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LANSING, Mich.− AdviseMI, an AmeriCorps program under the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN), has begun its annual four-week training program for members serving as college advisers—hosted virtual this year due to the global pandemic. Once trained, 56 recent college graduates will serve as postsecondary education advisers in 71 schools across Michigan, with a special focus on schools where a lower percentage of students attend college.

This advanced training, in partnership with the MSU College Advising Corps, prepares the advisers to begin serving this fall at their assigned schools to encourage more Michigan students to pursue education beyond high school. In the last five years, AdviseMI has trained 144 college advisers. 

“AdviseMI provides important college access resources to nearly 20,000 students and their families each year,” said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, executive director of MCAN. “We want to change the conversation to ensure all students know, regardless of their ZIP code, they are college material. As recent college graduates themselves, our advisers can help students as near-peers and play a role in driving that message home to students.” 

Advisers are trained by college access experts including high school counselors, financial aid representatives, and national organizations such as uAspire. In addition to attending the formal sessions, college advisers will virtually tour college campuses and hear from financial aid and admissions staff, and learn about the unique programs each campus offers. 

“Our training is comprehensive and intense. College access experts from across the state and country discuss college affordability, match and fit, the best way to navigate obstacles that students might find in their path to furthering their education, and more,” said Melissa Steward, director of AdviseMI. 

Once they complete training, some advisers will split their time between two high schools, allowing 56 college advisers to serve 71 high schools across the state. Some returning advisers spent their summer staffing MCAN’s College Advising Hotline.  

Click here for more information about AdviseMI.