Blue Water College Access Network

St. Clair County's College Resource | September 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

Fall 2022 BWCAN Events

The 2022 Fall Essentials Series is back with a variety of live webinars and the return of in-person events to support your career & college plans for after high school graduation.

Be sure to register today and reserve your spot. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Senior Year Planning

Ensure you start your senior year of high school off with a solid plan for college and beyond. Join us for this virtual webinar to learn more about career and college opportunities, financial aid, scholarships, and more from St. Clair County’s college advisers.

Paying for College

FAFSA Opens October 1st

Are you ready?

If you need financial aid to pay for college, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. The 2022–23 FAFSA form is now available. Fill it out as soon as possible on or after Oct. 1 at the official government site,

It’s easier to complete the FAFSA form if you gather what you need ahead of time. Here are a few items to help you fill it out.

Are you TIP eleigible?

Have you heard of the Tuition Incentive Program and think you might be eligible? You can see for yourself by creating a MiSSG Student Portal account! It's easy and free to do!

For more information regarding TIP head to

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

Each month, we will 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 Prepare for College, In this episode of Crash Course: How to College, Erica talks us through what preparing for college could entail and how we can be active in that preparation. Applying to college is exciting and stressful and lots of other things that cause a whole lot of emotions. But you can take steps now that will make the college admissions process a lot easier once you get to that point. 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 Prepare for College | How to College | Crash Course


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Common App is Open... So what is it?

What is Common App?

Common App is a non-profit college access organization that helps students apply to college every year. Common App’s free college application tool is designed to make applying to college faster and easier. With Common App you only need to use one system to apply to multiple colleges and universities. There are two main parts you fill out: a set of common questions and each college’s own specific questions. The best part is you only have to fill out the common questions one time!

Common App is a place for you to learn about the college admissions process, understand how to plan and apply to college, and discover all that different colleges have to offer. It’s a hub of information that can guide you through each step of the application journey. It’s a resource that connects you with financial aid and scholarship opportunities.

Whatever questions you might have, we’re here to help Application guides to give you step-by-step instructions on completing your application.

A college roadmap designed to guide you toward your next destination — no matter where you start.

An application dictionary to help you understand the terminology related to college applications.

A library of FAQs to answer any question you may have, and a support team that’s available 24/7/365.

Common App at a glance

• Over 900 colleges and universities use Common App

• 250+ public colleges and universities

• 60+ international universities in 20+ countries

• 80+ MSIs • 440+ without app fee

• 730+ test optional/flexible

What’s next Visit to create your Common App account and start exploring colleges.

Common App has announced the 2022-2023 essay prompts

Nearly 900 colleges use the Common Application to streamline the college application process, which means the process may also be streamlined for you. By applying through Common App, you can apply to several colleges at one time. Along with other college advice, Khan Academy has a walkthrough to help you through the process. There are several resources online that will specifically provide advice for writing your essay.

​Essay Samples
In-depth essay tips

College Essay Tips: How to Craft Your Best Story

Below is the full set of Common App essay prompts for 2022-2023

  1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
  2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
  3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
  4. Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?
  5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
  6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
  7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

Common App will also retain the optional COVID-19 question within the Additional Information section.

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SC4 Fieldhouse to Host Wolverine Invitational Wheelchair Basketball Tournament

Cheer on basketball teams at the Fieldhouse for FREE September 30th and October 2nd!

The SC4 Fieldhouse is partnering with the University of Michigan Adaptive Sports & Fitness Department will to host the Wolverine Invitational wheelchair basketball tournament. In addition to UM, the event will have teams from Chicago, Toronto, Detroit, and Brampton Ontario.

Among the festivities, the UM staff will be holding a wheelchair sports clinic on the afternoon of Friday, Sept. 30 which will provide area students/educators/community members an opportunity to tryout various adaptive sports.

Fri. Sept. 30 at 6:30 p.m. – University of Michigan -vs- Brampton, Ontario (UM season opener!))

Sun. Oct. 2 at 1:00 p.m. – Championship game of the tournament

See the flyer below for more details

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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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Join the School Counselor Fellows

Applications are now open for the 2022 cohort of the School Counselor Fellows Program. Designed in partnership with San Diego State University's Center for Equity and Postsecondary Attainment, this program trains a select group of school counselors in advanced leadership and advocacy, specifically focused on postsecondary practices. The goal of this fellowship is to develop leadership and awareness of the counseling landscape in the state and country. Details and requirements are listed below. If you know a school counselor who would be a good candidate for this program, use this recommendation form and a member of MCAN's team will reach out to them.

Program Details

Participants in the fellowship will:

  • Review current issues in education regarding mental health and wellness and how it relates to the postsecondary education plan
  • Receive training in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) to embrace equity-driven leadership
  • Learn to use data-supported, evidence-based research to align the college-going culture in their community
  • Receive advocacy development and training with an opportunity to meet with state legislators during MCAN’s College Access Advocacy Day
  • Network with local organizations, such as MACAC
  • Attend in- and out-of-state conferences for further professional development on college access, leadership, and advocacy
  • Connect with previous fellows, as well as school counselors from the national fellowship


Selected fellows agree to:

  • Make a two-year fellowship commitment (year two is mentorship)
  • Attend quarterly, in-person School Counselor Fellows meetings beginning Nov. 8, 2022
  • Complete approximately three hours per month of assignments, readings, and reflections
  • Design and complete an advocacy project related to a college access or success issue
  • Provide feedback and recommendations for the fellowship process



Please reach out to Cheyenne Peters, strategy manager for high school innovation, with any questions about the program or the application process.

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.