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Week of April 19, 2010

U-M announces new statewide college access initiative

U-M is home to the new statewide Michigan College Advising Corps (MCAC), a unique approach to increasing the number of low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented students entering and completing higher education in Michigan.

Following in the tradition of the AmeriCorps and Teach for America programs, MCAC will recruit and train a select group of recent U-M graduates to work full-time for up to two years as college advisers in underserved high schools throughout Michigan. MCAC advisers, who will begin their placements at high schools in the fall, will help students navigate every aspect of the college-going process. They will collaborate with principals, counselors and teachers to foster a college-going culture in their school and community, and will help identify the best fit and match between the students and their college choices.

MCAC at U-M is one of 14 constituent programs around the country that constitute the National College Advising Corps. The NCAC consortium of colleges and universities aims to increase the number of low-income, first-generation college students in the United States. Other NCAC affiliates include the University of California at Berkeley, Tufts University, Brown University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Missouri-Columbia, University of Illinois, University of Virginia, University of Alabama, University of Utah, University of Georgia, Franklin and Marshall College, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which serves as national headquarters.

“The University of Michigan is committed to seeing more young people in our state pursue a college education. The Michigan College Advising Corps is a natural fit with our longstanding efforts to strengthen the K-12 pipeline to higher education and prepare graduates for our state’s growing knowledge-based economy,” President Mary Sue Coleman says.

In the pilot year (2010–11), eight full-time MCAC college advisers will be placed at high schools in up to eight Michigan cities including Battle Creek, Benton Harbor, Grand Rapids, Jackson, Muskegon and Pontiac. The program will expand to 12 community schools in 2011–12, and 16 in 2012–13 and beyond.

MCAC is made possible by support from NCAC, contributors to which include The Kresge Foundation, the Jack Kent Cook Foundation, Lumina Foundation for Education and Bank of America.

“The Michigan College Advising Corps will provide some of the best and brightest recent college graduates with an extraordinary opportunity for service: building a strong college-going culture to help revitalize a state that lags the national average in postsecondary attainment,” says Kresge Foundation President and CEO Rip Rapson. “The Kresge Foundation is pleased to support the expansion of this innovative and well-regarded program to Michigan, and we commend the advisers for their willingness to serve.”

“MCAC will be a solid complement to the numerous educational outreach programs that are based at U-M,” says Nick Collins, executive director of the Center for Educational Outreach (CEO), which will be MCAC’s administrative base. “U-M’s commitment to MCAC, and to educational outreach programs as a whole, demonstrates our longstanding commitment to partnering with schools across the state to promote pathways and access to higher education opportunities.”

For more information about MCAC, contact Amy Prevo, assistant director of CEO, at 734-647-1402. Or go to



Leon Howard, hall director, University Housing, on giving back to the community: “(It) does not matter where you live but how far you are willing to reach.”