KND, CASMAN to share MCAN college and career adviser

MANISTEE — Ask any student what grade level passes the quickest for them and the general answer is their senior year of high school.

Abate

The reason for things moving fast that year is most students must make decisions about their future plans. Because that can be a stressful time for most students, something that has been helping many school districts is having a MCAN (Michigan College Access Network) College and Career Adviser in their building. This year the Kaleva Norman Dickson School District and CASMAN Academy have teamed up to hire Morgan Abate in that role to help assist their students in preparing for the next step in their lives.

CASMAN director Shelly VanVoorst said the position has worked well at CASMAN in the past few years.

“After having someone in that position and seeing the success we had, it’s nice to know we have someone back this year,” said VanVoorst. “She can check with the seniors to make sure their FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is done, getting scholarship information to them and helping them with anything else when they need it.”

Abate is originally from South Lyon and graduated from Aquinas College at Grand Rapids where she studied history and political science.

“I just learned a lot about community at Aquinas and it inspired me to become an Americorps member and I just fell in love with this AdviseMI program,” said Abate. “I was really happy to get Brethren and CASMAN because my grandparents live in Beulah, so I love the Northern Michigan communities. That worked out well for me.”

VanVoorst said they saw an increase in the number of students planning for their future because of this program.

“We saw great improvement in numbers from having that position and it just gets kids more excited about making a decision about what they are going do after high school — be it college, a trade school or the military,” said VanVoorst. “They have the opportunity to explore their options in depth with her and I am just glad we can do that again this year.”

Abate said she will also be working with college representatives to come and visit Brethren and CASMAN schools to meet with students. She also will be working on all the traditional things like the College Application Week and FAFSA programs to make sure students have all their paperwork in order.

The CASMAN director said that by working together, the two schools are able to cut their costs for that position.

“We work well together and part of the cost is paid for by MCAN in the first two years with it slowly putting the funding back on the schools with the intent of making it a more permanent piece after the grant money is done,” said VanVoorst. “This year it is covered about two-thirds by MCAN and we are picking up the rest.”

Abate will be working three days a week with Brethren (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) and two days (Tuesday and Thursday) at CASMAN.

“I am looking forward to it,” said Abate.

 

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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