Avondale Academy gets Michigan College Access Network Support

Avondale Academy gets Michigan College Access Network Support from Near-Peers
Recent college Grads Add Personal Touch to Help Students Decide Their Futures

This school year, students in the Avondale School District alternative high school, Avondale Academy, have a unique opportunity to work with a College and Career Counselor provided by Michigan College Access Network (MCAN).

Avondale Academy Counselor, Janette Mow and AdviseMI counselor, Candace Holcomb

Avondale Academy Counselor, Janette Mow and AdviseMI counselor, Candace Holcomb

Candace Holcomb, joins Avondale Academy after receiving training for her counseling role during an intensive four-week program that brought together recent college graduates from MCAN partner colleges throughout the state of Michigan. Holcomb is charged with working with high school staff and counselors to foster a college-going atmosphere among the students. Her responsibilities will include working with students to set postsecondary education goals, preparing for college admissions exams, completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, securing financial aid, and enrolling in a higher education program.

Holcomb is part of a team of 55 counselors provided by MCAN through their program, AdviseMI which embeds near-peer college advisers into high schools with a mission of increasing the number of students who enter and complete postsecondary education. Launched in 2015, AdviseMI is lauded as a game-changer among those working with student populations who are not typically postsecondary education-bound. Avondale Academy’s history of going beyond the perception of what alternative high schools are thought to be by encouraging students to use the school as a stepping stone to postsecondary pursuits is a match for AdviseMI’s mission. Holcomb’s work will enhance the Academy’s stepping stone role by adding additional structure and resources to help students find their postsecondary education and career paths.

“The AdviseMI program builds on the opportunities MCAN has provided our students over the years and takes their support to a very personal level by placing Ms. Holcomb in the building and with the students,” said Avondale Academy Principal, Taylor Chapman. “She’s a near-peer who has recently been in the post high school trenches who can bring that perspective while guiding them in their choices and along a path of success. We’re very fortunate to have her on our team,” he added.


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