Michigan will be joining Complete College America, an organization aimed at increased postsecondary education rates, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced on Wednesday.
Complete College America works with states to help improve the education system and break down socioeconomic barriers for higher education.
“Every Michigander deserves a path to a good-paying job that they can support themselves and their families on,” said Whitmer in a statement. “When we break down barriers, especially for low-income students, first-generation college-going students, and students of color, we can grow our economy, close the skills gap and ensure every family can thrive here in Michigan.”
Whitmer announced a statewide goal of having 60 percent of Michigan residents with a postsecondary credential by 2030 earlier this year.
Just under 30 percent of those older than 25 have a Bachelor’s degree or higher in Michigan, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau. In addition, roughly one in three students complete a credential from a community college or transfer from a community college to a four-year school within three years.
Whitmer also announced two financial aid programs: the MI Opportunity Scholarship and the Michigan Reconnect Program.
The MI Opportunity Scholarship will ensure all high school graduates have a path to attend community college tuition-free, as well as make sure that a four-year degree is affordable for low and middle-income families. The Michigan Reconnect Program will offer free skills training program through community college to working-age adults.
The announcement received support from the Michigan College Access Network, which aims to increase college readiness and completion in Michigan.
“By joining a national organization that promotes increased college access and completion rates, Michigan, as a state, is placing a priority on postsecondary opportunity for all,” said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, the MCAN interim director in a statement. “We stand ready to support Michigan’s higher education institutions in implementing the research-based strategies of CCA, including grants, training and advocacy.”
MCAN has also committed to the goal of increasing the percentage of Michigan residents with postsecondary education to 60 percent.
– – –
Jordyn Pair is a reporter with Battleground State News and The Michigan Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair. Email her at [email protected]