LANSING, MICH. – At the annual Michigan College Access Network conference, The Kresge Foundation announced a $1.35 million grant for the organization to continue its work to increase the number of Michigan residents pursuing and succeeding in postsecondary education. The 2.5-year grant will run from April 2019 through the end of September 2021.

The grant will support college access initiatives in MCAN’s Strategic Plan 2017-21. The plan focuses on four priorities: 1) foster a college-going culture, 2) identify multiple postsecondary education pathways and facilitate smooth transitions, 3) improve college affordability, and 4) support credential completion.

“We are honored The Kresge Foundation recognizes and believes in our core mission to increase the number of students pursuing higher education in Michigan,” said Brandy Johnson, MCAN executive director. “We believe postsecondary education is a necessity and are grateful for The Kresge Foundation’s continued generosity. This grant will help us strengthen existing programs and propel us even further over the next two years.”

MCAN improves access to higher education for all Michigan residents by advocating for policy reforms that lower the barriers to college for students, sponsoring a number of statewide initiatives focused on increasing college access and delivering professional development that trains college access professionals to be highly qualified and effective college advisers. MCAN also supports the work of nearly 30 Local College Access Networks (LCANs) throughout the state.

“There is no question that MCAN’s strategic efforts to expand college access and success throughout the state have helped boost Michigan’s postsecondary attainment rate,” said Caroline Altman Smith, deputy director of the education program at The Kresge Foundation. “MCAN is an outstanding organization and we’re proud to invest in its dynamic statewide efforts on behalf of all students.”

The Kresge Foundation, based in metro-Detroit, is a longtime supporter of MCAN. The foundation seeks to strengthen pathways to opportunity for people with low incomes in America’s cities, and dismantle structural and systemic barriers to equality and justice. 

About Michigan College Access Network 

As the leader in the state’s college access movement, MCAN has a mission to increase Michigan’s college readiness, participation and completion rates, particularly among low-income students, first-generation college-going students and students of color. For the eighth year in a row, Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate has increased — from 35.7% of 25-to-64-year-olds possessing at least an associate degree in 2008, to 41% in 2018. Additionally, it is estimated another 4% of Michiganders have a postsecondary certificate, bringing Michigan’s official 2019 attainment rate to 45%. MCAN’s goal is to increase Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate to 60% by 2030. 


Media Contact: Christopher Tremblay 


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