Blue Water College Access Network
St. Clair County's College Resource | June 2021
College Knowledge for EVERYONE
Welcome to your resource for planning, preparing, and going to college after high school. Blue Water College Access Network is here to provide information and opportunities that will ensure you graduate confidently prepared, with plans for career and college beyond high school. Whether you choose to go on to earn a bachelor's degree, an associate degree, or an industry credential, we can help you get there!
Each month, we will publish a newsletter to keep you on track, informed, and engaged in college activities provided by organizations across the county. To subscribe to the newsletter, submit your email address using this form. Past editions of the newsletter can be found at bwcan.org. Contact Nick Beaudry with any questions you might have at email@example.com.
Welcome to Your Freshman Year Checklist: A To-Do List for the Graduating Class of 2025
Planning for your future career and college goals starts the moment you begin high school. Follow this simple checklist to help make sure your first year of high school is a success.
Welcome to Your First Year of High School Webinar
Want to hear real advice from current high school students? Check out the video below!
Registration for SC4 fall classes is open
Paying for College
New Education Savings Mobile App Available to MESP Account Owners
MICHIGAN'S 529 COLLEGE SAVINGS PROGRAMS
Michigan offers several 529 college savings programs to assist you in saving for future college expenses. A 529 Plan is a tax-advantaged savings/investment plan designed to encourage saving for the future expenses of a designated beneficiary (typically one's child or grandchild).
The state of Michigan offers three Section 529 college saving plans that potentially provide state and federal tax benefits: Michigan Education Trust (MET), Michigan Education Savings Program (MESP) and MI 529 Advisor Plan (MAP). These plans can be broken up into two categories:
- Prepaid Tuition Plan (MET) allows for the pre-purchase of tuition based on today's rates and then paid out at the future cost when the beneficiary is in college. Performance is often based upon tuition inflation. Prepaid plans may be administered by states or higher education institutions.
- Investment-Based Savings Plans (MESP and MAP) are different in that your account earnings are based upon the market performance of the underlying investments, which typically consist of mutual funds. Investment-based savings plans may only be administered by states.
To learn more about 529 plans, go to SavewithMI529.com. For more information about saving for college, contact MI Student Aid at firstname.lastname@example.org, 1-888-4-GRANTS or @mistudentaid on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.
Get paid to complete the FAFSA!
Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) is paying 5,000 students to complete their FAFSA. Thanks to the Michigan Department of Treasury, the $10 Meijer gift cards will be mailed directly to students based on when their FAFSA is submitted - the student doesn't need to do anything but complete their FAFSA and if they are one of the first 5,000 they will receive a mailing! Gift cards are available on a first-complete, first-access basis until they have been exhausted.
Head to fafsa.gov and complete your application today!
Community Foundation Scholarships Still Available
Fostering Futures Scholarship Application Period Now Open
Young Adults Who Experienced Foster Care On or After 13th Birthday Eligible to Apply
The Michigan Department of Treasury reminds young adults who have experienced foster care on or after their 13th birthday that they are eligible to apply for a scholarship from the Fostering Futures Scholarship Trust Fund.
The Fostering Futures Scholarship application period for academic year 2021-22 will stay open until June 30, 2021. Eligible students enrolled at a Michigan degree-granting college or university may now apply to receive scholarship funds for tuition, fees, room, board, books and supplies.
“Fostering Futures Scholarships make a difference in the lives of our foster care youth who aspire to attend college,” said Robin Lott, director of the Office of Postsecondary Financial Planning. “Those who have experienced foster care typically don’t have the support systems in place for college costs. Every dollar helps create opportunities for our youth who have experienced foster care.”
Since 2012, fundraising efforts have totaled more than $1.3 million. This money has been raised through individual donations, group donations, sponsorships, ticket sales, auctions and many volunteer-based fundraising events.
Most of the funds raised have been awarded as scholarships, with a small portion being designated to an education endowment that supplies investment income for scholarships.
Fostering Future Scholarship applicants with questions should contact the state Treasury Department’s Student Scholarships and Grants area at email@example.com or call toll-free at 1-888-4-GRANTS (888-447-2687).
College Bound Michigan
What is College Bound Michigan?
College Bound Michigan (CBMI) is a suite of initiatives designed to build and support college-going cultures in high schools and their surrounding communities. MCAN’s work helps school counselors, college advisers, and other educators create systems and practices that connect all students with the opportunity for formal education beyond high school, including postsecondary certificates and academic degrees. CBMI brings together all of the statewide initiatives — Michigan College Month, College Cash Campaign, and Decision Day — into one campaign to help bring Michigan closer to Sixty by 30.
