The following is a statement from Ryan Fewins-Bliss, Executive Director of MCAN:
“The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus has significantly altered the lives of people around the world. We thank Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for making tough decisions to protect Michigan’s citizens. These decisions have a major impact on our K-12 education systems, postsecondary institutions as well as students and their families. Today’s extension of the Stay Home, Stay Safe order until April 30 is no doubt based on the scientific forecasting that has been guiding the state’s decisions.
Now, more than ever, Michigan College Access Network is committed to ensuring access to postsecondary education with a continued focus on “Sixty by 30,” the goal to increase the number of Michigan adults with a postsecondary degree or certificate to 60% by the year 2030. We call upon the governor, our legislators, and education leaders to find creative ways to continue to support the educational pursuits of those most affected by COVID-19, especially students of color and low-income students. We applaud the Governor for establishing the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities. This is a step in the right direction.
The revitalization of Michigan’s economy in the aftermath of this crisis will affirm the importance for residents to attain postsecondary education. Education has been deeply affected by this crisis, and as postsecondary leaders we cannot lose focus. Michigan’s leaders have shown an evolving model of K-12 education is critical; we ask that they show that same regard for higher education by supporting Michigan’s world-class colleges and universities and their students — both incoming and current.
These recent decisions are causing MCAN to rethink how we, too, support college access, success and attainment during this time. MCAN has responded by launching new COVID-19 Response Grants, a Meeting the Challenge webinar series, a COVID-19 Resources webpage, and will soon be announcing plans for a statewide Virtual Decision Day later this month, a way to celebrate graduating high school seniors and their postsecondary plans.
MCAN commends all leaders throughout Michigan who have been working around-the-clock to respond to the needs within our state.”
ABOUT THE MICHIGAN COLLEGE ACCESS NETWORK (MCAN)
As the leader in the state’s college access movement, MCAN works to improve the futures of Michigan’s students and communities by making college accessible to all. MCAN’s work centers on one main goal: To increase Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate to 60% by 2030. MCAN engages partners statewide who are committed to systems-level change and the reduction of barriers to increase college readiness, participation and completion rates, particularly among low-income students, first-generation college-going students, and students of color. MCAN has helped Michigan’s postsecondary attainment rate increase for the 10th consecutive year. For more information, visit micollegeaccess.org.