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Ryan Fewins-Bliss | MCAN COVID-19 Response Grants Initiative

Michigan Business Beat
February 5, 2021 1:00 PM


Ryan Fewins-Bliss returns to the Michigan Business Beat for another discussion with Jeffrey Mosher.

To hear Ryan and Jeffrey's conversation, click play on the podcast shared below:

This time around their discussion is covering; the grants which started in April as a response to the pandemic. What inspired the COVID-19 Response Grants Initiative? Were there other funders who participated in this endeavor? How does it align with the overall mission of MCAN?
FOCUS: IMPACT. The COVID-19 Response Grants have provided over $619,000 in funding to more than 100 organizations in Michigan. What does the funding assist with? What kind of programs received the grant funding? Here is a list of recipients if you want to ask about any specific awards: micollegeaccess.org/grants/category…covid-19-grants

WHAT'S NEXT? Because of these grants, recipients were able to continue postsecondary programs and initiatives. However, colleges are seeing a rapid decline in enrollment. What are solutions to this issue? What does postsecondary education look like in Michigan as the pandemic resolves?

Here is further information on the topic shared by MCAN:

105 organizations awarded funding to support postsecondary attainment efforts amid a global pandemic

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) awarded 108 Covid-19 Response Grants to 105 different organizations in 2020, totaling $619,187 toward helping schools and organizations confront the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. These grants, which were announced in April and awarded in 15 rounds of funding through December, were designed to support postsecondary attainment efforts across the state.

“In March, when high schools and colleges started moving classes online, we knew there were going to be huge implications for postsecondary access,” said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, executive director of MCAN. “We diverted as much funding as we could to address this crisis. It was important to us that high school students stayed on track to go to college, and that college students stayed on track to finish their degrees and certificates.”

Many of these grants addressed technology gaps, helping organizations purchase wireless internet hotspots, computers or tablets to distribute to students for online learning. Other grants helped organizations convert traditionally in-person resources, such as mentoring programs and SAT preparation classes, to online formats.

“Enrolling in college and completing a degree or certificate program is a significant challenge, even in the best of times,” said Fewins-Bliss. “COVID-19 has been incredibly disruptive to educational efforts in our state, especially among low income students, students of color, and first-generation college-going students. These grants will help students get the resources they need to achieve their educational goals, which will open up better opportunities for them in the post-pandemic economy.”

The COVID-19 response grants were funded by MCAN and its philanthropic partners. For more information about MCAN’s COVID-19 response efforts, visit micollegeaccess.org/initiatives/covid19For a full list of COVID-19 Response Grant recipients, visit micollegeaccess.org/grants/category/covid-19-grants.


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.

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Michigan Business Beat, hosted by Chris Holman, discusses economic development, new or unusual entrepreneurial initiatives, and successful business practices from different regions and industries around Michigan with a wide range of entrepreneurs and business leaders.

8:00 AM every Monday through Friday
Replay: 8:00 AM, 2:00 PM, 8:00 PM, 2:00 AM The music for 'Michigan Business Beat' is graciously shared use of Phil Denny's "Traffic Jam" off his 2012 CD 'Crossover'

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