MCSS:    Events
MI-BEST Happy Graduates


The Michigan Center for Student Success launched the MI-BEST initiative in January 2020.  Participating colleges can find resources that may be helpful in your implementation of practices to support student success.  Materials from past events are available on the MI-BEST Events page.  Contact Precious Miller, Coordinator of MI-BEST, with questions.  


Offering a toolkit to support individuals in providing equitable care to students and sharing resources with them is the purpose of this toolkit. Please utilize the resources below to inform your decisions and campus practices. 

Distributing Emergency Aid in an equitable way can be challenging. The Hope Center offers recommendations and a sample protocol to offer a solution to this challenge. 

Making decisions, and developing supports with our stakeholders in mind is best practice. Kids Count offers comprehensive data across dozens of indicators to support decision-making. Their online data center allows users to find local data and create custom reports to understand students and families across the state, in a specific community and by variables such as race and income level.

MI Bridges is an online platform that allows for Michigan residence to apply for state benefits and locate local resources. When integrating this tool into campus practices, using the MDHHS resource materials developed by MDHHS and LEO are helpful.  

Poverty can be a traumatizing experience for some of our learners. The Trauma Informed Practices for Postsecondary Education offers a guide on how to recognize trauma in our scholars. It also provides suggestions for implementing research-based strategies to meet the needs of trauma-affected learners. The importance of self-care for educators to avoid re-traumatization, vicarious trauma, and compassion fatigue are also covered in this guide.


While ensuring the health and safety of your college campus community, helpful resources to guide the non-academic needs of your students can be found below. 

The MCCA Coronavirus page provides links to all of the Michigan community colleges Coronavirus information pages and resources to support online learning.

MiBridges- This is an all-inclusive website that allows students to apply for state benefits and locate local resources to meet their non-academic needs. Through this no-cost platform, students can apply and/or locate healthcare coverage, food assistance program, cash assistance, child development & care and state emergency relief.

Mi211- This is a platform used to locate specific resources in your community. You do not need to create a login to use this resource and can support you in locating resources in your community. These resources include food banks, housing, utility expenses, animal shelters and more.  

National Domestic Violence Hotline and Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect - As social distancing is encouraged and students are spending more time at home, this resource may be helpful as students navigate their home environment. 

National Suicide Prevention Hotline- This resource provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals. To speak to a counselor now, please call the Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

National Drug Helpline- This resource offers 24/7 drug and alcohol help to those struggling. Information regarding tratment and recovery can also be found through this resource. 

Internet Access- AT&TCharterComcast all have resources available at a discounted or free rate. EveryoneOn is an additional site that helps people find free and low-cost internet and low cost computer offers based on their zip code search. 

Consumers Energy and DTE Energy- Both companies are suspending shutoffs for non-pay for low-income and senior customers beginning March 16, 2020 through April 5, 2020. These time frames could be adjusted depending on the spread and severity of the virus. If you have questions or need assistance, Consumers Energy can be reached at 1-800-477-5050 and DTE Energy can be reached at 1-800-477-4747. 

Unemployment Insurance Agency- Governor Whitmer expanded access to unemployment insurance for Michiganders. 

COVID-19 Screening Options- Offered at no cost and facilitated by Spectrum Health via phone or virtual chat. 


The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity shares the latest information on Resources in the State of Michigan, this also includes the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA). 

The Michigan Web Account Manager (MiWAM) is the UIA’s system for filing your unemployment insurance claim and managing your UIA account online. Resources, FAQ's, COVID-19 related announcements, and what employees need to file for unemployment can also be found on their webpage. Emploees can also enjoy various videos that review different "How-To's" pertaining to the filing of unemployment, including that of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. 



National Center for Inquiry and Improvement (NCII) Financial Stability Scale of Adoption Assessment (updated January 2020).


National Center for Inquiry and Improvement) NCII is a nationally-recognized leader in supporting colleges in their student success improvement efforts including guided pathways and economic stability. This also includes the Lumina Foundation's Beyond Financial Aid and how college's can strengthen the financial stability of low-income students and improve outcomes. NCII will use the Beyond financial Aid to guide colleges through the essential practices necessary to ensure that colleges understand student needs. 


The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is the state agency that oversees the state's public assistance services including food assistance, refugee services, healthcare, emergency services, and childcare programs. MDHHS also supports the state's MiBridges portal which allows Michiganders to access multiple benefits on a single platform. 

MDHHS will support MI-BEST participating colleges by providing MiBridges navigation and referral and access partner training for college personnel. 

For a step-by-step guide to becoming a MiBridges partner please view our MiBridges Integration video


The Michigan Association of United Way (MAUW) supports local United Way chapters acoss the state and has led statewide efforts to increas access to public benefits through MIBridges and the state's ALICE (Asset-Limited Income-Constrained Employed) project.  MAUW will expose college teams to the Michigan ALICE report and related local data. MAUW will support colleges in their efforts to connect with local United Way organizations. 


Public Policy Associates (PPA) is a national leader in research, evaluation, and strategic consultation with extensive experience conducting focus groups in education. PPA specializes in education, workforce development, criminal and juvenile justice, and healthy communities. PPA has worked with Michigan Center for Student Success to develop a protocol for student focus groups and has conducted virtual focus groups at Bay College, Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Lake Michigan College, and Oakland Community College during Winter/Spring of 2021. The Cross-Cutting Results are now available in addition to the Capacity Building Guide, empowering other institutions to facilitate focus groups on their campuses. 


The Voluntary Framework of Accountability (VFA) will be the vehicle for collecting and reporting data on leading indicators of student success related to project activities. The VFA measures of student progress and outcomes; measures of workforce, economic, and community development; and an approach for assessing student learning outcomes. 


Trellis Research administers the free Financial Wellness Survey for colleges across the country. Trellis research provides colleges insight into student success through the increasingly important lens of higher education affordability. Colleges can contact Precious Miller, Coordinator of MI-BEST with questions or Carla Fletcher, Trellis Senior Research Analyst to discuss administering the survey at your institution. 

In Fall 2020, participating colleges in the MI-BEST initiative launched the Student Financial Wellness Survey (SFWS) with Trellis Research. With over 10,000 student responses we learned of critical insights into topics such as financial wellness, basic need security, and institutional support. The SFWS Infographic displays Michigan survey results that can be shared at your institution. 

To learn more, Trellis Student Financial Wellness Survey Question Set displays the questions that are asked on the survey. You can locate the Question set underneath the event documents.