Study Supports Detroit Promise Path’s Effectiveness in Boosting Student Success

“Providing Detroit high schools students access to college is one part of a solution to ensure student success,” said Sandy Baruah, president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber. “It is equally important to understand and address the barriers students face in order to help them persist in college.”

The Chamber and Michigan Education Excellence Foundation (MEEF) released a study conducted by MDRC, a nonprofit education research firm, supporting the effectiveness of the Detroit Promise Path in increasing student success in community college. The Detroit Promise Path was created in 2016 to help Detroit Promise scholarship students navigate various hardships common for first-generation college students from underserved communities.

(From left to right) Detroit Promise Success Coach Ashley Robinson, Detroit Promise student Preston Welborne El, Detroit Promise student Ronnie Foster, and the former Detroit Promise Path Manager Monica Rodriguez discuss the program and results at the Michigan College Promise Symposium last month.

The Detroit Promise Path Alleviates Barriers for Underserved Students
While college access is one part of a solution to ensure student success, it is equally important to understand and address the barriers students face in order to help them prosper and graduate. The Detroit Promise Path uses four strategies to help students stay in college: it requires campus coaching, offers a monthly financial stipend for expenses not covered by financial aid (i.e. transportation, food, books), encourages students to take summer classes, and uses a management information system to track and monitor students.

Detroit As a Leader in College Promise Scholarship Programs 
Since 2005, more than 300 college scholarship programs across the country have been created to help students afford college costs. However, most college promise scholarships focus on getting students to enroll in college, not helping them succeed once they get there.

When the Detroit Promise launched in 2013, the Chamber noticed that only 35% of students stayed enrolled. In 2016, the Detroit Promise Path was created to help students progress and graduate.

“The effects of the Detroit Promise Path on persistence and full-time enrollment in the second semester are among the largest we’ve seen in rigorous tests of higher education interventions,” said Alexander Mayer, deputy director of postsecondary education at MDRC.

Download the Report 
Download the MDRC report, “A Path from Access to Success: Interim Findings from the Detroit Promise Path Evaluation,” read an article in The Detroit News on the findings, and watch a video on the Detroit Promise Path. The Detroit Promise Path and study are funded by the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation (MEEF) with additional support from W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The Ford Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, and The Kresge Foundation.

Results from the MDRC report on the effects of the Detroit Promise Path program to ensure success for community college students.

Detroit Drives Degrees Gleans Lessons from Higher Education Compact of Greater Cleveland to Increase Local Graduation Rates

Last month, the Detroit Regional Chamber hosted representatives from the Higher Education Compact of Greater Cleveland to gain insight on establishing a community-wide compact to improve education attainment. The Chamber is exploring the development of a similar pact in Detroit through its Detroit Drives Degrees (D3) initiative.

The success of the Cleveland Compact is promising: Since the initiative began in 2011, Cleveland Metropolitan School District students have seen a 13 percent increase in on-time high school graduation rates and has made progress in increasing graduation rates from four-year universities.

Maggie McGrath is the executive director of the Higher Education Compact of Greater Cleveland. Over the past five years, she has worked with Cleveland leaders to improve college readiness, access and success. Through the Compact’s public dashboard, the community can track their progress, better understand challenges within the education system, and develop solutions to address those challenges. The Compact has earned the support of the mayor, community colleges, universities, and a range of community partners.

The D3 Leadership Council, which is comprised of regional leaders in education, business, philanthropy and the nonprofit sector, is excited about adopting the Cleveland model in the Detroit region with the aim of generating similar gains in degree attainment. D3 staff will lay further groundwork for this project and continue discussions with partners about next steps this summer.

The goal of D3 is to increase the number of individuals with postsecondary accreditation to 60 percent by 2025. Currently, 43 percent of working-age adults in Michigan have a quality postsecondary credential. The only way to accomplish the 60 percent goal is by advancing access to postsecondary opportunities, strengthening student success and graduation rates, and improving both talent retention and attraction. The lack of educated talent in our region has a major impact on the local economy. Research shows that just a 1 percent increase in the four-year college attainment rate is associated with a $1,100 per year increase in average incomes throughout a metropolitan area.

