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April is Community College Month

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has proclaimed April as Community College Month.

The proclamation is designed to recognize the value community colleges play in offering valuable, experiential and flexible educational opportunities, and closing the skills gap across the state.

“Community colleges make learning affordable and accessible for everyone,” said Brandy Johnson, president of the Michigan Community College Association Michigan Community College Association. “Whether it’s the university student who takes summer classes to save on tuition, or the single parent who works while earning a nursing degree, the flexibility and adaptability offered at a community college is unmatched.”

Michigan is home to 31 community and tribal colleges across the state. The educational resources at these colleges provide practical job training as well as affordable tuition to ensure the prosperity of Michigan’s workforce for years to come.

In recent years, community colleges have become an integral part of Michigan’s overall economic development strategy, showing innovation and flexibility in developing curriculums that are responsive to their local economy’s needs. Partnerships with area businesses help create academic and workforce training programs designed specifically to fill the needs of employers and to qualify students for jobs that pay living wages.

A few facts involved the state’s community colleges:

  • 280,000 Michiganders are enrolled at the state’s community colleges.
  • 19,900 degrees and 7,000 certificates are granted each year.
  • 52% of students who earn bachelor’s degrees have completed courses at a community college.
  • Community college enrollment saw a 3.7% bump last year.
  • Michigan is a top 10 state for transfer rates.

“Last year, community college enrollment was up significantly, showing that community colleges are being well-utilized as a valued part of our communities,” said Robert Proctor, Lansing Community College trustee and board chair of the state association. “The definition of success is different for every student that comes through our doors, but consistent across all community colleges is that they provide access and affordable opportunities so that everyone can attain the academic and job skills they seek. This month, we’re focused on celebrating the many ways students find success at their local community college.”