Detroit Regional Chamber > Education & Talent > Helping High School Students Transition to College: An Update on the Chamber’s Summer NET and STEP

Helping High School Students Transition to College: An Update on the Chamber’s Summer NET and STEP

October 4, 2023

Summer Navigating Education Transitions (NET) Program

Through generous funding support from the Ballmer Group, Detroit Drives Degrees, Detroit Promise, and Detroit College Access Network teamed up to hold in-person Summer Navigating Education Transitions Programs for students at Henry Ford College, Michigan State University, Oakland Community College – Southfield, Oakland University, the University of Michigan, and Wayne State University.

As a collective, the universities hosted 86 incoming first-year students, and the community colleges hosted 40 students. Each student benefited from hearing stories from executive-level leaders during the breakfast sessions, featuring campus resource panels with representatives from financial aid, tutoring, disability services, and counseling services. Students also learned from their peers during the fireside chats or campus tours.

Incoming first-year students at their respective institutions also learned the power of grit and resilience and the differences between being a high school and a college student during the True Grit and the First Year of College workshops.

Career services informed students how to find a campus job and internships. Multicultural services also explained to students their services on campus.

Regional Student Transition and Engagement Program (STEP)

In response to the continuing enrollment declines caused by the COVID-19 crisis, the Detroit Regional Chamber and Detroit College Access Network scaled their summer melt efforts to serve 608 of Detroit Region’s students.

This program was funded through the Ballmer Group. In Summer 2023, 12 Regional Student Transition Engagement Program coaches were hired to use their experience and knowledge to navigate the support mechanisms that are necessary to address any student’s case to serve students in Detroit and the Tri-County area (Wayne County outside of Detroit), Oakland County, and Macomb County.

These coaches were responsible for contacting schools and organizations in their respective counties to create awareness for summer support. The coaches also supported the class of 2023 via virtual meetings, texts, and emails to aid in completing paperwork, including but not limited to the FAFSA and financial aid, housing, and enrollment transition. Students also completed a postsecondary plan, which consisted of choosing a college, trade school, employment, or gap year after their senior year of high school.