Grant to help Marquette-Alger Co. adults access college

MARQUETTE – The Marquette Alger College Access Network (MACAN) has received a $50,000 startup grant from Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) to begin implementation of a college and career access strategy with the overarching goal of increasing the postsecondary education attainment rates within Marquette and Alger counties.

The Marquette-Alger College Access Network was one of five Michigan communities awarded a startup grant. The network will establish a shared agenda, common metrics and report annual progress on a local college access and success dashboard.  The network is committed to developing and executing data-driven collaborative action plans based on community priority areas.  Schools currently participating in the network include Marquette Area Public Schools, Gwinn Area Community Schools, Munising Public Schools, Burt Township School and North Star Public School Academy. All schools in Marquette and Alger counties are welcome and encouraged to participate.

“We’re excited to coordinate and strengthen services so that more of our young people – especially those that might not otherwise consider education beyond high school – get into, and succeed in, the postsecondary education that will help them be successful in life,” said Linda Remsburg, Youth Development Associate with Great Lakes Center for Youth Development which has led the planning of the network. “It might be a four-year degree, but it could also be a two-year degree or credential from a trade school or other accredited program. The days of finding a job right out of high school that will support a family are pretty much gone.”

Local College Access Networks such as MACAN set goals focused on student success, establish a system of data gathering and analysis, report results, and hold partners accountable for performance. These LCANs coordinate programs, services and resources that lower the barriers preventing students, particularly low-income and first-generation college going students and students of color, from pursuing postsecondary educational opportunities.

“This was our most competitive round of LCAN grants to date. The caliber of the proposals submitted made it extremely difficult to decide which communities to fund,” said Brandy Johnson, executive director of the Michigan College Access Network. “Each local college access network plays a critical role in sparking systematic change necessary to increase college readiness, participation and completion within their community.”

Additional startup grant recipients include Career and College Access Network of Newaygo County, Gratiot Isabella College Access Network, Lenawee College Access Network, and Success Alliance of Washtenaw.

Michigan has recently experienced a modest increase in its college attainment rate — from 35.6 percent of 25-to-64-year-olds possessing at least an associate’s degree, to 36.4 percent. However, Michigan’s rate still lags behind the national average of 37.9 percent. It is MCAN’s goal to increase Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate to 60 percent by the year 2025. With the newest planning grant recipients, MCAN now supports 51 local college access networks across the state. Funding from the State of Michigan made this round of MCAN grants possible. To see the entire list of Planning, Startup and Collective Impact grant recipients, visit