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Comstock High School Seniors Celebrate College Decision Day Friday, May 15

Kalamazoo, Mich., May 14, 2015 – Comstock High School seniors will gather Friday, May 15 at 11 a.m. to honor 92 Comstock seniors who have formally declared their intent to continue their education beyond high school. They are taking part in a statewide celebration known as College Decision Day.

Begun in 2014, Michigan College Decision Day recognizes seniors who have declared their intent to pursue a post secondary education — from vocational or specialized training to the military and including the pursuit of a formal two or four-year degree at a college or university — at a specific institution or school.

“College Decision Day recognizes high school seniors for their success getting to this point and it celebrates their decision to continue preparing for a career,” says Gerielle Stewart, Dean of Students at Comstock Public Schools “It also sends a message to younger students to plan for a continuing education early. Finally, by sharing the day as a community, we hope students realize they are not on this journey alone."

At schools around the region and the state, College Decision Day events are held on or around May 1, as best accommodates the individual school’s graduation schedule. This time coincides with the date that most seniors must inform a college of their plans to enroll.

Inspired by the NCAA's National Signing Day, College Decision Day was begun by the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN)  to mimic the pomp and circumstance around students who sign letters of intent to play for college sports team. College Decision Day is Michigan's adoption of National College Signing Day, a program of the First Lady's Reach Higher initiative.

“We’re thrilled to celebrate College Decision Day with seniors throughout the region,” says Brenda Pickett, of the College and Career Access Network (CACAN), a part of The Learning Network of Greater Kalamazoo. “Research is very clear on the importance of an educated workforce to a region’s economic vitality. More significantly to these young men and women, however, college — in all its forms — is their first step to finding work that can sustain them financially and be personally rewarding.”

Getting students to continue their education beyond high school is a goal that ties directly to the mission of CACAN, which strives to increase the number of Kalamazoo County high school graduates who pursue some kind of post-high school education to 62 percent. According to projected job growth statistics, 70 percent of jobs by 2020 will require at least some college education. U.S. Census data reports that 41.6 percent of U.S. residents and 40.5 percent of Michigan residents between the ages of 25-34 have an Associates degree or higher. That number is 47.8 percent in Kalamazoo County. There is no central data source that tracks certifications.

The Learning Network of Greater Kalamazoo is a unifying force to ensure that all children in the county are ready for school, ready for post-secondary education, ready for a career and ready for the world. Learn more and stay connected at www.thelearningnetwork.org.

The College and Career Action Network is focused specifically on getting more Kalamazoo County high school students to and through college. Learn more and stay connected at www.cacanonline.org.