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


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.
      • 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


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