraft College has been awarded $12,000 to participate in the community learning cohort.
"Mott Community College is thrilled to introduce the 'Pathways to Success: Empowering Immigrant Futures' initiative, a comprehensive project committed to creating a nurturing environment for immigrant, refugee, and first-generation students," said Dr. Michelle A. Nelson, Assistant Vice President for Student Success Services at MCC. "This initiative includes strategic outreach, community partnerships, sustainable resource initiatives, and crucial support services, all with the goal of empowering students and facilitating a smooth transition into education and training for the immigrant communities in the Greater Flint area."
Dr. Nelson said the project will utilize four stages that specifically target different levels of integration support, including 1) empowering ethnic community partnerships; 2) becoming a trusted connector with strong community outreach; 3) accelerating careers and educational success; and 4) long-term relationship building that will emphasize the importance of long-term thinking and responsible resource management to ensure a supportive and inclusive environment that enables immigrant students to thrive.
The Office of Sixty by 30 administers the Futures for Frontliners and Michigan Reconnect programs, which make community college tuition-free for eligible adults without a degree. The student success grants will build on these programs by further increasing college access through financial aid.
“These Student Success Grants will help Michigan community colleges grow and implement proven student success strategies and build support systems to help students make it across the finish line,” said Sarah Szurpicki, LEO’s Office of Sixty by 30 director. “Community colleges are critical partners in filling the state’s talent gap and helping people gain the skills they need to make it here in Michigan.”
Global Detroit has provided $500,000 toward the funding for grants that support inclusion of immigrants and refugees.
"The Immigrant Student Success Grants will not only support community colleges in implementing programs that bolster immigrant and refugee students' success in their studies, but will also help to address some barriers, such as transportation and various English proficiency tests, that these students face," said Steve Tobocman, Global Detroit executive director. "The Immigrant Student Success Learning Cohort we are offering in conjunction with the grants will allow all Michigan community colleges to learn with each other and share best practices, with guidance from national experts."
Through College Completion Corps and other student success partnerships, MCAN is committed to addressing the barriers that prevent students from completing their certificates or degrees.
“MCAN is proud to partner on these grants that will support colleges’ efforts to increase adult, immigrant and refugee student success,” said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, MCAN executive director. “As we work together to reach Sixty by 30 and strengthen Michigan’s workforce, we must ensure that all students — especially low-income students, first-generation college-going students and students of color — have the critical support needed to attain postsecondary certificates and degrees."