Boyne City schools working to improve college readiness

Boyne City High School is one of 100 schools across the state selected by Michigan College Access Network to receive a $5,000 grant that will boost efforts to help students pursue education beyond high school.


One hundred thirty-nine schools applied for the competitive Reach Higher grant in its first year.

The goal of the program is to encourage a high school strategy to build a college-going culture and improve college enrollment outcomes.

“With this grant, we’ll be able to create a strategy to improve the number of our students furthering their postsecondary education,” said Principal Karen Jarema. “This grant program will spark change necessary to increase college readiness and participation.”

The Reach Higher grant is a new grant program administered by the Michigan College Access Network.

The Reach Higher high school grantees will address four essential elements of a high school strategy, including:

• Establish Postsecondary Advisory Council, a dedicated team to lead the college access strategy, including: administrators, counselors, college advisers, teachers and members of community based-organizations.

• Reach Higher High School Self-Assessment: Each PAC will assess current effectiveness of college and career readiness counseling, support, and programming.

• Triad of College Access Events: Each PAC will plan and host college access events for seniors, including College Application Week in the fall, College Cash Campaign in the winter and College Decision Day in the spring.

• Postsecondary Success Asset Mapping: Each PAC will evaluate the school’s college-going culture using a research-based survey and set of tools.

Boyne City’s Postsecondary Advisory Council consists of Boyne City High School’s Principal, Karen Jarema, Boyne City High School’s Counselor Cathy Brown, Char-Em ISD’s K-12 Career/College Readiness Specialist Kelly Johnson and Boyne City High School’s Michigan State University College Adviser Kaitlin Secord.

All efforts are highly supported by the Local College Access Network, specifically, the Char-Em College Access Alliance.

MCAN’s overarching mission is to improve the college-going rate in Michigan by the year 2025, the organization aims to boost the number of Michigan residents with postsecondary degrees or certificates to 60 percent.

Our state has recently experienced a modest increase in its college attainment rate from 37.4 percent to 38.4 percent; however Michigan’s rate lags behind the national average of 40 percent.

“The inaugural year of the Reach Higher grant is important momentum we’re hoping to build across the state,” said Brandy Johnson, executive director of the Michigan College Access Network. “We are pleased to recognize the significant contributions these 100 schools are making to improve the number of students furthering their postsecondary education.”

As the leader in the state’s college access movement, MCAN’s mission is to increase Michigan’s college readiness, participation and completion rates, particularly among low-income students, first-generation college going students, and students of color.

Michigan has recently experienced a modest increase in our college attainment rate—from 37.4 percent of 25-to-64-year-olds possessing at least an associate’s degree, to 38.4 percent.

However, Michigan’s rate still lags behind the national average of 40 percent.

It is MCAN’s goal to increase Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate to 60 percent by the year 2025.

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