Blue Water College Access Network

St. Clair County's College Resource | November 2022

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 Contact Nick Beaudry with any questions you might have at

Upcoming BWCAN Events

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How to College Crash Course Playlist: To College or Not To College?

Each month, we feature a video from the "How to College" series produced by the Study Hall Program, a partnership between Crash Course and Arizona State University. The Study Hall Program is in the process of publishing the 15-video series, and we will feature a video each month over the next 16 months.

In this month's video, How to Pay for College, Erica walks us through how to know our options, what steps to take to get the funding you need to be successful in college. Get a list of upcoming episodes for Fast Guides and How to College at

Because there's a lot of information to keep track of when you're applying to college, Crash Course made an easy spreadsheet to help you compare schools, keep track of application requirements, and set your goals! Copy this free template and make it your own:

To preview upcoming topics, check out the episode guide.

From the Study Hall Program:

Dr. Erica Brozovsky (from PBS's Otherwords) hosts and breaks down how to apply for, succeed at, and graduate from college. We hope you'll join us for this journey and check out our all new Study Hall Channel where you can watch Fast Guides about college majors and even more series. Get a list of upcoming episodes for Fast Guides and How to College at

How to Pay for College | Crash Course | How to College


Port Huron Area School District's Brandon Wardlow awarded the MCAN Ombudsman Award

Brandon Wardlow was honored as the AdviseMI recipient of the MCAN Ombudsman Award at the MCAN annual conference Nov. 9. Brandon served as a college adviser for two years at Port Huron High School and Summer Success Coach for St. Clair RESA. During that time, Brandon became a leader and advocate for students and families in his community and throughout the county. Read more about Brandon's award here:

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St. Clair County's Summer Success Program featured at MCAN's 11th Annual Conference

St. Clair RESA's Supervisor of Career & College Programs Nick Beaudry shared the county's innovative programming to address summer melt greatly exacerbated by the pandemic at MCAN's Annual Conference in Mt., Pleasant. The Summer Success Program presentation featured an overview of the county's effort since 2020 to support the transition of graduating seniors during the summer months to successfully enroll in their postsecondary plans in the Fall. Nick also shared the program's innovative advising strategies, resources, and community partnerships that have collectively contributed to the success of the program.

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FAFSA is Open

2023-24 Free Application for Federal Student Aid

Michigan Priority Deadline: March 1

The 2023-24 FASA opened Oct. 1. Incoming and returning students can apply. The application will remain open until June 30, 2024, but Michigan students should complete the FAFSA before May 1, 2023, to get priority consideration for state-based scholarship programs. Financial aid deadlines at postsecondary institutions may be even earlier. Submitting the FAFSA is free and there is no income limit; please encourage all students to apply as soon as possible!

Learn more and complete the FAFSA →

St. Clair County Association of School Boards Scholarship

St. Clair County Association of School Boards (SCCASB) is once again offering four (4) $1000 Scholarships to four (4) deserving high school seniors. These are competitive scholarships that will be awarded countywide. Any graduating senior student attending a high school or alternative high school in any of the seven local districts is eligible to apply.

Application and information memo

For more information contact Kris Murphy at 810.455-4035 or

Michigan Achievement Scholarship Website

From MI Student Aid:

On October 11, 2022, Governor Whitmer signed Public Act 212 of 2022 to establish the Michigan Achievement Scholarship.

Starting with the high school class of 2023, students will be eligible for more financial aid from the State:

  • Up to $2,750 if they attend a community college, per year
  • Up to $5,500 if they attend a public university, per year
  • Up to $4,000 if they attend a private college or university, per year

Students will be eligible if their family demonstrates financial need* when they complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

*Financial need is defined as an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $25,000 or less.

High school seniors can get started by following these steps:

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MI Future Educator Fellowships

From MI Student Aid:

The MI Future Educator Fellowship will offer $10,000 scholarship to up to 2,500 future educators every year.

Eligibility Requirements:

To be eligible, the student must:

  • File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Have begun your first semester or term in the education program in the Fall 2022 semester or after.
  • Be a high school graduate.
  • Be admitted in an eligible Educator Preparation Program (EPP).
  • Be working on your first teacher certification.
  • Must have earned at least 56 semester credits or 84 term credits.
  • Have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.
  • Be a Michigan resident since July 1 of the previous calendar year.
    • If you are a dependent student, your parent on your FAFSA must also be a Michigan resident since July 1 of the previous calendar year.
  • Be enrolled at least full-time (or its equivalency if participating through an Alternative Certification Program.)

MI Future Educator Fellowship Application:

Apply Now

Renewal Requirements:

Fellowship is renewable for up to three years. To renew, the student must:

  • Maintain continuous full-time enrollment
  • Achieve at least 24 credits per year
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
  • Maintain a 3.0 GPA
  • Participate in relevant academic and career advising programs offered by the school
  • File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Maintain Michigan residency

Commitment to Teach in Michigan:

When a student receives this award, they agree to work in Michigan classrooms.

