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MCAN awards $25,000 grant to Oceana College Access Network

June 28, 2019 - LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) announced the Oceana College Access Network (OCAN!) will receive a $25,000 continuous improvement grant to support continuous improvement for the college access and success work in the county. 

MCAN’s Continuous Improvement Grants are awarded to prepared communities to build sustainability, leverage local investments, grow the college access movement and strengthen collective impact within the LCAN’s region. The Oceana LCAN will use this grant to focus on continuous improvement. Specifically, the work will include the development of communication plans for the community, students and families, creation of new onboarding protocols for leadership team meetings and revising existing components like an asset map, fact sheet, and annual report.

“Timely and meaningful communication throughout all components of the network structure is crucial to ensuring movement toward common goals,” said Alyssa Merten, coordinator of the Oceana LCAN. “Our bottom line is simple – regardless of background or zip code, every student deserves the opportunity to further their education. The supports we’re implementing will better position the people who are helping students and their families understand how to navigate the college-going process.”

Local college access networks (LCANs) set goals focused on student success, establish a system of data-gathering and analysis, report results, and engage cross-sector partners in meeting goals. These LCANs coordinate programs, services and resources that lower the barriers preventing students, particularly low-income and first-generation college going students and students of color, from pursuing postsecondary educational opportunities. 

“Each local college access network plays a critical role in sparking systematic change necessary to increase college readiness, participation and completion within their community,” said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, interim executive director of the Michigan College Access Network.

In 2019, the Oceana College Access Network received The Flagship Award from the Michigan College Access Network. The Flagship Award recognizes those that develop sustainable college access networks. OCAN! has a strong focus on data disaggregation, with a specific focus on Latino students. Oceana CAN was recognized for their strong, engaged leadership team as well as their voice in advocacy.


About the Oceana County College Access Network

Oceana CAN! is a collaborative of K-12 schools, businesses, colleges, and organizations focused on ensuring all students have resources and the mindset to pursue and complete higher education after high school. Oceana CAN! builds a culture within Oceana County focused on post-secondary education awareness, access, and attainment as a means to build and sustain a vibrant local economy and help alleviate poverty. In addition, the network works to provide an educated and trained workforce to meet local employer needs by lowering systemic barriers that prevent students from entering colleges and technical programs. Finally, it coordinates college access and mentoring services to students, particularly those who come from low income and/or first generation college-going families.


About Michigan College Access Network (MCAN)

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 


Cell: 814-504-5650


Grant to support continued network development to enhance college access strategy for Oceana County.