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Michigan’s Adult Students to Benefit from $350,000 Investment to Meet the Governor’s Sixty by 30 Goal
October 13, 2023
LEO partners with Michigan College Access Network to hire additional Completion Coaches to support students
To help students with the critical support they need to successfully enroll in classes and complete a skill certificate or associate degree, the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) has invested $350,000 into the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) College Completion Corps to support Michigan's adult students, with a focus on serving Futures for Frontliners and Michigan Reconnect students. This investment will help the state make progress towards the Governor’s Sixty by 30 goal of having 60% of the state’s population earn a post-secondary degree or industry-recognized certificate by 2030.
Sixty by 30 seeks to build a better Michigan by closing the skills gap that poses the single greatest threat to the success of our businesses and our state’s prosperity, increasing opportunity for Michiganders to access the education and skills that create opportunities for better jobs and bigger paychecks and making Michigan more competitive for inclusive economic growth. Thanks to continued investments and partnerships like these, Michigan’s education attainment rate has grown from 41% when Gov. Whitmer took office to above 50% today.
"In order to meet the Governor’s Sixty by 30 goal, we are committed to supporting students every step of the way on their journey to obtaining a certificate or degree," said LEO Director Susan Corbin. "The Completion Coaches are a critical investment in ensuring student’s success and will help our Reconnectors make informed decisions on their college journey and alleviate barriers to help them across the finish line.”
LEO’s previous $430,000 investment into MCAN's College Completion Corps initiative helped fund 38 coaches who are supporting students across 26 campuses. Launched in Dec. 2020, MCAN trains and places AmeriCorps members on partner college campuses across Michigan to serve as dedicated Completion Coaches for students. Coaches advocate for students, foster connections and integrate into the campus support structure to address challenges that arise; facilitate group activities and meetings to boost sense of belonging and self-efficacy; and develop technology-based interaction (text, email and phone) to build focus on dates and deadlines.
Michigan Reconnect builds on the success of Futures for Frontliners and pays the cost of in-district tuition, mandatory fees and contact hours for eligible adults who want to pursue an associate degree or skills certificate at a Michigan public or tribal community college.
The continued expansion of MCAN's College Completion Corps will increase capacity for coaching support to Michigan Reconnect students, which now includes more than 32,000 enrolled students and is expected to grow with the temporary age expansion which lowers Reconnect eligibility to age 21.
"We are grateful for our ongoing partnership with LEO to support student success efforts across the state," said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, MCAN executive director. "With this funding along with AmeriCorps and additional private and public support, it is possible to extend the reach of College Completion Corps and build capacity for coaching support at more Michigan colleges. Improving persistence and completion rates for all students in Michigan -- especially low-income students, first-generation college-going students and students of color -- is an essential part of meeting the state's Sixty by 30 goal."
This investment will extend coaching support to the following colleges:
- Grand Rapids Community College
- Jackson College
- Kellogg Community College
- Macomb Community College
- Mid Michigan College
- Mott Community College
To learn more about Michigan Reconnect and apply visit Michigan.gov/Reconnect.