College & Career Access Center

Quarterly Newsletter: 1st Quarter 2021

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The College & Career Access Center CCAC Delivers Same Quality Services With New and Creative Models

It was a year ago this month that the coronavirus pandemic forced Jackson's 13 Connected Community Schools to shutdown and the College & Career Access Center to close its doors to the public. Our advisors immediately began designing virtual delivery models to continue serving our students and clients. We are proud to say that necessity has led to creativity and we have developed several strategies that will be permanently added to our standard consultation and workshop types.


Twelve months after the initial shutdown order, the majority of our 13 districts have returned to in-person or some form of hybrid teaching model. Our advising team is slowly transitioning back to working face-to-face with the graduating class of 2021. To date, CCAC advisors have offered virtual or in-person consultations to 846 students; 707 college consults and 139 career planning consults.

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February marked the kick off of our 5th season of Juniors Over the Local Circuit. Each year, we offer this valuable initiative to every Junior in the 13 connected school districts in collaboration with our three local institutions: Baker College, Jackson College, and Spring Arbor University. This year, however, will look significantly different. Students are receiving a video containing a virtual tour and admissions presentations from each of the three colleges.


Our advising team is facilitating the video presentation at all 13 Jackson districts as well as administering a post-presentation survey to gain valuable student feedback on the event. The CCAC is honored to combine forces with our partners at the three colleges to virtually market these great local education options.

Annual FAFSA Events Take Hybrid Approach in 2020-21

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Another creative approach the CCAC took this year involves our annual FAFSA events. Both the Fun Fall FAFSA event and the February President's Day FAFSA event followed a hybrid model. Students and their families had the option of visiting the Center in-person or joining via Zoom. At our most recent event, in February, we were proud to complete 21 FAFSAs and 4 JCF scholarship applications. Our team continues to work diligently with our students and families toward increasing the FAFSA completion rate and, as of February 12th, we are at 40.2% as a County.
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On February 25th, the CCAC hosted its first monthly advisory council meeting for the Jackson County Student Anti-Racism Coalition. 9 students attended the virtual meeting to represent 6 of our 13 connected school districts. Each month, the council will meet to explore topics such as racial and cultural identity, implicit and explicit biases, racial justice, and equity, diversity and inclusion. Two of our CCAC advisors serve as co-chairs, providing the monthly educational pieces for each topic and facilitating group discussion. The meetings will serve as a safe space for council members to examine and relate their personal experiences with racism.


The overall goal of the ARC is to create a coalition of students from the 13 Connected School Districts who are dedicated to anti-racism practices and racial equity. The advisory council will play an instrumental role by sharing what they learn each month with the faculty and students at their respective schools. The CCAC is excited to educate, support, and empower Jackson County students to recognize and fight against racism and racial bias within their communities.

All of Jackson County is Invited: The CCAC Launches its Virtual College & Career Planning Workshop Series

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Another result of planning around a pandemic is the launch of The College & Career Access Center Planning Workshop Series. In an effort to build traction with our remote students and their families, the CCAC created a series of virtual workshops. Monthly topics cover a broad range of planning topics, including: college and scholarship action plans, FAFSA completion, resume/cover letter construction, and Decision Day planning steps.


Proving an effective means of engagement, the virtual series will be a CCAC fixture going forward. Each Workshop is an hour in length and designed to deliver resources, detailed topic outlines, and tutorial instruction. The workshop presenter also reserves time at the end of each workshop to answer student questions on any topic of planning.

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In Fall of 2020, the National College Attainment Network (NCAN) introduced a funding opportunity that would allow members to take part in higher education policy and advocacy. This important initiative offers NCAN members and students around the country a valuable opportunity to make their voices heard. The College and Career Access Center applied and was honored to be selected among 33 college attainment organizations in 24 states across the country to engage in national higher education policy discussions over the next year. NCAN is committed to policy and advocacy as a critical strategy in closing the equity gaps that exist in higher education. To that end, the goal of the fellowship is to expand the breadth of NCAN member participation in advocacy.


In March, the CCAC Executive Director, advising team, and two student fellows from Albion College were able to participate, sharing their own personal testimonials at the state and federal level. Our team was proud to meet with our Congresswomen and men, to not only place Jackson on the map for our college & career successes but also to ask Congress to double the current Pell Grant award amount.

The CCAC Quarterly Business Highlight

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This quarter, the College & Career Access Center is excited to showcase Miame Jarrett Photography. A native of the Chicago area, Ms. Jarrett relocated after graduating with her degree in Exercise Science from Western Michigan University. It was there she met her future husband. The couple married and settled in Jackson to start their family. Miame discovered her passion for photography; artistically composing portraits of her three children. She traces an initial interest in visual art to early childhood, watching her father who was a part-time photographer.


Beginning as a hobby, Ms. Jarrett’s business has quickly evolved into a successful career over the course of just a few short years. Along with beautiful, artistic portraits, Miame strives to create lasting memories for her clients. She especially loves working with Seniors, capturing the pivotal transition from high school to adulthood. As a former college athlete and current cross fit enthusiast, she also enjoys showcasing student athletes in unique and modern compositions. Miame credits her success to the uplifting encouragement of positive, like-minded individuals who support her dreams. Hoping to inspire other young moms who often struggle to find balance between family and career goals, Miame stresses the importance of pursuing your passions. Her advice: chase your dreams, be an example to your children, and don’t let any obstacle stand in your way!


To schedule a session with Miame or learn more about all she has to offer, visit her website at: https://www.miamejarrettphotography.com/.

May 1st is Right Around the Corner!

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As annual Decision Day quickly approaches, our CCAC advising team is busy assisting students in finalizing their post-secondary plans. Advisors are also assisting each of the 13 connected schools, supporting and helping lead efforts to honor Jackson County's graduating class of 2021. A number of festivities and events are already being planned. This year, we are pleased to share two funding opportunities to assist with Decision Day celebration expenses.:
  • A $500 Mini-Grant through the College and Career Access Center
  • A $250 Mini-Grant through the Michigan College Access Network - for schools that participated in the College Bound Michigan initiative this year

Advisors can assist in the application process for both of these valuable grants.

Thank You to Our Many Collaborators, Partners and Supporters in Jackson County

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