The Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) has awarded the Oceana College Access Network with a $20,000 Continuous Improvement Grant to support expansion and improved data collection practices.

The grant will allow the Oceana College Access Network to revamp its mission, guiding practices and long-term goals to center the organization’s efforts as it expands its reach in the community. Additionally, funds will be used to review the organization’s data collection methods to better measure the success of the network, scan for assets in the community and identify other community-based leadership organizations for potential partnerships.

“At MCAN, the way we do our work is defined by the role that we play in the broader college access movement,” said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, MCAN executive director. “This grant was awarded to the Oceana College Access Network for their cultivation of a strong, community-focused college access network that serves low-income students, first-generation college-going students and students of color. We couldn’t be prouder to support them and their work.”

The Oceana College Access Network received MCAN’s 2019 Flagship Award, due in part to its focus on education equity for Latinx students.

“Improving access to college has to start at the community level,” said Alyssa Merten, coordinator for the Oceana College Access Network. “We believe in helping the students in Oceana County succeed by pursuing education after high school, and it’s wonderful to have MCAN’s support as we work to expand our network and resources to champion more students.”

Continuous Improvement Grants are awarded to communities who are working to build sustainability, leverage local investments and grow the college access movement. To receive funding, local college access networks propose a project that addresses an identified area for improvement within their network. The projects often focus on improving resources and service capacity in the community to increase college readiness, participation and completion.

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