Are you ready to be a game changer?
As we enter the 10th year of the CBMI campaign, we are declaring a game-changing year! After two years that upended the very notion of “normal,” we want our partners to enter the 2021-22 school year with a perspective characterized by innovation and optimism. Our shared work requires constant creativity and strategic execution, as our planning must be both proactive and reactive to what students are experiencing. Our hope is that site coordinators will feel empowered by this season of change and create game-changing opportunities for their students.
We are shifting our investment and support to you: the teams who lead the development and implementation of a college-going culture in your community. In doing so, we have decided to implement the following changes:
- We will be shifting funds formerly reserved for student incentives to offer schools flexible grant opportunities to implement game-changing programming that inspires and excites your students as they prepare for the transition to postsecondary education.
- We will be elevating learning communities for site coordinators to engage in forum-style planning discussions, giving you space to brainstorm game-changing strategies for common roadblocks.
- We will be providing each school counseling department with a physical Game Changer Kickoff Pack to properly celebrate your game-changing year and you, the game changer!
Why should my school sign up?
As a CBMI Host Site, you will have access to:
- Exclusive grant opportunities
- Cash incentives for schools and students
- Promotional materials
- Student-facing, grab-and-go resources
- Counselor/adviser-facing toolkits and implementation guides
- Professional development opportunities
- Access to a peer learning community and dependable support
Register by August 2nd to ensure your Game Changer Kickoff Pack and other resources will be available at the start of your school year. Do you have questions? Contact Chloe Edmonds, strategy assistant for High School Innovation.
Roadmap to Opportunity: Machine Tool Technology
Roadmap to Opportunity Professional Development Series
The Roadmap to Opportunity professional development series will provide counselors, college advisers, and others with an opportunity to learn more about stackable credentials and supporting students pursuing in-demand fields. Hear from community college experts and high school leaders about ways to utilize Roadmap to Opportunity assets with students and colleagues.
Foundations of Equity in College and Career Counseling
Foundations of Equity in College and Career Counseling
The Foundations of Equity in College and Career Counseling course is designed for school counselors, college and career advisers, and educators. Participants will build on their knowledge of equity-centered counseling and advising practices that support student postsecondary exploration, planning, enrollment, and persistence.
The Fall 2021 course will run Aug. 20 - Dec. 17 and includes five online meetings, which will be held monthly, as well as independent work. The course will be co-hosted by MCAN and the Center for Equity and Postsecondary Attainment at San Diego State University (CEPA). Dr. Laura Owen, school counselor educator and executive director of CEPA, will serve as facilitator.
Registration is open to all school counselors, including those who have previously completed an MCAN counselor training course. However, priority will be granted to individuals who have not previously enrolled. Remaining seats will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Additional names will be placed on a waiting list.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Chloe Edmonds, strategy assistant for High School Innovation, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 517-896-0899.
School Counselor Fellows Program
Michigan College Access Network and San Diego State University’s Center for Equity and Postsecondary Attainment are excited to launch the Inaugural School Counselor Fellows Program! This program will provide ongoing mentorship and training rooted in leadership and advocacy development for a small, select group of school counselors.
MCAN understands that school counselors are well positioned to take a leadership role within their community as they inform and guide the postsecondary trajectories of their students. This program will provide counselors with an opportunity to share ideas, pose questions, digest evidence-based research, review school and district policies, and discuss interventions that support college and career readiness in postsecondary planning.
The school counselor fellowship will focus on urgent and timely issues impacting school counselor practice. Fellows will investigate how the pandemic, mental health & wellness, and equity driven practices influence college and career readiness and postsecondary planning. Action oriented plans will be developed to increase practices that best support students as they navigate their postsecondary path in an erratic and changing environment.
Fellows will receive:
- Professional development
- Training in embracing equity driven leadership and advocacy development
Fellows agree to:
- A two-year fellowship commitment, with the second year being a mentor to new fellows
- Attend monthly school counselor fellow meetings (via Zoom) - 2 hours per month
- Complete monthly assignments, readings and reflections – 3 hours per month
- Provide feedback and recommendations for the fellowship process
Applications for the second cohort of school counselor fellows will open summer, 2021. If you would like to receive personalized communication when the application goes live, contact Autumn Kearney, Strategy Manager for High School Innovation.