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


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



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