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New partnership expands college readiness resources

Posted at 8:38 AM, Sep 28, 2018

Ingham and Eaton county students now have more options to help them navigate the steps towards postsecondary education and career planning. News 10's Lora Painter spoke with people at The Capital Area College Access Network (CapCAN) to find out how its new partnership with Eaton County schools helps local students find the right path for them when it comes to their futures.

Treandra Thomas, a college advisor with CapCAN at the Wilson Talent Center in Mason, said, "Options are very important. A student who doesn't know options might just sit in their rooms, not go out, try to be social have fun, experience campus. They might not go out there and ask their advisor or not know what to ask their advisor. So when they come to me, I'm going to try to prepare them. Options are vital, especially for success in college."

Michele Strasz, the executive director of CapCAN, said, "We talk about college very broadly. It's not just a degree or diploma from a college or university. It also includes a credential from a vocational program or business program. We want to make sure that all those students know the steps to take, but also that there's support for them."

CapCAN is a community collaborative focused on making completion of postsecondary education an achievable reality for all residents in the capital area by fostering high educational aspirations through the alignment of institutions and resources. Five new Eaton partners have joined the regional board of directors to guide strategy and action. This school year, six Eaton area high schools will receive support to expand college access services including college advising, college application support, and FAFSA completion.

Over the past two years, Eaton Regional Education Service Agency (RESA) led a community conversation to determine what needs its students, parents, staff and partners have to increase postsecondary attainment.

CapCAN welcomed five new members of the Eaton community on its board of directors in May, and will maintain an Eaton action team that will annually review the college enrollment and completion outcomes to determine priorities for local partnership. CapCAN will support existing college advisers in Maple Valley, Eaton Rapids, and Relevant Academy to assist students in developing and carrying out their postsecondary plans.

For more information please visit or contact Michele Strasz, executive director, at