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LMC and the Frederick S. Upton Foundation to Host Education Summit

Event is open to the public

May 1, 2012

BENTON TOWNSHIP, MI – Within six years it is expected that 62 percent of the jobs in the United States will require at least some postsecondary education. Yet, in Michigan only 36 percent of residents hold at least a two-year degree, and in Berrien County 35 percent hold such a credential.

To bring attention to the issue and begin discussions on how southwest Michigan can close that gap, Lake Michigan College and the Frederick S. Upton Foundation are hosting an Education Summit on Friday, May 11, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the LMC Mendel Center.

“One of the biggest challenges communities across the country have is getting more of their residents to begin college and earn credentials they will need to qualify for and compete for good jobs,” said LMC President Dr. Robert Harrison. “However, instilling that culture of learning into people is something that begins at an early age and requires organizations and businesses to work together to adopt a cradle to career educational mindset.”

During the Summit, people and organizations will be challenged to think differently about what it takes to advance the education level of a community. The concept of how organizations can work to have a collective impact will be one of the issues discussed at the Summit.

“The Frederick S. Upton Foundation is pleased to be able to support the Education Summit,” stated Lisa Cripps, director of the Frederick S. Upton Foundation. “Working together to discover ways to increase the level of educational attainment is a vital step to making our community more successful.”

Summit attendees will also participate in a community conversation hosted by the Center for Michigan. The conversation is part of a statewide initiative led by the Center to gather perspectives of Michigan residents on major education policy and reform choices under debate in Michigan and around the country.

Speaking at the Summit will be representatives from the Lumina Foundation and the Strive Network. The Center for Michigan will also host a community conversation on education in Michigan.

The Strive Network, which was founded in the Cincinnati and northern Kentucky area has taken a leadership role in the concept of building cradle to career support networks and is helping more people be prepared for college. During its first five years Strive noted positive improvement in 40 educational outcomes it measured, including 4th grade reading, 8th grade math, and completion rates and credentials awarded at four local public colleges and universities. Based on its work and success Strive is now helping other communities build what is called a Cradle to Career Civic Infrastructure.

The Lumina Foundation is committed to enrolling and graduating more students from college. It is the nation’s largest foundation dedicated exclusively to increasing students’ access to and success in postsecondary education. The Foundation’s mission is defined by Goal 2025 which is to increase the percentage of Americans who hold high-quality degrees and credentials to 60 percent by 2025. Lumina pursues this goal in three ways: by identifying and supporting effective practice, by encouraging effective public policy, and by using our communications and convening capacity to build public will for change.

Scheduled to speak at the Summit:
Ms. Haley Glover, director of Convening Strategy, Lumina Foundation
Mr. Jeff Edmondson, managing director, Strive
Mr. Blaine Lam, regional director, Center for Michigan
Dr. Robert Harrison, president, Lake Michigan College

The free event is open to the public. Registration is required by May 4. Those interested in attending the summit can register online at

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