WSCC delegation attending student success summit.

September 17, 2014

VICTORY TWP. – A delegation from West Shore Community College is joining over 360 representatives from Michigan’s 28 community colleges for the 2014 Student Success Summit, hosted by the Michigan Community College Association’s Michigan Center for Student Success, on Sept. 18 and 19, at Michigan State University in East Lansing.

The two-day Summit is an annual event featuring presentations from national experts, community college practitioners, and other partners from the K-12, universities, and business community.

The keynote address will be from Gretchen Schmidt, Program Director at Jobs for the Future on “Improving Student Success through Guided Pathways.”  The Summit agenda also includes 32 different discussion sessions on topics ranging from using technology to engage students, aligning curriculum with K-12, leveraging analytics to improve student success, and strategies for serving the least prepared and most vulnerable students.

“There is national momentum regarding the need to increase college attainment in this country,” said Mike Hansen, President of the MCCA.  “With roughly half the undergraduates in Michigan being served by community colleges, we are a critical component to reaching these attainment goals.  Our priority is on identifying and implementing strategies that ensure students succeed in higher education and are prepared to make meaningful contributions to the workforce and their communities.”

Since the creation of the Michigan Center for Student Success (MCSS) in 2011, there has been a positive trend in student outcomes based on data submitted to the Michigan Education Dashboard.  Following students over a six-year period (2007 – 2012), data shows there has been an 8% increase in the number of students who are graduating with a degree or transferring to a four-year institution.

“This is a promising trend suggesting that the collective efforts of the community colleges and the Michigan Center for Student Success are having an impact.  But with only 52% of community college students graduating with a degree or transferring, there is still much more work to be done,” Hansen added.

Chris Baldwin, the Executive Director of the MCSS, said, “The Student Success Summit is an important opportunity for community college innovators to come together with their peers, national experts, and other education partners to share promising practices and puzzle through collective challenges to improving student outcomes.”  With partnership and support from The Kresge Foundation, the Summit is an “opportunity to learn from each other, share what’s working and discuss what we can do better,” according to Baldwin.

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