• Graduate students and recent graduates of Eastern Michigan University help middle and high school students prepare for college

    Hundreds of students in local districts receive coaching and tips for success

    by Geoff Larcom, Published October 26, 2015

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    YPSILANTI – It’s College Application Week in the state of Michigan, and a group of Eastern Michigan University students are busy helping area middle school and high school students prepare for college.

    The students are part of two special programs Eastern is involved in: the EMU College Coaches Program and Advise MI.

    EMU College Coaches

    EMU College Coaches are full-time (20 hours a week) graduate assistants who are studying at EMU in programs such as Higher Education Student Affairs, and Counseling.


    EMU graduate student Alexandra Smith, right, works with students at Ann Arbor Pathways To Success High School.

    The students for this academic year are:

    • William Horton Anderson and Amber Hawkins, working with Milan High School.

    • Evelyn Galvan, working with Ypsilanti New Tech.

    • Alexandra Smith, working with Ann Arbor Pathways To Success High School.

    Their charge is to support area students in certain schools as they make the transition from high school to postsecondary education. The College Coaching graduate assistants focus their efforts on low-income, first-generation students enrolled in schools that don’t offer extensive post secondary counseling programs.

    The College Corps is funded and managed by several entities, including the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN), Washtenaw Futures (the local College Access Network) and EMU’s Office of Academic Service Learning, with support from the Eastern Michigan University Graduate School and partnering area school districts. The graduate students are trained at the state’s MCAN office, where they are provided a yearlong framework of activities.

    Advise MI

    MCAN, in partnership with Eastern and several other colleges and universities, launched Advise MI, in which recent graduates from EMU serve as advisers in high schools with lower-college attendance rates. The Advise MI students work alongside high school counselors to support students as they work on transitioning from high school to college.

    This year’s advisers and their schools are:

    • Elise Smith, an April 2015 graduate, working with Belleville High School.

    • Marcia Mollet, an April 2014 graduate, working with John Glenn High School.

    • Courtney Morris, an April 2015 graduate, working with River Rouge High School.

    “These advisers, both our graduate students and our recent graduates, understand the college-going process because they’ve recently navigated that path,” said Jessica Alexander, professor and director of Academic Service-Learning at EMU. “They are an excellent example of how you can make a difference by personally helping a student understand how to pursue higher education.”