Blue Water College Access Network

St. Clair County's College Resource | August 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 Contact Nick Beaudry with any questions you might have at

Our College Stories

How do you plan, prepare, and pay for college? Local grads will tell you how!

Beginning this month, St. Clair County graduates will share their personal college-going stories, along with tips for getting to and going through college, including candid details of the ups and downs along the way. Meet local grads with very different stories to tell of how they each made it to college - through poverty, divorce, challenging academics, and more. Be sure to follow @BlueWaterCAN on Facebook and Twitter for the latest college story as it's shared.

In this month's newsletter, we introduce Colton Cichoracki and listen to grads share the reasons they chose to go to college.

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Colton Cichoracki's College Story
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Why did you go to college?


College Advisers Needed to Make a Difference

Life after graduation is a journey. As you are discovering the next step on your professional and personal journey, you know that finding opportunities means tapping into your networks and being resourceful.

We, together with our partners at the AdviseMI program, have an opportunity for you!

AdviseMI offers the opportunity to serve directly at Port Huron Northern High School to help our students navigate the college-going process. It’s a chance to make a difference, and get paid for it, during a time when college enrollment for our students is more critical than ever. Take charge of your future by becoming an AdviseMI college adviser at Port Huron Northern today!

To learn more and apply click here:

Paying for College

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Michigan Reconnect Skills Scholarship

The Michigan Skills Scholarship program is now accepting new applicants. The scholarship provides up to $1,500 to aid in tuition coverage at a private training school or program for adults 25 years and older seeking a skills certificate.

The scholarship is part of the Michigan Reconnect program and offers certificates in five high-demand professional trade careers in industries: business management, construction, healthcare, information technology and manufacturing.

The scholarships will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis to the first 1,000 applicants who enroll with an eligible training provider.

To learn more and apply for the Skills Scholarship, visit

Food Assistance for College Students

Low-income college students in Michigan who are enrolled in Career and Technical Education programs may be eligible to receive food assistance benefits through the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

To apply for SNAP benefits, visit

To learn more about the program, read this update on the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services website.

Career & College Exploration

Xello Tips & Tidbits

A new monthly feature of the BWCAN newsletter is a dive into Xello, the career and college planning tool that is available to St. Clair County students for free at their local schools. With Xello, students can explore pathways and update their plans for life beyond graduation. Parents who are aware of Xello can support their student's career and college planning within the application. As always, school counselors will support students from start to finish. To access Xello at home, find your school on this webpage and click to sign on.
Xello: Make Every Student Future Ready!

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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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.

Course Details

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.

Learn more →


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 or by calling 517-896-0899.

School Counselor Fellows Program

MCAN and San Diego State University's Center for Equity and Postsecondary Attainment are now accepting applications for the 2021 cohort of School Counselor Fellows.

The two-year school counselor fellowship will focus on urgent and timely issues impacting school counselor practice. Fellows will investigate how mental health, wellness, and equity-driven practices influence college and career readiness and postsecondary planning.

This fellowship is free to accepted counselors. Participants commit to monthly meetings (via Zoom), as well as independent assignments, readings, reflections, and projects. This program will be submitted for up to 30 SCECHs.

This is different from the School Counselor Training: Foundations of Equity in College and Career Counseling course. Participation in one is not dependent on or impacted by participation in the other.


Applications must be completed by August 18, 2021

Contact Autumn Kearney, Strategy Manager for High School Innovation

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.


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.