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Michigan Higher Education Coalition Updates Talent Sustainability Recommendations for 2024

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LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Higher Education Attainment Roundtable (MIHEART) today announced an updated Michigan’s Talent Sustainability Agenda, offering renewed action steps to help Michigan close postsecondary attainment gaps and build a diverse workforce that is ready for the changing economy. 

MIHEART, a coalition of organizations dedicated to improving college attainment in Michigan, has created a collaborative set of strategies to increase college readiness, participation, and completion for students across the state. Since 2020, Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) has engaged Public Policy Associates (PPA) to provide facilitation and strategic consulting services to advance MIHEART’s strategic policy goals. MCAN serves a critical role as the convener of these college access stakeholders. 

MIHEART’s top ten recommendations:

  1. Improving postsecondary participation and completion rates by closing opportunity and achievement gaps
  2. Increasing FAFSA completion among Michigan high school students annually to 75 percent 
  3. Making college more affordable by sustaining investment in the Michigan Achievement Scholarship 
  4. Increasing postsecondary institutional annual operating support and emphasizing support for the whole-education system to build a foundation that sets low-income students, first-generation college-going students, students with disabilities and students of color on a path for success 
  5. Sustaining investment in and expanded eligibility for Michigan Reconnect 
  6. Allocating additional resources and aligning programs to support adult worker training and retraining 
  7. Increasing high school student participation in and completion of all forms of early college credit programs 
  8. Reducing the student-to-school counselor ratio for all students and providing high quality training and professional development for existing school counselors 
  9. Continuing progress toward multi-institutional credit acceptance among higher education institutions
  10. Elevating and scaling national and state best practices and strategies among all partners of the new Office of Higher Education 

The strategies and action steps outlined by MIHEART are designed to help Michigan close demographic attainment gaps and advance policy solutions that help the state reach its Sixty by 30 attainment goal — at least 60 percent of working-age adults in Michigan earning a postsecondary certificate or degree by 2030. 

Since it was initiated, MIHEART has been focused on advocating for more resources to be put toward improving the talent pipeline in Michigan. The group works collaboratively to promote, advocate for, and lead policy changes that will generate improved postsecondary education and credential attainment levels in Michigan. The members of MIHEART are committed to working with stakeholders across the state, including Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Legislature, to create and attract jobs and make Michigan a top ten state for educational attainment.

The current roster of MIHEART comprises the following organizations: Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), Council for a Strong America, Detroit Regional Chamber, The Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS), The Kresge Foundation, Michigan’s Children, Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators (MAISA), Michigan Association of School Administrators (MASA), Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals (MASSP), Michigan Alliance for Student Opportunity, Michigan Association of State Universities (MASU), Michigan College Access Network (MCAN), Michigan Community College Association (MCCA), Michigan Department of Education’s (MDE) Office of Career and Technical Education, Michigan Department of Lifelong Education, Advancement, and Potential (MiLEAP), Michigan Department of Treasury, Michigan Independent Colleges & Universities (MICU), Michigan Future Inc., TalentFirst, and the State Superintendent’s Office. 

To learn more about MIHEART, contact Dr. Daniel Quinn, PPA’s Chief Strategy Officer, at or (202) 854-8077, or visit MIHEART’s page on the web at

Michigan Higher Education Roundtable offers strategies to improve college attainment, build stronger workforce