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Our Mission


College & Career Access Center
Who We Are • What We Believe • What We Do


Mission vision Belief



Equity in Post-Secondary Planning

At the College and Career Access Center, equity is at the heart of everything we do; with a particular focus on closing the post-secondary educational access and attainment gap for those students from historically underserved backgrounds and demographics.    

We recognize the systems in place that have contributed to generational poverty due to the dramatic lack of access to higher education and we are committed to removing those barriers for our underrepresented populations. We place particular emphasis on moving the needle for students of color, low-income students, and first-generation students.  

We find that the following resources provide a wealth of valuable information and insight on diversity, equity, and inclusion:

National College Attainment Network
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Lumina Foundation
Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
The Hechinger Report  

60% by 2030 - In alignment with the National College Attainment Network, Michigan College Access Network, Lumina Foundation, and the latest call by Governor Gretchen Whitmer, the CCAC is proud to be driving the 60% goal of a post-secondary credential in Jackson County by 2030. We intend to make the most of the next decade; committed to the collective impact being created by so many organizations and partnerships within Jackson that share a common vision.

“Navigating ALL Jackson County residents to productive careers through the pursuit of appropriate career training or post-secondary education.”

It is the mission of the College & Career Access Center to navigate all Jackson County residents to productive career paths. Our team of advisors are dedicated to this mission as they serve the students within Jackson's 13 Connected Community Schools as well as any resident who walks through the door at our Jackson Crossing office. Whether the plan is a traditional 2-4 year institution, a trade or vocational school, apprenticeships, military enlistment, or direct entry into the workforce, the student will be prepared and have access to the necessary resources that will bring their plan to fruition.

Our CCAC Pillars - Within Jackson's 13 Connected Community Schools, our team of College & Career Advisors and our Community Initiatives Coordinator organize and carry out a number of initiatives that ensure awareness, financial preparedness, and a focused plan for post-secondary steps. These pillars are foundational to these CCAC initiatives: 

Kids2College/Pathways to Professional Skilled Trades (K2C/PPST) - This initiative is designed for middle school students and combines a classroom curriculum with guided tours of regional institutions of higher education as well as manufacturers and local businesses. The K2C/PPST program is offered at all 13 of Jackson's Connected Middle Schools. Students develop early college and career awareness and receive hands-on opportunities to see a college or university and explore various options available within the many fields of skilled trades.

Juniors Over the Local Circuit - Every Junior within Jackson's Connected Community School districts receives the opportunity to visit Jackson's 3 local institutions: Baker College, Jackson College and Spring Arbor University. Students are given the opportunity to tour and learn about college life at a career college, a standard community college and a liberal arts institution.

1:1 Consultations with Graduating Seniors - Each of our College & Career Advisors is housed within the 13 Connected Schools. 10 hours per week is dedicated to each school for consultations with Jackson's graduating Seniors. Advisors focus on a number of measurable advising steps including: FAFSA and TIP completion, scholarship applications, submitted applications to colleges and trade schools, career assessments, resume construction, interviewing skills, and support in job shadowing and placement.

Our CCAC Beliefs - The College & Career Access Center has a very simple belief system:

  • All students enroll in a post-secondary or job training program where they will prosper and emerge prepared to lead a productive and satisfying life.  
  • The successful matching and fitting of each student to post-secondary institutions, career training, or work-based positions that meet his or her unique goals, needs, and criteria.
  • One on one college and career advising with students and their families is the foundation for an overall positive post-secondary transition.
  • Well-trained, passionate advisors who bring valuable perspectives and experiences for getting students on the appropriate pathway for their postsecondary careers.  

The CCAC has every confidence in our vision, mission, pillars, and beliefs. Through commitment to these foundational components and our passion to provide the highest quality of service to the residents of Jackson County, we are convinced that all goals are attainable.

Come Start Your Future!