MCAN expands AdviseMI with $400,000 American Rescue Plan Act investment
LANSING, Mich. — Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) is proud to announce an expansion of its AdviseMI program, which places AmeriCorps members in schools and organizations across Michigan to serve as college advisers for high school students. The expansion is made possible through a $400,000 investment by the Michigan Community Service Commission using funds allocated from the American Rescue Plan Act. Up to 28 additional schools or organizations will be selected to host an AdviseMI college adviser to support college-going activities for high school students, starting as soon as January.
East China School District — a new AdviseMI partner through the expansion — will have two advisers serving their three high schools, plus the district’s virtual academy. The district, which currently has approximately 360 seniors and a 58% college enrollment rate, plans to partner with the Blue Water College Access Network to serve students over the summer with adviser support.
"We are excited about the opportunities for our students to work with the AdviseMI advisers,” said Nina Reznich, the state and federal grant coordinator for East China School District. “It is invaluable to have additional assistance for students as they navigate the road to college and to have support in reducing some of the obstacles involved in making a smooth transition from high school to college. We are looking forward to offering this experience for our students."
Founded in 2015, AdviseMI (pronounced “Advise Michigan”) currently supports 56 adviser placements at high schools across the state. These AmeriCorps members provide quality college advising to juniors and seniors, advancing MCAN and the State of Michigan’s shared goal of Sixty by 30 — 60% of Michigan adults holding a college degree or certificate by 2030. With this expansion, MCAN is placing AdviseMI advisers at non-school sites for the first time. Nonprofit organizations that offer college-going programming, including Detroit College Access Network, will host advisers to assist the students they work with.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has pinched the high school to college pipeline at a time when we desperately need more well-trained people in the workforce,” said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, MCAN executive director. “Placing additional AdviseMI advisers across Michigan will help our students — especially low-income students, first-generation college-going students and students of color — navigate the path to college and greater economic independence.”
The recent expansion of AdviseMI also led to the creation of a dedicated expansion coordinator position. Jahshua Smith, former program supervisor for AdviseMI, has transitioned to the new role. Smith oversees programmatic and supervisory activities related to the expansion, including partner development, member recruitment and sustainability planning.
For additional details about AdviseMI and MCAN’s other service opportunities, visit servewithmcan.org.