At the Michigan College Access Network, we honor those who have gone above and beyond for postsecondary attainment through our College Access Impact Awards. These awards shine a light on the individuals, organizations, and collaborations that have exceeded expectations to make a positive impact on increasing college readiness, participation, and completion in Michigan.

The 2020 awards will be announced on November 23 at the MCAN Annual Conference.

We were pleased to acknowledge 10 outstanding postsecondary education advocates from across the state at our ninth annual conference in March 2019.


Providing Comprehensive Programming

2019 Recipient: Regan Tubbs, Allegan County Area Technical & Education Center

School counseling programs play a vital role in ensuring students are provided the support they need to enroll in and complete college – a key component to Michigan meeting the Sixty by 30 Goal. The Michigan College Access Network works to ensure college and career readiness is a priority within school counseling programs. The recipient of this award is an individual school counselor or school counseling program that has made significant strides in advancing the college readiness and enrollment supports and services provided to students which assists in moving the needle on critical postsecondary metrics.


Strengthening Success through Partnerships

2019 Recipient: Chuck Wilbur, Michigan Promise Zones Association

Comprehensively aligning the organizational leaders in the college access and success field allows for the design and implementation of a unified vision for progress toward the Sixty by 30 Goal. The Michigan College Access Network convenes and engages cross-sector partners to galvanize movement toward collaboration. The recipient of this award is an individual or organization that has continually endeavored to unite programs, activities and/or operations in support of postsecondary attainment. 


Advocating for Attainment

2019 Recipient: Center for Educational Performance and Information (CEPI)

Ensuring public policy supports Michigan’s momentum toward achieving  the Sixty by 30 Goal is a critical strategy of the Michigan College Access Network. Working with mission-aligned allies, MCAN advises policymakers at all levels on crafting dynamic legislation that results in reduced barriers and increased attainment across the state and country. Recipients of this award have launched and/or championed bold proposals that focus on increasing Michigan’s postsecondary attainment rate.


Developing Sustainable Networks

2019 Recipient: Oceana College Access Network

The creation and support of Local College Access Networks across the state is the primary strategy of the Michigan College Access Network. Mobilizing high-level leaders, network staff and community resources creates lasting infrastructure locally in support of the Sixty by 30 Goal. The recipient of this award is an individual or organization that has provided leadership in the creation of effective alliances focused on postsecondary attainment.


Sharing a Vision for Change

2019 Recipient: Bridge Magazine

Michigan College Access Network knows that college access isn’t a challenge just for K-12 schools but for an entire community, region and state. From helping to train school counselors and educators to funding programs in communities and schools to improving curriculum with experiential education, everyone has a role in ensuring our schools can help get Michigan to Sixty by 30. The recipient of this award is an individual or organization that has significantly contributed to the college access field outside of the walls of K-12. This award is new in 2019.


Changing School Systems and Culture

2019 Recipient: Voyageur College Preparatory High School

Boosting the college access expectation in schools on the ground level helps drive the state toward the Sixty by 30 Goal. Engaging schools to urge students, parents, staff and administration to take direct action creates a sense of urgency around the post-secondary planning process. While developing programs helps improve outcomes, the real impact comes from systems and culture change. The recipient of this award is a school that has advanced the college-going culture and/or tackled systems-level change within the school. This award is new in 2019.


Supporting Students, Counselors and Schools

2019 Recipients: Beth Brandon, AdviseMI; KeAndra Porchia, Michigan State University College Advising Corps; and Patrick Mullen Coyoy, University of Michigan College Advising Corps 

Placing well-trained college advisors in high schools across the state creates strong partnerships with counselors and principals to embed a college going culture in their building. Working with MCAN’s partners in this effort – the Michigan College Advising Corps and the Michigan State University College Advising Corps and through our own advising program, AdviseMI, three college advisors have been selected for this award to honor their on-the-ground efforts in high schools to reach the Sixty by 30 Goal. The recipients of this award have a passion for college access, have persevered over challenges while engaged in their year of service and have proudly represented AmeriCorps to students, families and the public.


2019 Recipient: Sarah Anthony, Michigan House of Representatives 

In support of the inaugural awards to celebrate MCAN's fifth anniversary, its Board of Directors created an award that they may present when the occasion arises but not necessarily each year. The Board of Directors Award is given to an individual organization that has been particularly supportive of MCAN's mission and the Sixty by 30 Goal. 


2019 Recipient: Brandy Johnson, Michigan College Access Network

A surprise 11th award was given to Brandy Johnson, founder of MCAN. Johnson left MCAN in mid-March 2019 to work as Governor Whitmer’s policy advisor for postsecondary educational attainment and workforce development. In recognition of her nine years of service to the Michigan College Access Network, the Board of Directors also renamed its award to the Brandy Johnson Board of Directors Award.



2018 Honoree: The Detroit Regional Chamber

2017 Honoree: Fostering Success Michigan at Western Michigan University 

2016 Honorees: AdviseMI Partner Colleges Alma College, Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University, Ferris State University, Grand Valley State University, Madonna University, Oakland University, Saginaw Valley State University, University of Michigan–Dearborn, University of Michigan–Flint, Western Michigan University, Wayne State University

2015 Honoree: The Kresge Foundation

THE CARDINAL AWARD (This award is no longer given.)

2018 Honoree: North Branch High School

2017 Honoree: Hazel Park High School 

2016 Honoree: Holton High School, Muskegon County

2015 Honoree: Ashley Johnson. Detroit College Access Network                                                                               


2018 Honoree: Jennifer Brown, Bullock Creek High School

2017 Honoree: Catherine Longstreet, Hastings High School


2018 Honoree: Sen. Jim Ananich and Rep. Brett Roberts

2017 Honoree: Dr. Venessa Keesler, Michigan Department of Education 

2015 Honoree: Former Governor Rick Snyder


2018 Honoree: Washtenaw Futures

2017 Honoree: Jackson County Cradle to Career Education Network

2016 Honoree: Launch Manistee

2015 Honoree: Destination Education


2018 Honorees: Britteny Mitchell, Chandler Park High School, Michigan College  Advising Corps; Moussa Traore, Hazel Park High School, MSU College Advising Corps; Byron Terrell Williams, Harbor Beach High School & Owendale-Gagetown High School, AdviseMI 

2017 Honorees: Dillon Frechen, Oakridge High School and Holton High School, MSU College Advising Corps; Alexa Lynch, Sexton High School, Michigan College Advising Corps; Lindsay Mieden, Woodhaven High School, AdviseMI

2016 Honorees: Ellen Goedert, Jackson High School, Michigan College Advising Corps; Ashley Justice, Waverly  High School, MSU College Advising Corps; Jonathan Lockwood, Alpena High School & ACES Academy, AdviseMI

THE STEWARD AWARD: (This award is no longer given.)

2018 Honorees: Dr. Shawn Bultsma, Dr. Thomas Haas, and Grand Valley State University Educational Leadership and Counseling Department

2017 Honoree: Hartland High School Counseling Program, Hartland High School

2016 Honoree: Dr. Patrick O’Connor, Cranbrook Schools

2015 Honoree: Western Michigan University


2017 Honoree: Dan DeGrow, St. Clair County RESA

2015 Honorees: Supt. Michael P Flanagan