February 10, 2014

3:00-4:30 pm

Montcalm Area ISD


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

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