December 1, 2005
LANSING – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today thanked colleges and universities across the state of Michigan for their campaign during the first annual “Return to Learn Month” to attract Michigan workers back to campus to finish their degrees. The Governor gave this designation to the month of November to increase awareness of the opportunities for adult learners that are available in Michigan higher education institutions and of the benefits that go to those who earn college degrees.
“There are no two ways about it – when you learn more, you earn more,” said Granholm. “Not only do individuals prosper, but Michigan’s economy grows stronger when we raise the education level of our workforce.”
Granholm has made doubling the number of college graduates in Michigan over the next decade a priority for her Administration, saying that to have a strong economy, Michigan must have the best educated workforce in the country. The Cherry Commission on Higher Education and Economic Growth, appointed by Granholm and led by Lt. Governor John Cherry, recommended increased outreach to the one out of four Michigan workers who have attended college but have not earned a degree.
The Lt. Governor labeled this first statewide outreach campaign, involving every state university and community college in Michigan and many of the state’s independent colleges and universities, a tremendous success in terms of promoting the value of a college degree.
“Our ‘Return to Learn’ campaign is really just getting started,” said Cherry. “These institutions have an ongoing commitment to welcoming back adult learners and giving them the support they need to finish their degrees.”
Participating institutions were asked to develop their own unique ways to connect with the target audience. Some held open house programs for adult learners, some used broadcast advertising aimed at working adults without degrees, some waived application fees during “Return to Learn Month,” and some created special scholarships to support students who come back to campus to finish a degree.
Each participating higher education institution helped prospective students develop a “Return to Learn” plan, a road map to degree completion. The colleges and universities also helped students understand how coursework they have already completed can be counted toward their degree goals and how they might qualify for financial and employer and union-based tuition assistance.
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Below is a list of participating institutions: