February 10, 2014

3:00-4:30 pm

Montcalm Area ISD

MINUTES

I.     Introductions

 

Michele Krick – First Bank
Pam Hotchkiss – ICISD AmeriCorps VISTA
Gabrielle Likave – MI-HRDI-MiWorks
Kelsea Solo – MSUCAC
Adam Ellsworth – United Way Montcalm-Ionia
Becky Powell – EduGuide
Shannon Tripp – Early College at MCC
Amy Rivera
Renee Hampton – M1 Community Credit Union
Dallas Bell – Student Retention Inc
Cari O’Connor – Great Start Collaborative
Deb Wagner – ICISD Director of Grants & Special Projects
Stephanie Sims – ICISD AmeriCorps VISTA

II.    Approval of past minutes

III.   Presentation

  • Early College – Shannon Tripp
    • Presented to Carson City –Crystal High School and Belding High School, to become participating schools (will hopefully be voting this month!).  Tonight, Shannon will be presenting to Lakeview High School’s board.  She is hoping to have about 50 kids on campus this fall, compared to 20 at the first of this year.  Ryan Wilson of MCC joins these presentations for MCC specific questions.  Word is definitely getting around about this program!
    • Students apply spring of their sophomore year and start the beginning of their junior year.  It is no cost, tuition & books.  Transportation is not provided.  Attending Early College does interfere with high school sports and extracurricular activities.
    • Promotional video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sssFPyPvD6o
    • What is the cost for the districts? FTE, $7,026. In year 4, districts may see some of that money recouped.
    • Is there is a point where you couldn’t take any more students?  Shannon wants to grow in small pieces.  Didn’t want to open it to 75 students and find it to be too much.  There is a potential to have several satellite campuses, such as the Greenville MCC campus, or perhaps something in Ionia.
    • The schools that are involved, are they replacing their dual enrollment with early college? EC is sold as part of the Options Tour.  They talk about dual enrollment and career center when they talk about EC with students.
    • Are summer classes covered in the tuition? Summer classes are also covered.  An associate’s degree, 1 year occupational certificated, etc… is covered.  It is recommended that the students DO a summer class.  Many students use this time to take a pre-req. Shannon has to have special permission from the state for these students to take classes before Labor Day.
    • Shannon mentioned, she has talked a couple parents out of sending their student to EC, such as a student whose main drive was to play on the HS football team, since EC’s schedule wouldn’t allow for that.
    • There are provisions set up in the contract for is a student finds that EC isn’t for them and needs to return to regular high school.
    • This program is parent and student driven.
    • FAFSA Progress – Becky Powell
      • Covers the last ten years:
        • Michigan has led the nation in low income students completing FAFSAs. This is because of College Goal Sunday!
        • The state has had an additional 500 million in Pell grants coming to Michigan students over the last ten years.
        • 9 out of 10 students that complete the FAFSA actually enroll in college.
        • Becky knows a number of students who would have not filled out the FAFSA if someone had not sat down with them to fill it out, and therefore not gone to college.   LCANs and the College Advising Corps has directly increased college enrollment directly because of doing this for their communities.
        • EduCash has a 62% FAFSA Completion rate, from Jan 1st til May.  This number doesn’t include those that completed the FAFSA after May.
  • None of our school districts are participating in the EduCash program. Schools can apply to participate in May.
  • All five spots will maintain their College Advising Corps members. An expansion was requested, but not granted due to funding. Our current members are staying on for another year!
  • Greenville is desperate for one.
  • Great Start Collaborative – Cari O’Connor
    • With the GSC, there are two separate boards and five areas of concern (Pediatric & Family Health, Family Support, Parenting Leadership, Child Care & Early Education, and Social & Emotional Health).  They are primarily a systems building initiative.
    • Works directly with parents, with services and knowledge
    • Preschool scholarship fund in Ionia County for those that do not qualify for Head Start because of income.  Starfish Scholarship Fund started due to a lack of quality preschool options in Ionia County.
    • The Great Start Collaborative is working on increasing free, quality preschool opportunities for both counties.  At the beginning of the school year, they started with 50 kids on the waiting list and is now down to about 10 now.
    • The parenting coalition looks to build skill in parents.  It consists of a group of volunteer parents, whom plans activities all over the counties.  Parents identify key issues in their local communities.
    • GSC keeps track of kindergarten round up, of kids who attended preschool.  Follows the students to see number of students who graduate, etc… even as far as property values (tend to be higher in communities that support quality preschools).
    • How many quality preschools are in the counties? Cari stated that the word “preschool” is a little fuzzy, as a licensed daycare that does worksheets can claim to be a preschool.  As for evidence and curriculum based, there are about 6 head start centers and 4 private.  It is difficult to get into head start due to income limits.  The incredible enrollment process also deters some parents who do qualify.
    • Kindergarten has stepped up their programing and students who had not attended preschool were severely lacking when they reached this level of education.  Teachers can tell on the first day as they walk through the door which students have attended preschool and those that didn’t.  Those that didn’t, kindergarten tended to be a significant negative experience.
    • All schools do have a great start preschool option, if you are income eligible.  Starting to work on tuition based slots for preschools in all the schools.
    • Portland Head Start was closed last year.  GSC made sure that all the kids from Portland were able to get a slot in other preschools.

