WSCC Joins Statewide Basic Needs Initiative to Support Students
West Shore Community College has joined a statewide initiative to help students connect with resources to support basic needs.
Recently, the Michigan Community College Association (MCCA) was awarded a $442,000 grant to launch the initiative focused on improving student completion and success by addressing economic instability among students including access to food, housing, transportation, childcare and other basic needs.
The Michigan – Building Economic Stability Today (MI-BEST) effort is funded by a grant from the ECMC Foundation as part of its Basic Needs Initiative, designed to address and alleviate basic needs insecurity among students.
The initiative will kick-off in January and continue through June 2022. WSCC will be forming a team of college personnel and community leaders in January to support the statewide initiative.
“We know that the lack of access to basic needs is frequently the reason that students leave college,” said Erica Lee Orians, executive director of the Michigan Center for Student Success at MCCA, “West Shore Community College’s participation in this initiative is a critical component of our student success efforts.”
National survey findings reported that 45 percent of respondents had been food insecure in the past 30 days, 56 percent had been housing insecure in the previous year and 17 percent had been homeless during that year.
The Michigan Center for Student Success is leading the initiative for the MCCA and will partner with nationally-recognized organizations including the National Center for Inquiry and Improvement and Trellis Research along with Michigan-based organizations including the Michigan Association of United Ways, MiBridges, and Public Policy Associates to support Michigan’s participating community colleges.
“We have focused on a number of initiatives to improve student completion at West Shore and MI-BEST is another opportunity for the college to eliminate barriers to student success,” said Dr. Mark Kinney, vice president of academics and student services. “We are grateful for the partnership from the ECMC Foundation and the Michigan Community College Association and their visionary leadership to address economic instability to improve student success.”
The initiative was created in response to research from the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice (Hope Center), California State University, MDRC and the National Bureau of Economic Research, showing that basic needs insecurity is prevalent among students at two- and four-year campuses and impacts students’ persistence and graduation outcomes.
The Michigan Center for Student Success, founded in 2011, serves as a hub connecting leadership, administrators, faculty, and staff in their emerging and ongoing efforts to improve student outcomes, emphasizing linkages between practice, research, and policy. The Center has led statewide initiatives focused on reengaging adults, developmental education, transfer, veterans, and advising. The Center is part of the 16-state Student Success Center Network working with over half of the community colleges across the nation.
ABOUT THE MICHIGAN COMMUNITY COLLEGE ASSOCIATION
The Michigan Community College Association fosters collaboration, connection, and partnerships among the 28 Michigan public community colleges and their stakeholders. The MCCA provides strong legislative and public advocacy in Lansing and throughout Michigan, works to improve the image and credibility of community colleges, and advances numerous shared initiatives through the Michigan Center for Student Success, Michigan Colleges Online, and the Michigan New Jobs Training Program.
ABOUT ECMC FOUNDATION
ECMC Foundation is a Los Angeles-based, nationally focused foundation whose mission is to inspire and to facilitate improvements that affect educational outcomes—especially among underserved populations—through evidence-based innovation. It is one of several affiliates under the ECMC Group enterprise based in Minneapolis. ECMC Foundation makes investments in two focus areas: College Success and Career Readiness; and uses a spectrum of funding structures, including strategic grantmaking and program-related investments, to invest in both nonprofit and for-profit ventures. Working with grantees, partners and peers, ECMC Foundation’s vision is for all learners to unlock their fullest potential. Learn more about ECMC Foundation by visiting www.ecmcfoundation.org and ECMC Group by visiting www.ecmcgroup.org.