For more information or to get involved contact Melanie D’Evelyn, D3’s manager of education attainment, at

5 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Digital Marketing Intern

By Lucia Seprino
Oakland University

If you or your Digital Marketing company hasn’t hired your first intern yet, there is no better time than NOW. It might be time to ask yourself why you haven’t taken advantage of the opportunity. The increasing amount of pros outweigh the cons when it comes to hosting an internship program and these are the top five reasons why you need an intern.

1. Shape Your Future Employee

It’s likely that you will be providing one of the very first experiences that your intern will have in the digital marketing field. There are two ways you could look at this scenario. You could view this as an annoyance – you have to go over the basics with them, spend extra time being a mentor, etc. But you have here a golden opportunity to shape and guide a young mind into your dream employee. Most interns are in their junior or senior year of college, with hopes to attain a position in the field after graduation. The National Association of Colleges and Employers has consistently reported that 20-25% of new hires are sourced from the employer’s own internship program.

If you look at your intern as a potential future employee, things become much simpler. Take this time to teach them how to do things correctly the first time. They will be looking to you as an industry leader. If you guide and teach them the ins and outs of the business, it will make your job easier in the long run because you will know that you taught them (almost) everything they know! Your techniques, strategies, and company values will become the backbone of their real-world education. So shape those young minds and skip the hours of going through endless resumes. You have your future employee right here!

2. Give Back to the Community

You were once in the shoes of these eager students. In a competitive job market, it’s not unusual for companies to require new hires to have experience in the field before they will even be considered for an entry level position. The only problem is this has also caused a competitive internship market. Open up your company’s doors – you have the power to create an opportunity that will give someone the skills to succeed in their career. Bonus: It serves as a great public relations technique for strengthening relationships in the local community.

MORE: Hear more about ways to improve your digital marketing strategy at the Digital Marketing Boot Camp, Feb. 15.

3. The College Student Perspective

Students are social media savvy! Always on top of the latest trends, college students will let you know what’s “in” and what’s not. Their insight can be very valuable if your target market happens to be in their age range. Not to mention, they will keep you up to date on all of the events going on campus that could be useful for promotional purposes.

4. Increase Productivity

We’ve all heard of the stereotypical intern tasks – coffee runs, paper shredding and filing. Don’t fall into the trap of forgetting about your intern and shooing them away with meaningless tasks. If you find yourself having less time to focus on your top priorities because you are so busy crossing everything off of your to-do list, have your intern help lighten the load. Students are excited to learn every aspect of the job. Sometimes we feel like we need to take on the responsibility for every task but there is nothing wrong with handing the baton over to a newbie. As long as they are trained properly, this will create less stress. Time management is extremely important, and instead of always being “busy” you need to refocus to make sure you are being productive. Use your intern as a helpful tool to make the company stronger.

5. Word of Mouth Advertising

As soon as word gets out that a digital marketing company is offering an internship program, word spreads FAST. Did I mention it’s a competitive market out there? Local colleges will soon reach out to you to offer tables at internship mixers, job fairs, and to have your employees offer seminars or be guest speakers on campus. Career service centers and related department chairs keep close tabs on local internships that are available because it is their responsibility to help students find them. Some colleges even require students to have at least one internship completed before they are able to graduate. It won’t be long before you’re one of the most sought after companies to work for by post-grads with a great reputation and relationship with several local colleges and universities.

Tip: Many universities have websites with internship listings that are only accessible to view with a student login. Reach out to college career service centers and they do the hard part for you! Send in your position description and they will be sure to spread the word and post on student pages that would otherwise be inaccessible.

Your new intern will be your biggest brand advocate. If they enjoy their time as an intern, they are going to tell everyone about it. Never underestimate the power of connections. You never know to whom your last intern is going to gush about your company. It very well may turn into your next big client. Having a new intern (or a few) cycling through each semester brings in a lot of new faces. It’s important to check in with them periodically throughout the internship to make sure they are comfortable and they are feeling fulfilled throughout their time with your company.

←Back to Digital Marketing Boot Camp

$90 Million in Aid Left Behind by Michigan Students? FAFSA Challenge Can Help

Building on a key pillar of its Forward Detroit strategy to increase the number of adults in the region with postsecondary degrees, the Detroit Regional Chamber recently launched its “Race to the FAFSA Line” challenge. Through its Detroit Drives Degrees initiative, to date, the Chamber has signed up 66 schools in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties that have pledged to increase FAFSA applications in the coming year.