IV.  MICAN News & Progress Update

  • FAFSA Workshop Dates – handout
  • Michigan One Student Summer Job Opportunity – handout
  • College Goal Sunday – February 9th
  • Heartlands Institute of Technology Open House – March 6th
  • Tri-folds (Portland HS, First Bank, Chemical Bank (Greenville, Stanton))

VI.  Discussion Items

  • Update on MICAN Data – MiSchoolData.org
    • Ionia Co.’s average ACT scores are down .2  Montcalm Co is up .3.  The state’s average is up .2  both counties are still below the state average.
    • Ionia’s ACT College-Ready Benchmarks have also decreased.  The biggest drop was 8 points in Reading.  Montcalm had a small rise in writing scores, but a decrease in the other topics as well.  The state’s averages stayed about the same as the previous year.  Both counties are still below state average.
    • Community college students who required remedial assistance is decreasing.  It was 63% in 2010-2011 and was 62% for 2011-2012.
    • We have increased the percentage of students utilizing the FAFSA.
      • Biggest increase was in Portland, with a 18.8 change.  The smallest increase was in Lakewood with a 1.3 increase.
  • There has been a slight decrease in the percentage of students who enrolled into college within 12 months of high school graduation.  Ionia Co is down 1.69% and Montcalm Co is down 0.01%.  The state average is also down 0.36%.
  • For the percentage of graduates enrolled, achieving at least 24 credits within 16 months, the state average is down almost 8%, Ionia is down almost 10%, Montcalm is also down about 8% from the previous year.
  • We do have an increase in percentage of students completing, graduating, and/or transferring from a community college. Graduation rates for both Associate’s degrees and Bachelor’s degrees have also increased.
  • Ionia has moved from 10.7% to 13.8% of the population ages 25 & over with a bachelor’s degree or higher since 2010.  Montcalm has moved from 10.8% to 12.8%.
  • State rankings: Ionia has moved from 77 to 62 out of 83 counties in degree attainment among 25-64 year olds.  Montcalm County has moved from 71 to 66.
  • Discussion Questions – Small Group Activity
    • Question 1: What are your perceptions of the greatest barriers students in our communities experience pursuing postsecondary education?
      • Responses:
        • Group #1: Family situation – basic needs, generational poverty, first generation students, anti-college culture, lack of job market knowledge
        • Group #2: Lack of transportation, academic issues, need remedial courses, parental involvement
        • Group #3: cost, lack of assistance, first generation students, transportation
  • Question 2: What ideas do you have for improving college going rates in our communities?
    • Responses:
      • Group #1: Upward Bound, Early College/market, Career fair-job market knowledge, Academics improvement, Financial management/literacy
      • Group #2: Transportation, parent involvement
      • Group #3: Satellite college campuses, college visits – middle school, full time college advisor corps members at each high school, reaching out to home school students
  • Question 3: What services/resources in our communities are you aware of that are related to going to college?
    • Responses:
      • Group #1: (no answer given)
      • Group #2: AmeriCorps VISTA, AmeriCorps, College Goal Sunday/FAFSA Nights, Career Day
      • Group #3: Great Start Collaborative, Early College, Career Center, Dual Enrollment, Head Start, Financial Aid
  • Question 4: What efforts are you interested in being a part of that will help increase the college going rate in our communities going forward (ex.: participating in a forum, attending a conference, providing a direct service, making referrals, sharing or collecting data, etc…)?
    • Responses:
      • Group #1: Being a role model of a young professional
      • Group #2: Continue current activities; provide service, participation
      • Group #3: Financial Aid workshops, professional volunteers at career days, tutoring
  • Question 5: Do you know of anyone else who should be included in these efforts?
    • Responses:
      • Group #1: (no answer given)
      • Group #2: short informational meetings with local businesses: M-Tec Ctr.
      • Group #3: Parent meetings; elementary, middle school and high school counselors; business owners; city leaders; private elementary schools
  • Question 6: Additional thoughts or comments?
    • Responses:
      • Group #1: Make it fancy =), Open the box
      • Group #2: (no answer given)
      • Group #3: (no answer given)

