All students graduating from a Michigan high school should understand their postsecondary options, leading them to enroll in a college that is a good match or fit for their aspirations, academic readiness, and career ambitions.

The 21st century global economy demands education beyond high school, whether it is a certificate in a skilled trade or technical field, an associate degree, a bachelor's degree, or beyond. However, many students, families, and professionals in Michigan find it difficult to understand the educational pathways necessary to meet a student’s postsecondary goals. We are faced with the challenge of defining pathways that include stackable credits and credentials, align well with students’ aptitudes, and will lead to multiple options for education and careers. These challenges are amplified in schools that serve large numbers of low-income students, first generation college-going students, and students of color. Therefore, MCAN works to clearly identify the certificates and degrees that lead to well-paying careers and making that information available in communities across the state.

MCAN works to define and communicate successful educational and career pathways. An important component of this work is ensuring that every high school has school counselors and college advisers that can talk to students about educational and career options that align well with their strengths and interests. As Michigan’s economy changes and technology shifts, it is critical that MCAN, school counselors, and college advisers are able to understand the career landscape, communicate, and promote stackable education credentials that lead to well-paying careers for all students.