FAFSA completion is correlated to a 90 percent college attendance rate upon high school graduation. The challenge supports low-income and minority students in taking their next step to earning postsecondary education. Last year, only 52 percent of high school seniors in the region successfully filled out the FAFSA. The regional goal of the competition is to achieve 60 percent completion by the end of the year.

Emagine Entertainment Inc. will provide a grand prize of an all-night senior class party and other prizes to winning schools.

“We are thrilled to support the Chamber’s efforts to increase regional higher education attainment through the FAFSA competition. This addresses a significant problem for high school students aspiring to continue their education. Michigan students left over $90 million of federal aid on the table last year,” said Emagine CEO and Chamber board member Paul Glantz.

For more information on Detroit Drives Degrees, contact Melanie D’Evelyn at


Walsh College Will Honor Four Business and Community Leaders at Annual Leadership Awards Dinner at MGM Grand in Detroit

Walsh College will honor the achievements of four business and community leaders at its annual 2015 Leadership Awards Dinner on Saturday evening, November 21, 2015 at the MGM Grand Hotel, Detroit.

The honorees are:

Lori Blaker, owner and CEO, TTi Global, Rochester Hills

William F. Jones, Jr., CEO, Focus:HOPE Detroit, recipients of the Jeffery W. Barry Award for Educational Excellence and Community Service

Rebecca Sorensen, senior vice president, wealth management and institutional consultant, UBS Financial Services, Birmingham, recipient of the Walsh College Distinguished Alumna Award

Brian Pilarski, sales leader, Brown & Brown of Detroit, Sterling Heights, recipient of the Walsh College Distinguished Graduate of the Last Decade Award.

“We will recognize four exceptional people who make extraordinary contributions every day to their firms, to the community, and to Walsh College,” said Stephanie Bergeron, president and CEO, Walsh College. “Through their example, they inspire excellence and bring energy to important initiatives in the southeast Michigan community and beyond.”

Individual tickets for the event are $250. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

Under Lori Blaker’s leadership, TTi Global, a provider of business performance solutions based in Rochester Hills, Mich., has grown worldwide with offices in the U.S., U.K., Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, India, Japan, Mexico, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela.

It is one of the top 25 woman-run businesses in the U.S. as recognized by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (2008 and 2009). Blaker and TTi Global have also been the recipients of numerous local and national business awards.

The company has also succeeded in diversifying its client base from mostly automotive companies to include retail, hospitality, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and industrial products.

William Jones became chief executive officer in 2009 of Focus: HOPE, a Detroit-based, non-denominational, non-profit organization which provides education and training for underrepresented minorities and others, after an extensive career with Chrysler and Chrysler Financial.

Under Jones’ leadership, Focus: HOPE has expanded services to the community through its three primary areas of emphasis: a food program, education and training programs, and community development initiatives.

Jones has placed a high priority on excellence in education and, in particular, supported academic achievement and opportunities for children growing up in the neighborhoods around Focus: HOPE.

A native of Hampton, Virginia, Jones is a member of the Walsh College Board of Trustees. He is also a member of the Governor’s Talent Investment Board, and the boards of directors for the Detroit Regional Chamber, Forgotten Harvest, and Eastern Market.

Rebecca Sorensen is based in UBS’ Birmingham, Mich. office. She earned her a bachelor of accountancy degree from Walsh College in 1985. With more than 25 years of investment industry experience, she is a CPA, Certified Financial Planner, and Certified Investment Management Analyst. Additionally, she has completed the Wharton School’s IMCA program on Alternative Investments.

In 2001, Leadership Oakland recognized Sorensen as one of its 2001 Distinguished Leadership Award recipients in the individual category. She is also a recipient of the 2003 State of Michigan Governor’s Award for Volunteerism for her work with Lighthouse PATH.

Most recently, Sorensen has received the national distinction of being named a member of the 2014 Financial Times Top 100 Women Financial Advisers.