 

VI.    Other Business

  • National Student Clearinghouse
    • Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) pays for all of our districts’ school to participate in this program.  It tracks our students for up to 6 years after they graduate high school.  This data tells us how soon after graduating that they enrolled in college, if they’re persisting, how long it took them to attain their degree, etc… at a local level.
    • Normally the data is accessed directly in each school.  But there has been an issue with not knowing who has access to the data, and login information not being passed to another faculty when someone leaves/changes positions.  Both the ICISD and the MAISD are working with NSC to be able to pull down the information directly, along with the schools.
    • Currently, we are only missing two schools from Ionia County.  The MAISD point of contact believes he has all the data for Montcalm County schools.
    • The survey questions answered in the small groups at today’s meeting were also sent out to our high school counselors to find out where each school is standing, and to figure out what we can do to help improve our college-going rates.

VII.   Adjourn

Next Meeting:  3pm, Monday, March 10, 2014, Ionia County ISD

December 9, 2013
3:00-4:30 pm
Montcalm Area ISD

MINUTES

I.     Introductions

Becky Powell – EduGuide
Shannon Tripp – Early College at MCC
Pam Hotchkiss – AmeriCorps VISTA
Kylie Horrocks – MSUCAC
Bob K – Ionia ISD
Ryan Wilson – MCC
Dr. K – Montcalm ISD
Roger Thelen – UWMI
Stephanie Sims – AmeriCorps VISTA
Deb Wagner– Ionia ISD

Guest Speaker: Dallas Bell – Student Retention

II.    Approval of past minutes (from November 11, 2013 meeting)

 

III.   Presentation

  • Maury Geiger-Promise Scholarships.
    • Maury was unable to attend today’s meeting.
    • Dallas Bell-Student Retention Inc.
      • westmichiganvirtual.org
      • Giving at risk students a computer and letting them loose doesn’t work.
      • Our schools were competing with Connections K-12.  32% of their students succeed.
      • Bell’s program help local schools start a more blended learning environment to provide better support to at-risk students, especially drop-outs, or those unable to physically attend school (such as pregnant teenagers).
      • Schools get “dinged” for dropouts.  SRI gets list of dropouts now as a partnership.  Bell goes house to house all summer to hunt these kids down.
      • Works with students up to age 20.
      • Student Retention Inc is currently servicing about 370 students, including Escanaba.
      • Work with schools for three years before turning the whole program over to the schools completely.
      • THE COMING JOBS WAR – Book recommendation.
      • Researched why kids quit school: found that kids lose hope that they can graduate tends to be biggest reason for dropout. Second reason is they don’t understand why they need to graduate.
      • SRI reached out to local business near school to allow students to “work” to gain skills.  Helps keep kids off the street.  “Not one [business] said no.”
      • SRI only takes dropouts or those so deficient that the schools refer them.  Out of the 13 graduates, they all have jobs or are involved with further training.
      • For every kid that attends SRI, SRI pays for them to attend MCC/Cornerstone/etc…
      • SRI designed to do one class at a time, so a class is finished in three weeks, enabling students to put entire focus on one subject at a time, instead of juggling six classes.  On site 5-10 hours a week and works at home as well.  More of a compliment to Alternative Ed.  Works on career plan individually, with MCC etc… to get them into postsecondary school.
      • Locations: Greenville, Escanaba, Montabella, Central Montcalm, Ionia, Vestaburg, Tri County Area, and Lakeview.
      • SRI will have a new location downtown Ionia on January 15th.
      • Ryan Wilson-College Goal Sunday
        • College Goal Sunday, help with FAFSA.  Feb 9th 2-4pm @ MCC Main Campus.
        • LCC, GRCC, Alma College are also having an event. Freemont.  CMU has done it in the past.
        • Open college with volunteers.  Will need volunteers and will have food there.

