Left to right- First Generation College Students Mackanzie Barnes and Autumn Webster
Baker College of Cadillac has utilized the $10,000 Covid-19 Response Grant funded by Michigan College Access Network (MCAN), to create programming in support of high school students who will matriculate to become first generation college students.
MCAN provides grant funding to direct service programs and high schools for innovative work and support for those helping place college within reach for more Michigan youth. According to their website, “By encouraging Michigan residents to earn postsecondary certificates and degrees, we not only help them earn more and promote their well-being — we also strengthen Michigan’s talent pool, retain and attract businesses to the state, and stimulate Michigan’s economy in the process.”
The Baker College First Generation College Student Program launched in 2020. It was developed with the following objectives leading to the ultimate goal of college enrollment: creating a college/career mindset, improving communication skills, teaching self-advocacy and self-awareness, developing resilience and perseverance, and building social capital.
The program spans three to four years, depending on whether the high school student is a freshman or a sophomore when accepted. It includes a half day of programming each month during the academic year, a minimum of one individual meeting with an advisor each semester to discuss interests and educational pathways, and a scholarship to Baker College worth up to $2,000 per year (maximum of $8,000) toward tuition, books, and/or housing upon successful completion of the program.
“The grant funding covered year one of the program, and we made the decision to fund its continuation along with providing the scholarships for the students that complete the program,” said Kristin Hathaway, Baker College of Cadillac DSA and author of the grant proposal. “Baker College has dedicated $40,000 plus to fund the ongoing scholarships portion of the program.”
The First Generation Program, which currently services the Lake City, Mesick, McBain and Cadillac/Cadillac Innovation school districts, has the potential to add more schools and up to 15 new students for the 2022-23 year.For more information on the First Generation College Student Program, students, counselors, principals and superintendents should reach out to Kristin Hathaway at [email protected].