Tuesday, November 10, 2009

College Application Week in Detroit a Success

November 10, 2009- More than 3000 high school seniors in Detroit participated in College Application Week held last week in the Detroit Public Schools. This first of its kind event included nearly 40 volunteers from Michigan colleges and universities working alongside members of the ConnectEDU Cares Team. The event, which took place at 28 high schools in 3 days, was spearheaded by ConnectEDU and several college leaders including John Ambrose at Michigan State University, in response to growing concerns over staffing and resource cuts in the Detroit Public Schools.

I could share with you my own personal perspective on the many successes to come from this event, but why don’t you listen to the words of students whose lives we impacted. These students not only applied to college in one day but applied to several colleges many of which waived the application fees for them!

"Today, I filled out several different applications and it was a breeze. It was actually easy. I think SuperAPP is a much easier to way to apply - definitely online. It takes the hassle out of keep having to write things over and over."

- Marcea, Pershing High School

"I applied to Saginaw Valley State University, Central Michigan, Michigan State, University of Michigan... and Harvard. It was useful especially with the help you guys provided because at home sometimes we don't know the answer and no one in the house may know how to answer the question."

- Kevia, Pershing High School

College Application Week in Detroit proved to be a great example of the impact that occurs when colleges and high schools come together and are empowered with innovative technology to help students succeed. Imagine if this same collaboration was sustained by all colleges and high schools in a state, in a region, or better yet – in the nation. The work that took place last week was important because it placed student’s and their future education at the center of the event – colleges in Michigan, and staff at DPS, along with ConnectEDU realized that the situation in Detroit (the students specifically) needed a lift – not a quick fix – but a sustained collaborative effort that will result in students being empowered, along with their counselors, to utilize technology on a daily, weekly and monthly basis as they plan for and manage their college education and career.

At ConnectEDU, we pride ourselves on our ability to enable success for each and every student whether they are in an urban area such as Detroit or a rural area such as Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. To that end, College Application Week in Detroit is just the 1st, as far as I am concerned, of these type of outreach events that will take place throughout the country in the years to come.

In the end, College Application Week was about results – results and opportunities for the seniors in the Detroit Public Schools. In just 3 days, with the help of the ConnectEDU Cares Team and the college volunteers, students used SuperAPP to complete nearly 3400 college applications to over 150 colleges! Most students were able to complete all of their applications in less than 1.5 hours using SuperAPP.

Again – the students say it best. Here is just one of the thank you’s received from students in Detroit-

“I attend Cass Tech and I was just e-mailing you to let you know that I completed the application, and that everything is ok and going good and thank you for the assistance. It was greatly appreciated!” (student at Cass Tech High School that participated in College Application Week )

That is the reason we are here.

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