IV.  MICAN News & Progress Update

  • MICAN Bus
    • Bus is back and working, though nothing is scheduled yet.
    • Offered to Ryan for College Goal Sunday at MCC
    • Trifold Available for Display
      • VISTAs have been working on Trifolds to show at tabling events to explain MICAN and create more college awareness.
      • Hoping to be able to showcase in local businesses as well.
      • Bell requested brochures.
      • FAFSA Training
        • Becky Powell has been training the Ionia AmeriCorps VISTAs on FAFSA completion.
        • The VISTAs will be able to help with College Goal Sunday, and schools’ FAFSA nights, and may even host our own FAFSA night.
        • You can always get a pell grant, no matter when you file FAFSA.
        • To get the most money awarded, applicants need to submit by March 1st, tentatively.
        • There has not been any notification if the date will change due to IRS dates changing because of the government shutdown.
        • If you’ve had your taxes down for at least two weeks (electronic), FAFSA can retrieve tax information from the IRS and the students will not need to be verified.
        • If the FAFSA is filled out with estimated numbers, they will automatically need to be verified.
        • Kylie requested FASFA training from Becky and the VISTAs.
        • Deb confirmed that we can set something up.
        • TV Partnership
          • Partnership with LIN Media, WOTV4, EightWest, and more.
          • Deb was invited to be a part of their Live Local and Give Local program.  She has been able to raise half a year’s worth of TV Time, Online Time, and Social Media.
          • Jordan Carson will come out and report our events, advertise to help create awareness, etc…
          • We are looking for events that are happening around our programing that Jordan can come out and promote.  MICAN is one of those.
          • They cover 14 counties, WOTV4 targets women 24-64.  WoodTV will have our sessions on EightWest and online.  Since we are an education organization, no other education organization will be accepted into this partnership.
          • We are still looking for investors.  The Ionia Chamber of Commerce is on board, the Community Foundation in Ionia County.  Deb will be meeting with investors next week to figure out how to make sure everyone gets enough time on TV.  Deb will be meeting with Montcalm Chamber soon.
          • We will be looking at emphasizing the youth view.
          • Bell suggested getting a hold of Tool & Die.
          • LIN Media will be tracking the data and impressions to know how effective this is for us.
          • Roger suggested contacting the gas station on the corner of 66 and 57, as they have little TVs on their pumps and we could probably get a blerp in there.
          • Kylie suggested contacting Schwartz in Ionia for use of their scrolling message board.

