LANSING, Mich. — Lansing Community College announced that it will join a statewide initiative to help students connect with resources to support basic needs. The Michigan Community College Association was awarded a $442,000 grant to launch the initiative focused on improving student completion and success by addressing economic instability among students including access to food, housing, transportation, childcare and other basic needs.
The Michigan – Building Economic Stability Today (MI-BEST) effort is funded by a grant from the ECMC Foundation as part of its Basic Needs Initiative [ecmcfoundation.org], designed to address and alleviate basic needs insecurity among students.
The initiative will kick-off in January 2020 and continue through June 2022. LCC will begin by forming a team of college personnel and community leaders in January.
National survey findings [hope4college.com] reported that 45 percent of respondents had been food insecure in the past 30 days, 56 percent had been housing insecure in the previous year and 17 percent had been homeless during that year.
“We know that the lack of access to basic needs is frequently the reason that students leave college,” said Erica Lee Orians, executive director of the Michigan Center for Student Success at the Michigan Community College Association, “LCC’s participation in this initiative is a critical component of our student success efforts.”
The Michigan Center for Student Success [mcca.org] is leading the initiative for the MCCA and will partner with nationally-recognized organizations including the National Center for Inquiry and Improvement [ncii-improve.com] and Trellis Research [trelliscompany.org] along with Michigan-based organizations including the Michigan Association of United Ways [uwmich.org], MiBridges [newmibridges.michigan.gov], and Public Policy Associates [publicpolicy.com] to support Michigan’s participating community colleges.
“We have focused on a number of initiatives to improve student completion at LCC and MI-BEST is another opportunity for the college to eliminate barriers to student success.” said Ronda Miller, Dean of Student Affairs. “We are grateful for the partnership from the ECMC Foundation and the Michigan Community College Association and their visionary leadership to address economic instability to improve student success.”
The initiative was created in response to research from the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice [hope4college.com] (Hope Center), California State University [now.humboldt.edu], MDRC [mdrc.org] and the National Bureau of Economic Research [nber.org], showing that basic needs insecurity is prevalent among students at two- and four-year campuses and impacts students’ persistence and graduation outcomes.
The Michigan Center for Student Success, founded in 2011, serves as a hub connecting leadership, administrators, faculty, and staff in their emerging and ongoing efforts to improve student outcomes, emphasizing linkages between practice, research, and policy. The Center has led statewide initiatives focused on reengaging adults, developmental education, transfer, veterans, and advising. The Center is part of the 16-state Student Success Center Network [jff.org] working with over half of the community colleges across the nation.
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