MCAN launches free statewide college advising hotline
LANSING, Mich. — Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) and partners launched a college advising hotline today to answer questions Michigan high school students have about attending college. The hotline was initiated as a result of the current global health crisis, aiming to fill the gaps created from the governor’s statewide school closure order issued in March.
The hotline is available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and is staffed by nearly 100 college advisers connected to MCAN’s AdviseMI program and MSU’s College Advising Corps. To scale our ability to serve as many students as possible, MCAN is partnering with the Detroit Regional Chamber and the Detroit College Access Network on this initiative.
The hotline can be reached by calling 810-373-5385. Students will have the option of calling or texting the hotline. After business hours, students can text or leave a voicemail and messages will be responded to the next business day. The hours of the hotline will be adjusted as necessary to best serve students and their needs.
The college advisers staffing the hotline will complement the work of school counselors throughout the state and provide advising services to districts where school counselors don’t exist. K-12 staff are working hard to move to virtual education and provide needed accommodations to all students. The hotline will provide an added layer of support to schools, students and families. All advisers are well-trained and most are volunteering a year of national service with AmeriCorps.
“We are excited to launch this hotline today to support students and families needing college advising due to the school closure for COVID-19,” said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, executive director of MCAN. “While trained and passionate school counselors remain the gold standard of college advising, we know they are being called to innovate, problem solve and mobilize like never before. We are proud to provide this free service as part of MCAN’s response to the coronavirus crisis.”
While the hotline will be available to all high school students in Michigan, special outreach is being done to reach students traditionally disenfranchised by the education system - students of color, first-generation college-going students and low-income students.
"Our students have benefited greatly from having a dedicated near-peer college adviser,” said Cherice Redwine-Fergerson, school counselor at Henry Ford Academy in Dearborn, Michigan. “I am elated that students around the state will also have access to a college adviser through this hotline!"