VI.  Discussion Items

  • Community Involvement-How can we involve more sectors in MICAN?
    • Deb has challenged the Steering Committee to bring new people to the next meeting to bring more awareness to MICAN and to bring in new ideas.  We are looking for community members, business owners, faith-based personnel, people outside of the education sector.  If we want to bring about a change in our college-going culture, we need more outside influences to help get this going.
    • Pam invited Pete McGowen, the Pastor from her church, and Michelle from First Bank.
    • Stephanie invited Sheri Scheurer, a business owner and Board of Education member, and Jennifer Dood, a business owner.
    • Roger suggested Pastor Nichols at the First Congregations Church in Stanton.  Roger will invite him to the February meeting.
    • Bell has a few business prospects that could eventually draw in even more interest.
    • Dr. K suggested contacting hospitals, Sparrow.  Spectrum Health has a job training program for cognitively impaired students, called Project Search.  He can try to find someone from there to come to the next meeting.
    • Bob suggested Laurie Tjalsma (sp?) from there.
    • Deb would like some representation from the local community boards.  Brenda Greenhoe was brought up.
    • It was suggested to bring in someone from the Ag sector.  VISTAs will further investigate.
    • Bell suggested Michigan Works, JAG program.
    • Ryan might be able to contact someone from MSU.
    • Shannon suggested someone from the prison/corrections sector.  Bob said he can check on who might be available.
    • Becky suggested someone from Meijer or WalMart.
    • To go in line with Criminal Justice, it was suggested to contact Public Safety and the State Police.
    • Kylie suggested the local Literacy Group.
    • Roger suggested talking to Candy from the Chamber regarding someone she may suggest.

VI.    Other Business

  • National Student Clearinghouse
    • John Milewski from the Ionia ISD tech department has been working with the VISTAs and the Ionia district schools to enable the ISD to be able to directly pull the NSC reports, instead of relying on the schools to pull it and send it to us.  Tom from MAISD has been contacted to set up the MAISD in a similar manner.  We need these reports in order to obtain funding.
    • Becky is working on getting additional data regarding FAFSA completion that we can use for tracking progress.

VII.   Adjourn

Next Meeting:  3pm, Monday, January 13, Ionia County ISD, Grand River Room

 

Monday, November 11, 2013
3:00-4:30 pm
Ionia County ISD

MINUTES

I.     Introductions

Kylie Horrocks – College Advisor
Deb Wagner – Ionia ISD
Roger Thelen – United Way
Dr. K – Montcalm ISD
Bob K – Ionia ISD
Pam Hotchkiss – VISTA
Stephanie Sims – VISTA

II.    Approval of past minutes (from August 9, 2013 meeting)

Roger made the motion to approve the minutes, Deb seconded and Bob supported.  Minutes passed.

III.   MICAN News and Progress Update

  • College Fair: Went really well.  Belding High School hosted the event. About 50 college and military reps tabled the event.  About 600 Ionia County students attended.  Montcalm wasn’t necessarily invited due to the MCC college fair the following week.  Students were able to visit with college reps, and then spent a half hour a Michigan One rep spoke on financial literacy and listened to a panel of college students with a Q&A.
    • Kylie spoke on Ionia attending, she estimates that 40-50% of Ionia students that attended were first gen students, and this event was open to sophomore as well as juniors and seniors.  There seemed to be a good cross section of students in attendance.  Her students were engaged with the college panel and asking questions.
    • Bus Issues: Something electrical, not the batteries.  Heartlands has agreed to work on the bus for us to see if they can figure out why there is no charge, even on new batteries.
    • College Application Week:  College Admissions reps attended Ionia.  19 students accepted Ferris.  7 to Central.  11 to Grand Valley.  Kylie even encouraged the teachers to talk of their college experiences, to help encourage kids to be excited about college interest.  There was an application/scholarship workshop on Wednesday, and three local CCs came to help.  With just LCC and MCC, 88 applications were submitted.  Sentinel Standard wrote an article about the experience on Friday.
    • We are starting to get requests for FAFSA support, but are waiting to see how the Government Shutdown will be affecting FAFSA.  Verification won’t go through til the first or second week of February this year. Portland would like us on Feb 19th.