Brian Pilarski was recently promoted to sales leader at Brown & Brown of Detroit, based on his history as a top performer in commercial insurance brokerage. He has won numerous national Brown & Brown Insurance awards for his high performance, including the Million Dollar Club and “Top Gun” of the entire company. He is a Certified Insurance Counselor, property and casualty agent and counselor, and a life and health insurance agent.

Beginning this fall, Pilarski has been accepted into Class XXXVII of Leadership Detroit. He is actively involved in many community organizations, including Forgotten Harvest, Cornerstone Schools, and the American Polish Cultural Society.

He earned his Master of Science in Management degree from Walsh College in 2007. He also graduated cum laude from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree. His support of Walsh College includes current service as the youngest director of the College’s Foundation Board. Pilarski was also president of the Walsh College Alumni Association for two terms.

For more information on the event, contact Andrea Richards, Development Office, 248-823-1204. For more information on the Leadership Awards or Walsh College, visit

Walsh College Celebrates Global Entrepreneurship Week

Walsh College President and CEO Stephanie Bergeron and members of Walsh College’s Blackstone LaunchPad team will highlight steps for starting a successful business from the ground up during Walsh College’s Walshpreneur Fair celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week.

The public is invited to the business college’s Troy campus to attend the free event from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, November 17.

Participants will have the opportunity to learn about the college’s Blackstone LaunchPad program which celebrates entrepreneurship as a career path, and gain insight on starting and maintaining a viable business. Products and services from Blackstone LaunchPad entrepreneurs will also be showcased. The evening will include networking opportunities, refreshments and prizes.

“The journey to entrepreneurism is both difficult and rewarding,” said Carol Glynn, a seasoned entrepreneur and Walsh College director of Blackstone LaunchPad. “This celebration is an evening of discovery, learning and networking. We’ll take you from the glamorous excitement of deciding to start a new business to the realities business owners face.”

Joining Bergeron as special guest speaker will be Paul Glantz, founder and chairman of Emagine Entertainment, Inc. and CEO of Proctor Financial Inc.

Glantz successfully raised more than $45 million to build Detroit’s Emagine theatres which now operate in Novi, Canton, Rochester Hills and Royal Oak. He has been at the forefront of technological change in the theatre industry, particularly in the transition to high-definition digital presentation. In January of 2006 his theatres became the first chain in the nation to convert all of its 46 screens to high-definition digital imagery.

Committed to numerous philanthropic endeavors, Glantz serves as a venture coach to participants in the Walsh College and Wayne State University Blackstone LaunchPad entrepreneurship initiatives. His volunteer efforts also include serving on the boards of the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan and as treasurer of the Detroit Chapter of Variety International.

A recipient of the 2011 Walsh College Distinguished Alumnus Award, Glantz holds a master’s in taxation from the business college.

Those interested in attending Walshpreneur Fair should contact:
Diane Fisher at 248-823-1670, or
Online registration is available at:

About Walsh College Blackstone LaunchPad
Funded by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, and in partnership with New Economy Initiative, a program of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan; Automation Alley, University of Miami, Walsh College and Wayne State University – this program helps aspiring entrepreneurs develop and launch their businesses. As the first of its kind in Michigan, it offers fully enrolled Walsh students and degreed Walsh alumni; and Wayne State University students the opportunity to assess the feasibility of their ideas for starting and growing for-profit and non-profit ventures.

About Walsh College

Founded in 1922, Walsh College is a private, not for profit institution offering upper-division undergraduate and graduate business and technology degrees and certificate programs.

One of Southeast Michigan’s largest business schools, Walsh has locations in Troy, Novi, Clinton Township, and Port Huron, as well as online. Walsh’s business services division offers the Walsh Institute, which provides solutions for businesses through training, continuing education, and consulting.

Walsh is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (; phone: 312-263-0456). The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP, accredits specific degree programs.

Walsh College, Michigan Women’s Foundation Present Third Annual Entrepreneur-YOU Women’s Business Plan and Pitch Competition

The third annual Entrepreneur-YOU Women’s Business Plan and Pitch Competition will be held Friday, Oct.10 at the Walsh College Troy campus.

Ten finalists, selected from 95 entries, will pitch their businesses to a panel of judges for a prize pool valued at more than $75,000.