  • If you receive one year of funding from the MI Future Educator Fellowship you agree to work as a certified teacher in a public, nonpublic, or public preschool program in Michigan for three years.
  • If you receive two years of funding from the MI Future Educator Fellowship you agree to work as a certified teacher in a public, nonpublic, or public preschool program in Michigan for four years.
  • If you receive three years of funding from the MI Future Educator Fellowship you agree to work as a certified teacher in a public, nonpublic, or public preschool program in Michigan for five years.
  • If you teach in a critical needs district your service obligation may be less.

If a student does not meet this service obligation requirement and/or does not finish the teacher certification program, the fellowship converts to a 0% interest rate loan with a repayment term of 10 years.

Award Amount:

$10,000 per year or the cost of tuition at the in-district, resident rate + mandatory fees per year, whichever is less. Other tuition specific aid may reduce this award.

Additional Resources:

Frequently Asked Questions

MI Future Educator Fellowship Fact Sheet

MI Future Educatory Fellowship Flyer

MI Future Educator Stipend

From MI Student Aid:

The MI Future Educator Stipend is a $9,600 stipend per semester to support Michigan’s hardworking student teachers as they continue their journey to being in the classroom full-time.

Eligibility Requirements:

To be eligible, the student must:

  • Be admitted in an eligible Educator Preparation Program (EPP).
  • Be working towards teacher certification.
  • Be participating full-time (or its equivalency if participating through an Alternative Certification Program) in required student teacher coursework.
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).
  • Be in an unpaid student teaching position in Michigan.
  • Not received the MI Future Educator Stipend before, unless your program specifically requires more than one semester of student teaching.

Up to $9,600 per semester to be paid towards allowable student teaching expenses (tuition, living expenses, childcare, etc.)

MI Future Educator Stipend Application:

  • Create a portal account on the MiSSG Student Portal.
  • Complete the application in the MiSSG Student Portal for MI Future Educator Stipend.
  • Complete the MI Future Stipend Verification Form through the MiSSG Student Portal Account.
  • Institutions will be contacted to confirm student eligibility.

Apply Now

Additional Resources:

Frequently Asked Questions

MI Future Educator Stipend Fact Sheet

MI Future Educator Stipend Flyer

Free College Application Information

Many Michigan universities and colleges offer free applications on a regular basis, but during College Month, several additional institutions waive their fees as well. Michigan College Access Network has compiled a guide to free Michigan college applications (below). MCAN also keeps a handy list of Michigan institutions so you can check out their specific updates such as financial aid and admissions at
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Start Smart at SC4: Earn College Credits in High School

High school students in Michigan can save thousands of dollars by earning college credits at no cost to them through programs offered through their district and the state. Options at SC4 include dual enrollment, Blue Water Middle College, Career and Technical Middle College, and CL5. Learn more:
Start smart at SC4: Earn college credits in high school

Counselor Corner

Each month, counselors can find current college and career counseling information and professional learning opportunities in the Counselor Corner section of the BWCAN newsletter. A running compilation of opportunities can also be found on the Counselors page at
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National Career Development Month

November is National Career Development Month and Xello has put together a 4-part blog series to help your students create successful futures. Becoming future-ready for students isn’t just about applying for college. It’s an ongoing process that educators should engage students in throughout their entire academic journey, so that each activity, lesson, and lived experience brings students closer to a meaningful post-secondary pathway.

Ignite College and Career Readiness By Encouraging Self-Discovery

How to Create Career Awareness and Encourage Students to Explore Their Options

Build Future Readiness Skills and Begin Creating Plans with Students

Reignite College & Career Readiness by Inviting Parents Along the Journey

Understanding the Modern Military

Students and families need guidance from school counselors on the full range of career and education choices available to them after high school, including options for joining the military. This resource-driven course will present you with information that will help in understanding an array of military career options and the education benefits that can support students in the pursuit of those careers. Throughout this course, you will explore various resources into military pathways and discover opportunities that are nearly as diverse in number and scope as those in the civilian sector.

In this course, you will:

  • Use current military resources and hear from service members to gather facts and information about military career pathways,
  • Understand and accurately present military career options and pathways to students,
  • Integrate a Military Subject Matter Expert into college and career readiness initiatives in your school, and
  • Support students and families as they explore military career options.

Michigan Virtual | Earn 5 SCECHs | MORE INFORMATION

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Advising for Future-Ready Careers

Culturally Relevant Pedagogy for All Learners: A school counselor’s guide to enacting equity in STEM education

From The National Center for Women & Information Technology:

Advising for Future-Ready Careers is a monthly webinar series, hosted by NCWIT Counselors for Computing (C4C), providing information and resources to help counselors join the front line of the computing conversation. This webinar series is free and open to the public, ages 16 and up – geared toward school counselors, educators, graduate students, and those in school advising roles.