V.    MICAN Needs

  • National Clearinghouse  Data: We are unable to get this data and it affects the grants we can apply for.  Deb is checking on MCAN about our schools subscriptions.  Several ISDs are pulling information directly, and we have John Milewski seeing what he can do to get us to be able to be in the same spot, so we can pull data at the ISD level with Ionia and Montcalm to prevent this data log.
    • Kylie suggest talking to Demi and Kelsey about getting their NCS data.   She thinks they should already have this data in hand.  Kylie will see about passing her data on to us.
    • College Swag:  Pam has been working on college materials from the different Michigan colleges and universities, as requested by Beth Mason, to be able to display at different locations and events.  She has so far received decals, but not much more.
      • Dr. K suggested contacting the local bookstores, such as the Spartan Books stores, since that is what they specialize in.
      • Bob K suggested talking to tech articulations?

VI.  Discussion Items

  • Data Update: We’ve been trying to gather up-to-date data.  We are starting to Bachelor’s Degree attainment creep up, but still well below the state average of 35%.  We have just started to get into MI School Data.  We are seeing a bit of dip in student numbers in both Ionia and Montcalm Counties, which is something to take into consideration when looking at the numbers of students enrolled.  The state itself has taken a dip in college registration as well.  Ionia is about 52.36% (2011-2012) and Montcalm is 49.62% (2011-2012).  The dips in registration could be due to population decrease, and/or increase in college costs.  Our  FAFSA numbers are moving in the right direction, which indicates that the dip we are seeing must be due to population decrease.  62% of jobs in 2018 will require a postsecondary education, leaving a gap in employment for those that do not have a college degree.  We will continue to break down the data by population specifics as well.
    • Sups want to see the percentage by degree (associates, bachelors, military, etc)

VI.    Other Business

  • Pam was able to attend the Greenville Expo on behalf of MICAN and spoke to about 100 kids one-on-one.  Kids there were very eager about the information she was able to present to them.
    • Deb isn’t sure that we’re hitting the parents to encourage the change in culture, as one of our goals.  We are getting the kids, but the parents aren’t able to see the value to send their first generation students to college.
    • Bob confirmed that accessing them as a group is rather difficult.
    • Dr. K asked if we can access them through the courts, or DHS, or other community services.  Pam suggested Community Mental Health.  Dr. K suggested WalMart to target parents, putting a body in one of their rental spots to get the information to the adults.  Deb reminded us that we don’t have the money, and we don’t have data to reapply for the LCAN grants.  We would have gotten a $25,000.  There isn’t necessarily a deadline for this grant.
      • Dr. K hates to leave the money on the table, when the solution seems to easy, that we just need usernames and passwords, and seeks to find something to get us the information we need to get us this data.  Deb will check to see if it’s too late to get the data.  She will check with MCAN to see where we are at and check to see what exactly our current money is at.
      • We will also need to look at alternative funding sources
      • Guest Speaker-Maury Geiger-Promise Scholarships: has committee that attended a Promise Net Conference last week in Kalamazoo.  It is a national program.  The Promise was implemented in Kzoo 8 years ago.  They are looking to make Saranac a Promise school.  There are different types of Promise schools, Kzoo being a Cadillac of this.  They are looking to have MICAN assistance in all of this, especially with FAFSA completion, which we already do.
        • Deb brought up that high school that have a college advising core member have high FAFSA completion rates.
        • Dr. K suggested that parents tell their kids that they don’t’ need to fill out the FAFSA because they know they’re above the income limit, not aware the students could be eligible for something.
        • Kylie brought up that FAFSA completion is sometimes required for some scholarships, regardless of eligibility.
        • Dr. K: When Don Burns looked at it, it cost only 100k a year, a kid in Montcalm County could attend MCC for free, after exhausting their Financial Aid.  They then hit the roadblock of the 10 Promise Zones and were unable to get in the program.  Dr. K is still kicking around the idea to see if they can bring the Promise to Montcalm.
        • Maury is the sup for Saranac Public Schools.  They do not currently have a community business partner in this endeavor.  Saranac gave away $100k in scholarships last year alone.  Looking at different partnerships, and match dollar scholarships.  Looking for more non-merit based.  Promise money would be an addition to pell grants.  Students not eligible for pell grants could receive more.

VII.   Adjourn

 

Next Meeting:  3pm, Monday December 9th, MAISD: East View Room