Improving access to higher education became a priority when the Jackson Community Foundation unveiled The Jackson Legacy Scholarship Program in 2008. In order to bring college access awareness to Jackson County residents, the College & Career Access Center opened its doors to the community in May of 2008; assisting both traditional and non-traditional students in attaining their education and career goals. The CCAC has faithfully supported local school districts to improve student success in three ways:
- Ensuring that students are prepared to enter college or begin their career
- Facilitating navigation through the 'college access' process
- Providing comprehensive information on all financial options
The College & Career Access Center welcomes visitors with the mission of informing and encouraging students that post- secondary education is indeed possible under all circumstances. The center encourages students to view education as a means of achieving their goals after high school graduation. For some, this may mean a 2 - 4 year college or university. Others may view graduation as a time to become career oriented. In that case, education may mean entry into trade school, enlistment into the military, attainment of a specific certification, or entry into the workforce by other means.
The center was created to provide a continuum of support and coordination to assist students and families in understanding, accessing, and utilizing available support systems within schools and the community. Assisting students in academic success, while decreasing barriers to learning, effectively prepares them for post-secondary education and, ultimately, successful entry into the workforce.
Access advisors participlate in college planning events with school districts. These events provide parents and students with career planning tools as well as scholarship and financial aid resources. The College & Career Access Center is grant funded; receiving financial support from local, state, and private donors.
The College & Career Access Center assists the Jackson Community Foundation with the Jackson Legacy Program as well as many other local scholarships. The Jackson Crossing Mall provides the in-kind donation of space.
We would like to sincerely thank all of those who have supported our goals and our mission of assisting students in reaching for higher education!
The Four Seasons
The College & Career Access Center advisors provide 1 on 1 personal advising and consultation; covering the Four Seasons: Applications, Scholarships, FAFSA, and Summer Melt. The seasons follow a standard school year schedule and each season presents a number of tasks for the student to achieve toward college preparation. The CCAC assists in the navigation of this preparation process.
Applications: The season known as Applications runs from August through November. Our advisors keep students informed of deadlines stipulated by the various institutions as well as applicable eligibility and document requirements. Some of the applications we assist with include: the FAFSA, scholarship applications, 2 - 4 year colleges and universities, skilled trade or apprenticeship programs, and military enlistment. One of our major initiatives each year is to gear up and assist in managing College Application Week, which occurs annually at the end of October/beginning of November.
Scholarships: Scholarship season runs from November through March. The College & Career Access Center provides each school with monthly scholarship listings of local, state, and national scholarship options. This information is also made available on our website. Listings will include information regarding: eligibility, instructions for application, award amounts, and deadline dates. Our advisors research unique scholarship and grant opportunities to assist students in funding traditional and nontraditional programs. Students may also schedule an appointment at the center for a consultation to search scholarships by major or program concentration.
FAFSA: The FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is a prerequisite for most institutions of higher learning. Submission of the FAFSA application is required in order to obtain federal funding for education. The FAFSA can be quite a complicated process. Partly, this is due to the fact that the form requests detailed tax and income information; typically from student and parent or guardian. The College & Career Access Center advisors will walk the student (and parent), step by step, through the FAFSA process.
Summer Melt: The term Summer Melt refers to the number of students that demonstrate intention, apply, and possibly make a deposit to an institution, but who do not arrive to campus to begin classes. For one reason or another, some obstacle or event causes a student to fall through the cracks in the system. The goal of our Summer Melt program is to prevent this phenomenon from occurring. All of the center's services and initiatives are designed to facilitate educational access and achievement.
College & Career Access Center
1082 Jackson Crossing
Jackson, MI 49202
In the Target Wing Across from H&R Block
Monday - Thursday 10a - 6p, Friday and Saturday 12p - 5p
Jackson Community Foundation • Jackson’s 13 Connected Community Schools Preparatory Funds • The Bill and
Vi Sigmund Foundation • The Speckhard-Knight Charitable Foundation • The Samuel Higby Camp & Margaret H. Camp
Charitable Fund • Hurst Foundation • The Benja-men Group • Walmart • Comerica Bank