State awards grants to 9 community colleges to boost adult student success rate

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Posted at 9:51 AM, Jun 18, 2021

LANSING, Mich. — Nine community colleges in the state – including Muskegon Community College and Southwestern Michigan Community College – will receive grants to improve student success rates among adult students.

The partnership between the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity and the Michigan College Access Network will give a total of $750,000 to the nine schools, according to a news release Friday.

Five colleges will receive Sixty by 30 Student Success Grants of up to $150,000 each, while four of the colleges will get up to $20,000 each to hire a college completion coach.

“These grants are essential to helping us provide Michiganders the education they need to get better-paying, high-skill jobs,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement. “Advancing higher education has been a day one priority for my administration, and the MI Reconnect and Futures for Frontliners programs help us accomplish our long-term goal of 60 by 30 – ensuring 60% of Michiganders have a post-secondary degree or skills training by 2030. As we emerge from the pandemic together and continue our economic comeback, we will stay laser-focused on helping people develop solid skills so they can find good jobs for great pay.”

These Sixty by 30 grants were awarded based on a competitive application process, the state said, and will provide funding for grantees to implement and institutionalize new strategies to increase completion rates for Futures for Frontliners and Michigan Reconnect students above each college’s current rate for all adult students.

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The grants were awarded based on evidence supporting the likely effectiveness of the strategy or practices for increasing persistence and completion rates for adults.

All funded initiatives were required to be new to the college, promise impact at scale, be potentially transferable to other colleges and subject to evaluation.

Henry Ford College, Mott Community College, Muskegon Community College, Oakland Community College and Southwestern Michigan Community College were chosen for grants for their program initiatives.

Lake Michigan College, Monroe County Community College, Montcalm Community College and St. Clair County Community College received the $20,000 grants to support the placement of a full-time AmeriCorps member to serve as a dedicated completion coach for adult students.