MCAN has invested in community and regional mobilization as a key strategy since its inception in 2010. The creation, support, and promotion of local LCANs continues to be the primary vehicle that carries out this strategy. Over time, some communities have determined they don’t want to or can’t mobilize as a Collective Impact LCAN. Still, MCAN remains committed to supporting schools and organizations that impact students and families in these communities. In order to build relationships with these entities, MCAN is launching the Community Ambassador program. 

MCAN is seeking to partner with local organizations and college access professionals in communities without a Local College Access Network (LCAN) throughout the state to increase its engagement and reach within their community, with the ultimate goal of increasing college access and enrollment. In order to formalize such a partnership, MCAN will support a 1-year contract of approximately $10,000 to pay for the time and effort spent in facilitating participation and promoting MCAN opportunities in their community. 

Expectations and Deliverables

Specific expectations of the community ambassador are to:  

  • Connect MCAN resources and opportunities (listed below) with appropriate organizations within the community
  • Build and expand relationships with organizations and schools within the community
  • Host annual convening of local organizations for an MCAN presentation
  • Attend the MCAN annual conference
  • Assist MCAN communication strategies through contributing content and building local media relations
  • Attend MCAN Community Ambassador Convenings (to be determined)

MCAN resources and opportunities to be distributed and promoted: 

  • Participation in MCAN’s Movement: Sixty by 30
  • High School Statewide Initiatives (Michigan College Month, College Cash Campaign, and College Decision Day – now one campaign called College Bound Michigan)
  • MCAN Grant opportunities such as the Reach Higher High School Grant and Innovative Program Grant
  • School Counselor Postsecondary Planning Training Courses
  • College Advisers through AdviseMI and the MSU College Advising Corps
  • MCAN Annual Conference attendance
  • College Access Advocacy Day
  • Higher Education Advisory Board 
  • Other college access trainings and webinars as available  
  • Any new programs developed by MCAN

The contract will be negotiated and tailored to each community including the metrics by which the community ambassador’s work is measured. At the end of each contract year, the community ambassador will be required to submit a final report of activities and accomplishments during the year. The contract will be revisited and considered for continuation annually as appropriate per funds available and performance success.

Selection Process

MCAN will invite up to ten communities to become MCAN community ambassadors; five were chosen by MCAN staff within Fiscal Year 2018. At least 5 more will be selected in Fiscal Year 2019 and 2020. Special consideration will be made for communities that meet all or some of the following criteria:  

  • Opportunities to increase engagement in existing MCAN initiatives  
  • High population of low-income students, first-generation college-going students, and students of color
  • Low college enrollment and/or large equity gaps therein
  • Existing relationship with MCAN staff and partners

If your community fits these requirements and is interested in having a community ambassador, please reach out to Chris Rutherford, Director of Community Mobilization Strategy.