The MCAN Story

Since our founding in 2010, Michigan College Access Network has known that college changes everything—and perhaps even more critical to our mission is the belief that college is for everyone. 

We do what it takes to provide students in Michigan with a brighter long-term future, through college access and postsecondary certificate and degree attainment: doing the research, talking to agents of change, connecting resources, being a changemaker.

Why? By encouraging Michigan residents to earn postsecondary certificates and degrees, we not only help them earn more and promote their well-being—we also strengthen Michigan's talent pool, retain and attract businesses to the state and stimulate Michigan's economy in the process.

Through college access, we are also able to promote equity in our state. We work to ensure that every student in Michigan has the opportunity to attend college—especially low-income students, first-generation college-going students and students of color.

We are proud to put forth a strategic plan that works to ensure that each and every student across Michigan has access to the knowledge, tools, and support to make college a reality.

View MCAN's 2017-2021 Strategic Plan

Our Values

College is postsecondary education

We use the term college to refer to attainment of education beyond high school, including postsecondary certificates and academic degrees.

College is a necessity

Postsecondary attainment dramatically increases an individual’s economic independence in a knowledge-based economy.

College is for everyone

We work toward changing the systems that perpetuate inequities in postsecondary attainment.

College is a public good

Postsecondary attainment is critical to a just and equitable society, strong economy, thriving democracy, and healthy communities.

Our Mission

Increase college readiness, participation, and completion in Michigan, particularly among low-income students, first-generation college-going students, and students of color.

Our Goal

Increase the percentage of Michigan residents with postsecondary certificates or degrees to 60 percent by the year 2030.
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Our Promise

We will do what it takes to provide students in Michigan with a brighter long-term future through college access and degree attainment: doing the research, talking to agents of change, connecting resources, being a changemaker.

Our Work

At MCAN, the way we do our work is also defined by the role that MCAN plays in the broader college access movement. Our role is comprehensive and multifaceted, with an emphasis on partnership and collaboration to meet collective goals.

Build capacity

MCAN builds the capacity of communities through the development of Local College Access Networks (LCANs) that set a shared vision for change among community partners. MCAN also builds the advising and counseling capacity of local schools through professional development opportunities and the placement of college advisers.


MCAN brings together critical leaders and organizations in the college access and success field to have meaningful conversations, identify gaps, and explore opportunities for collaboration. We work to align our efforts with others and encourage our partners to do the same.

Develop partnerships

In recognition that MCAN cannot reach Sixty by 30 alone, we work to forge strong partnerships with like-minded, mission-aligned organizations at the local, state, and national level.

Disseminate data and research

MCAN has access to a variety of data to demonstrate Michigan’s progress toward reaching our Sixty by 30 goal, as well as the communications network to disseminate research to partners and community stakeholders.


MCAN provides several grant programs for schools, LCANs, and communities to financially support college access infrastructure and programming.