Detroit Regional Chamber > Education & Talent > Lt. Gov. Gilchrist Launches ‘Reconnect on Campus’ Week to Promote College Scholarships for Adults

Lt. Gov. Gilchrist Launches ‘Reconnect on Campus’ Week to Promote College Scholarships for Adults

July 20, 2023

Michigan Chronicle
July 17, 2023
Jeremy Allen

Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II kicked off “Reconnect on Campus” week, highlighting the tuition-free Michigan Reconnect scholarship and events being held at 27 community and tribal colleges across Michigan to support working-age adults in enrolling in degree or certificate programs.

In a press release, Gilchrist emphasized the significance of higher education and skilled credentials in securing a better future for working families and the overall economic vibrancy of the state.

Community and tribal colleges are hosting a week-long series of events to promote tuition-free certificate and degree opportunities through Michigan Reconnect. Led by the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) and supported by educational organizations, business leaders, and former and current Reconnect ambassadors, this coordinated effort helps connect working-age adults with the resources they need to pursue community college education.

“Higher education and skilled credentials are the key to securing a better future for working families and ensuring the economic vibrancy of our state for decades to come,” said Gilchrist. “Michigan Reconnect has put hundreds of thousands of Michiganders on a tuition free path to higher education and skills training. We want that number to grow even larger and Reconnect on Campus week will remove as many obstacles to enrolling as possible. Governor Whitmer and I will continue working hard to ensure more Michigander can go back to school or training and envision bright futures for themselves.”

Michigan Reconnect is the largest effort in state history to provide tuition-free associate degrees or skills certificates to over 4.1 million working-age Michiganders without a college degree. Since its launch in February 2021, the program has already accepted over 123,000 Michiganders, with 27,000 enrolled and 2,800 having earned a degree or certificate.

State officials encourage more Michiganders to join the program, emphasizing the support available through Michigan Reconnect Navigators. These events showcase the ‘it’s never too late” mindset and remind applicants that they are not alone in pursuing their dreams.

“Michigan Reconnect has already seen great success in providing tuition-free opportunities to working-age adults to earn a college degree or certificate, and we want to make sure everyone who is eligible takes advantage of this opportunity so that no one is left behind,” Susan Corbin, LEO director, said in the press release. “The Great Lakes State has the greatest workers anywhere. Our goal is to train them for high-paying, in-demand jobs now and in the future.”

Michigan Community College Association President Brandy Johnson characterized the Michigan Reconnect program as a big win for working-age adults, their families and the state overall. She also said the program has helped community colleges stabilize enrollment and rethink their student services approach.

“Reconnect has significantly grown the number of adult learners in our state,” Johnson said in the release. “We continue to work with the state and other stakeholders to overcome barriers by adding or expanding services like transportation and childcare to meet the needs of our students and potential students.”