“We encourage all women in business to attend the competition to cheer on our finalists and see how entrepreneurship in Detroit is not just about technology and industry but also about home-based businesses started by women with unique ideas,” said Stephanie Bergeron, president and CEO, Walsh College.

The pitch presentations are open to the public, but preregistration is requested. Visit for more information and a complete list of finalists.

Funding for the competition comes from Fifth Third Bank, the Ford Motor Company Fund, and the DTE Energy Foundation. In addition, the winners will receive in-kind support from local companies donating time for marketing, legal and accounting services.

Entrepreneur-YOU is a cooperative initiative among Michigan Women’s Foundation, Inforum Michigan, and Walsh College with support from Fifth Third Bank. The purpose of the initiative is to assist women in the pursuit of successful businesses.

In addition to the business plan competition, Entrepreneur-YOU also includes an annual conference.


Founded in 1922, Walsh College is a private, not for profit institution offering upper-division undergraduate and graduate business and technology degrees and certificate programs.

One of Southeast Michigan’s largest business schools, Walsh has locations in Troy, Novi, Clinton Township, and Port Huron, as well as online. Walsh’s business services division offers the Walsh Institute, which provides solutions for businesses through training, continuing education, and consulting.

Walsh is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (; phone: 312-263-0456). The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP, accredits specific degree programs.


Michigan Women’s Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization that is committed to creating positive change for Michigan’s women and girls. As a statewide foundation, MWF seeks to transform Michigan to achieve equality and empowerment for its women and girls. It raises funds to support and collaborate with individuals and organizations to address and eliminate barriers to economic and social equality for Michigan women and girls. In over 25 years, it has awarded more than $3.2 million to more than 500 programs and organizations, working to advance equality, remove barriers and improve lives. It values community, results, accountability, and above all – equity.

Walsh College Receives 2015 Military Friendly Schools Designation

Walsh College has been named a 2015 Military Friendly School for the sixth consecutive year by Victory Media, publisher of G.I. Jobs magazine and other media channels.

The Military Friendly Schools designation is awarded to the top 20 percent of U.S. colleges, universities, and trade schools that are doing the most to embrace military students and to dedicate their success in the classroom and after graduation. The Victory Media survey includes the leading practices that support military students.

“Walsh College has placed great emphasis on supporting service members and veterans in their pursuit of undergraduate and graduate business education,” said Stephanie Bergeron, president and CEO, Walsh College. “We appreciate the perspective and experiences these students bring to our academic programs and community. We are proud of our selection to the Military Friendly Schools list.”

Walsh College also recently became an official signatory to the “8 Keys to Veterans’ Success,” a federal initiative that provides a set of specific strategies that colleges and universities can implement to support educational success for student veterans of the armed forces.

Walsh also received recognition earlier this year from Military Times magazine as one of 64 select national institutions ranked as a “Best for Vets Business College” for providing a high level of service for veterans.

Additional services Walsh offers its military students include:

· The Walsh College Student Veteran Organization (WCSVO), which provides community involvement and networking opportunities for student veterans. The WCSVO represents the views of student veterans at the college and explores the population’s needs in order to implement helpful programs.
· Military grants available to all active-duty or reserve members of the U.S. Armed Forces. The grants cover all undergraduate tuition costs and a significant portion of graduate costs when used in conjunction with Military Tuition Assistance.
· Veteran-specific scholarships.
· A full-time Veterans Services Coordinator, Lauren Mileto, who serves as the main point of contact for students who are veterans. Mileto assists the students by navigating their education benefits and specializes in understanding their payments and how they can combine multiple benefits.

The College is also a National Center of Academic Excellence, a designation awarded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency to only 91 U.S. schools.

For more information on Walsh’s Veteran Services, please visit, email, or call (248) 823-1660.

Founded in 1922, Walsh College is a private, not for profit institution offering upper-division undergraduate and graduate business and technology degrees and certificate programs.

One of Southeast Michigan’s largest business schools, Walsh has locations in Troy, Novi, Clinton Township, and Port Huron, as well as online. Walsh’s business services division offers the Walsh Institute, which provides solutions for businesses through training, continuing education, and consulting.

Walsh is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (; phone: 312-263-0456). The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP, accredits specific degree programs.