Advising for Future-Ready Careers is funded by the Department of Defense STEM (DoD STEM) seeking to attract, inspire, and develop exceptional STEM talent across the educational continuum.

Upcoming Webinars

Episode 14: Culturally Relevant Pedagogy for All Learners: A school counselor’s guide to enacting equity in STEM education

Registration Link:

Description: School counselors play a critical role when addressing systemic inequities in STEM education. While school counselors are prepared to serve as advisors to all learners and help them attain their academic potential, often left behind are the culturally and linguistically diverse learners who are persistently underrepresented in STEM education. This webinar addresses the systemic barriers to equity in STEM education for minoritized groups (African American, Hispanic, Native American) using culturally relevant pedagogy as the mediator for equitable outcomes. The webinar will discuss the necessary revisions in STEM education through the lens of counselors to promote equitable learning and teaching in schools.

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MCAN Professional Development


Fall 2022 Admissions Updates

MCAN's Admissions Updates webinar series is underway. Representatives from postsecondary institutions will provide updates about their current admissions processes. The webinars will be recorded and available to earn SCECHs through Feb. 4.
Dates: Variable, though Nov. 3
Times: Variable

Learn more and register →

School Counselor Professional Development

In order to better meet the needs of Michigan's hard-working school counselors, MCAN is proud to announce some big changes to our school counselor professional development offerings. We believe school counselors are uniquely poised to lead the charge in ensuring students are socially, academically, logistically, and financially prepared for postsecondary education. With that in mind, we have provided college access-focused professional development for school counselors since 2013.

This fall, we will continue to offer our established Foundations of Equity in College Advising, co-hosted by MCAN and the Center for Equity and Postsecondary Attainment at San Diego State University. Additionally, we're introducing College and Career Advising Mini-courses, which are designed for school counselors who want to engage in college access work but who can't commit to a rigorous, semester-long course.

Registrants will need to decide between enrolling in the Foundations course OR the mini-courses. Check out the descriptions below to see which option would be the best fit for your schedule and interests.

Foundations of Equity in College Advising

The Foundations of Equity in College Advising course is designed for school counselors, college and career advisers, and other educators. In this course, participants will build upon their knowledge of equity-centered counseling and advising practices in their efforts to support student postsecondary exploration, planning, enrollment, and persistence. The fall 2022 Foundations of Equity in College Advising course will run Aug. 22–Dec. 12.

The Foundations of Equity in College Advising course is designed as a graduate-level course. Registrants should anticipate spending a total of 30 hours on this course over the span of the semester, which is reflected in the awarding of SCECHs. Five hours will be spent in the monthly meetings, and the remaining 25 hours will be spent doing independent, online coursework between meetings. This breaks down to about six hours a month.

Learn more →

College and Career Advising Mini-courses

College and Career Advising Mini-courses are a new training format MCAN is offering beginning fall 2022. From Exploring Postsecondary Match and Fit to Career Development for the 21st Century Workforce and The FAFSA Step by Step, each course allows participants to join a group of peers for online discussions, see best practices in action, gain knowledge, and access and create resources to incorporate immediately.

There will be two mini-courses offered per month. Each mini-course is four weeks long with a mandatory live virtual meeting every week. DO NOT register for a course if you will not be able to attend on the scheduled day and time. Each class is made up of four sessions with an estimated total workload of 16 hours, which is reflected in the awarding of SCECHs. Individual course details, including topic, meeting times, and SCECHs, are available at the link below.

Learn more →

Registration and Course Cost

These courses are open to all school counselors, college and career advisers, and educators. Registrants who secure a seat in any of our PD opportunities will receive a scholarship to access the course at no cost.

Register now →


Please contact Kiersten Nolan, strategy assistant for high school innovation, with questions about any of the professional development courses.

College Bound Michigan Registration Now Open

Registration is now open for the 2022-23 cycle of College Bound Michigan, MCAN's suite of initiatives designed to build and support college-going cultures in high schools and their surrounding communities. This program 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 College Decision Day — into one campaign to help bring Michigan closer to Sixty by 30. Click the register button below to learn more and sign up. Current CBMI sites, be sure to register to ensure you are included as a host site for next year! Registration will remain open through the fall, but signing up now ensures timely delivery of resources and takes something off your summer/fall to-do list.

Why should my school sign up?

As a CBMI Host Site, you will have access to:

  • Exclusive grant opportunities
  • Promotional materials
  • Student-facing, grab-and-go resources
  • Counselor/adviser-facing toolkits and implementation guides
  • Professional development opportunities



Contact Kiersten Nolan, MCAN’s strategy assistant for high school innovation, with any questions about CBMI eligibility or programming at 517-316-1713 or

Contact Nick Beaudry, Supervisor of Career and College Programs, St. Clair County RESA

Blue Water College Access Network

For more college-going information, resources, and events, visit the BWCAN website.