College & Career Access Center

Quarterly Newsletter: 2nd Quarter 2020

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The College & Career Access Center's Statement Regarding the Tragic Death of George Floyd

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Celebrating Juneteenth

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Dating back to 1865, Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the end of slavery in the U.S. It was on June 19th that year, Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that slaves were now free. This was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.

In the early years, celebration of Juneteenth gained very little recognition outside of African American communities. It was not until the 1950s and 60s that the civil rights movement brought greater attention to the significance of June 19, 1865. But, it would still be approximately a decade later, in January of 1980, that the efforts of Al Edwards, an African American state legislator, led to Juneteenth becoming an official state holiday. Later, Edwards would actively seek to introduce the observance of Juneteenth all across America.

Today, Juneteenth is growing within communities and organizations throughout the country; celebrating African American freedom and achievement. The celebration also encourages continuous self-development and respect for all cultures. The College & Career Access Center is proud to participate in this important commemoration and has declared Juneteenth as a CCAC annual holiday, closing our doors and allowing our advisors to spend the day reflecting on the importance of the message and all that Juneteenth represents.

Human Centered Design

In our commitment to personal growth and professional development, we decided to turn the quarantine time, from March - June, into a positive opportunity. The CCAC advising team enrolled in a 9 week course to study Human Centered Design; exploring creative ways to improve upon our service delivery model.

Human Centered Design takes a unique approach to problem solving and creating solutions. The process starts with engaging the audience that you are designing for. Through observing their habits and routines as well as documenting their feedback, designers end up with solutions that are specifically tailored to their targeted population's needs.

Empathy and understanding are key to the design phases of: the Inspiration Phase, the Ideation Phase, and the Implementation Phase. In order, the audience acts as a source of inspiration to define a workable problem and gather information for possible solutions. Then, the designers brainstorm a number of creative ideas, which will become the basis for prototype models. In the final phase, solutions are implemented and measured.

CCAC advisors gained a wealth of valuable information from the modules they studied. Our team looks forward to developing prototypes that will lead to improvements along every level of the service we provide to our students, clients, partners and collaborators.

MCAN's New Student Hotline

In May, the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) launched a college advising hotline to assist students during the Covid-19 pandemic. The line was created in response to the global health crisis, and was designed to fill the post-secondary planning gaps that resulted from Governor’s Whitmer’s emergency, statewide school closure and shelter-in-place order’s issued in March.

Nearly 100 college advisers from MCAN’s AdviseMI program and MSU’s College Advising Corps came together to staff the hotline. In an effort to serve as many students as possible, MCAN is partnering with the Detroit Regional Chamber and the Detroit College Access Network on their initiative.

The hotline is available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and students have the option of calling or texting. After business hours, students can text or leave a voicemail and messages will be responded to the next business day.

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The CCAC Reopens Making Health our Highest Priority

The CCAC was excited to reopen its doors to the public on Monday, June 15th. We are once again greeting our clients in person to serve their college & career planning needs! Our team has worked diligently to ensure our office is comfortable and safe as we slowly transition to our new ‘new.’ We are taking every precaution to align with the strategies that have been successful in diminishing the risks associated with covid-19.

During Phase I, our office will be open with limited hours of operation:

Monday - Friday: 11a - 6p - Closed Saturday & Sunday

In the interest of best practices, the CCAC has also implemented the following health and safety guidelines:

  • Maximum Capacity of 10 Individuals in the office
  • 6 Foot Social Distancing
  • Protective Face Masks - Provided to Staff and Clients
  • Health and Sanitary Protocols for Team and Clients

We greatly appreciate the patience and understanding our clients have demonstrated as we've made our transitional adjustments.

Special Thanks to JCAN: Jackson Covid-19 Action Network

In mid-March, as the gravity of the covid pandemic became evident, the City of Jackson mobilized and launched the Jackson COVID-19 Action Network (JCAN). Created to assist with Jackson’s emergency response to the coronavirus, JCAN focused on ensuring all county residents have access to food, shelter and other basic needs. The network is comprised of representatives from local government agencies, organizations, businesses, non-profits, resident-lead community groups, and volunteers.

JCAN is currently supported through funding established by United Way of Jackson County and the Jackson Community Foundation. Money raised largely through community donations is used to provide essential supplies such as baby formula, cleaning supplies and medications to residents in need.

The College & Career Access Center wishes to thank everyone involved in these humanitarian efforts. It is our combined efforts as a community that will see us through this crisis. We especially thank JCAN for consistently providing information, resources, and basic needs to the residents of Jackson County

Those who continue to require assistance during these challenging times can call the 2-1-1 helpline to be connected to assistance from JCAN as well as other community resources.

To Make a Monetary Donation, Visit:

select DONATE from the task bar at the top of the UW Homepage

Closing Out the 2019 - 2020 School Year: The Year in Review

The CCAC takes pride in a productive 7th academic year, participating in the collective impact on post-secondary planning in Jackson. We greatly appreciate the collaborations and partnerships that make our work possible. Although 2019-20 has been difficult and challenging to say the least, we remain optimistic as we work together to serve ALL Jackson County residents:

Response to the Covid Pandemic:

  • On March 17th, we made an immediate shift to remote advising with high school Seniors and Center clients via phone calls, texts, emails, social media, and zoom meetings
  • CCAC Advisors held 579 1:1 advising consultations with Seniors during this period of working remotely
  • Planning for the upcoming school year focused on training projects, marketing strategies and professional team development.
  • We focused on continuous learning through book studies, human centered design, and implementing a diversity, equity and inclusion model into our value system.
  • The CCAC also provided Covid response information to our clients, families, and stakeholders.

Although the pandemic halted our community initiatives for the Spring, we are still proud of the following School Year Accomplishments:

Over 380 middle school students from 4 of the 13 districts participated in our career exploration initiative, Kids2College/Pathways to Professional Skilled Trades. Each group visited a local manufacturing company and a traditional 2-4year college.

Over 800 Juniors from 10 of the 13 districts, through our Juniors Over the Local Circuit tours, had an opportunity to explore our local institutions of higher education: Baker College, Jackson College and Spring Arbor University.

1,099 Seniors from all 13 districts had at least one post-secondary planning session with a CCAC College/Career Advisor to complete the following planning pieces:

  • 86.2% of Tuition Incentive Program (TIP) eligible students applied for this state scholarship.
  • 65% completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), putting us on pace to surpass our 74% FAFSA completion goal by the end of summer.
  • 187 students who were interested in an alternative to the traditional 2-4 degree completed resumes, cover letters, career assessments or job searches.

Over 790 clients walked through the doors of the CCAC between 7/1/19 and 3/17/20.

Over 50 adults took part in our GED prep program in collaboration with MIWorks!

As of June 8th, our team has transitioned to Summer Melt advising. Over the course of 9 weeks, we will reach out to over 900 students to ensure that their post high school plans come to fruition.

Thank You: For Your Support, Partnership and Collaboration

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