WSCC Students Advocate in Lansing
College Access Advocacy Day is an event sponsored by the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) in partnership with Michigan Associate of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (MACRAO), Michigan Association for College Admission Counseling (MACAC), Michigan Student Financial Aid Association (MSFAA), and Michigan Promise Zones Association.
Participants convened, met with legislators and policymakers, and rallied around postsecondary access and attainment. College Access Advocacy Day is open to anyone who has a passion for college access and postsecondary attainment. Participants included school counselors, local college access network coordinators and team members, higher education professionals, community-based organization leaders and staff, philanthropic leaders, and more.
MCAN provided breakfast, lunch and provided a list of talking points: support Michigan college access infrastructure, make college affordable, and increase early college credit. Director of Enrollment and Engagement, Annie Jacobson, stated “We were free to advocate for any other topics relevant to expanding college access. In our meetings we discussed expanding on-campus housing for community college students, increasing support for student basic needs (such as transportation, which is a barrier for many students in rural communities), and increasing access to college credit for high school student through programs such as CTE, dual enrollment, and early middle colleges such as ASM Tech.”
Four members of WSCC Student Senate attended, all of whom are current ASM Tech Early College students: Athena Dila, Margherita Hill, Gabriella Sutter, and Aidyn Terry. They met with Representative Joseph D. Fox of House District 101, Representative Curt VanderWall of House District 102, Senator Jon Bumstead of Senate District 32’s office, and Senator Rick Outman of Senate District 33. The group also sat in on a hearing of the Senate Education Committee in which they discussed Senate Bills 0161 and 0162.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for students to use a powerful advocacy tool, personal stories, on issues of their interest,” stated WSCC President Scott Ward. “This is also a fantastic occasion for student development through exercising those essential skills of effective communication, professionalism, and critical thinking.” Ward serves on the MCAN Board of Directors.
Two partners of the college were also at the event: Jody Maloney from the Mason County Promise Zone and Mason County College Access Network and Alyssa Merten from the Oceana County College Access Network.
Photo: L to R, Gabriella Sutter, Margherita Hill, Athena Dila, Aidyn Terry, Annie Jacobson