At the turn of the 21st century, confidence in the value and importance of higher education was being challenged in many quarters. State funding support for higher education was declining, parents questioned rising tuition costs, and both racial and socioeconomic disparities were apparent in college enrollments. Both the University of Michigan and Michigan State University were concerned about these issues and committed to promoting college access, expanding higher educational opportunities, and enrolling a diverse student body. University faculty, staff, and students were interested in how to achieve these goals. A statewide conference to bring together interested parties seemed a good way to jumpstart the conversation.

The first Pre-College and Youth Outreach Conference (PCC) was organized by Will Edwards at Michigan State University in 2008. The second PCC was held in 2009 at the University of Michigan and organized by William Collins at the Center for Educational Outreach who established the conference as an annual event. These first two conferences focused on important topics of interest to education professionals across the state of Michigan which helped to build the reputation of PCC and expand the reach of the conference throughout the state of Michigan.

A Message From the Conference Host Institution – GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY

On behalf of Grand Valley State University, I am pleased to welcome you to the 14th annual Pre-College Youth Outreach Conference at our beautiful Pew Campus located in Grand Rapids, MI. Thank you for your commitment and dedication to creating a vision for success throughout the educational pipeline, from K-12 to higher education and beyond.

I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank our many sponsors for their support and partnership. Your generosity has enhanced this learning experience.
In addition, I extend a special thanks to the conference planning core team and committee for helping to vision and bring to fruition this amazing experience being held for the first time in Grand Rapids. Your hard work allows all of us to be here together as we work to make a meaningful impact on our youth.

Thank you for choosing to show up to participate in courageous conversations, and to walk alongside leaders, educators, community members, and change agents. When you return home, I ask that you find ways to implement new ideas learned throughout the conference. When we come together that’s when change starts to happen.

Barry Hall II (Dr. B), Ed.D.
Assistant Director for Charter Through College – Grand Valley State University

2022 Steering Committee

This conference was organized and planned by 11 institutions including
Bowling Green State University, Calvin University, College Prep International, College for Creative Studies, Eastern Michigan University, Grand Rapids Public Schools, Grand Valley State University, Lansing Community College, Michigan State University,
Saginaw Valley State University, and University of Michigan.

We are so grateful for the following members of these institutions and our community who planned today’s conference.

  • Emmanuel Armstrong, Grand Rapids Public Schools
  • Jessica Bilodeau, Michigan State University
  • Josh Brandsen, Grand Valley State University
  • Zach Constan, Michigan State University
  • George Copeland, Saginaw Valley State University
  • Barry Hall II, Grand Valley State University
  • Biyanka Gallo, Michigan State University
  • Bonnie Jaracz, Grand Valley State University
  • Kate Johnson, Michigan State University
  • Sarah Keranen-Lopez, Grand Valley State University
  • Kim Lijana, University of Michigan
  • Leah Melichar, K-12 Operations, Lansing Community College
  • Doreen M. Odom, College Prep International
  • Daniel Ready, Eastern Michigan University
  • Mae Rickey, Grand Valley State University
  • Chelsea Ridge, Grand Valley State University
  • Shelby Powell, Grand Valley State University
  • Susan Sheth, Michigan State University
  • Bobby Springer, Grand Valley State University
  • Jane Stewart, College for Creative Studies
  • Johanna Swanson, Calvin University
  • Marissa Taylor, University of Michigan
  • Kari Wilson, Bowling Green State University

Past Themes and Speakers include:

October 21, 2021
Theme: New Horizons: The Innovation, Resilience, and Perseverance of K-12 Students

  • Keynote: Dr. Ryan M. Niemiec, Education Director, VIA Institute on Character
  • Hosted by the PCC Steering Committee (Virtually)

November 19-20, 2020
Theme: Gen Z and Beyond: Connecting to Tomorrow’s Youth

  • Keynote: Corey Seemiller, PhD, Generation Z Researcher, Author, and Speaker
  • Hosted by Michigan State University (Virtually)

November 18, 2019
Theme: Inclusion & Innovation: Cultivating Michigan’s Youth 

  • Keynote: Kedra Ishop, PhD Vice Provost for Enrollment Management, University of Michigan
  • Hosted by University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

November 6, 2017
Theme: The Urgency of College Access: Challenges, Opportunities, and Impacts

  • Keynote: Jamie Casap, Educational Evangelist, Google
  • Hosted by University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

November 14-15, 2016
Theme: Building Pathways. Providing Access. Ensuring Success.

  • Keynote: Christopher Tremblay, PhD, New Director of External Engagement, MCAN
  • Hosted by Michigan State University

November 15-16, 2015
Theme: Pumping the Pipeline: Advancing Access to College and Career

  • Keynote: Dr. Terrell Strayhorn, Director for the Center for Higher Education Enterprise at Ohio State University
  • Hosted by University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

November 16-17, 2014
Theme: Youth2College: Providing Youth the Resource to Navigate the Pipeline

  • Keynote: Dr. Samuel Betances, Senior Diversity Consultant, Souder, Betances and Associates, Inc.
  • Hosted by Western Michigan

November 18, 2013
Theme: Powerful Partnering: Connecting Curriculum and Practices for a College-Going Culture

  • Plenary Speakers: Tonya Allen, President of the Skillman Foundation and Patricia Martin, Assistant Vice for the National Office for the School Counselor Advocacy of College Board
  • Hosted by University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

November 19, 2012
Theme: Building Capacity to Collectively Prepare Students for College and Careers

  • Keynote: John Austin, President, Michigan State Board of Education
  • Hosted by Michigan State University

November 14, 2011
Theme: A Call to Action: Building a College-Going Culture

  • Plenary Sessions: “Educational Experience of Young Men of Color” sponsored by College Board which featured scholars from across the country, and “Forging Common Spaces for K-12/College Partnerships”, a panel of School of Education Deans from across the state of Michigan
  • Hosted by University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

November 16, 2010
Theme: Education… New Innovations, New Approaches for the New Michigan

  • Keynote: Robert Bobb, Emergency Financial Manager, Detroit Public Schools
  • Hosted by Wayne State University

November 16, 2009
Theme: Developing Michigan’s Future Leaders: Pathways to College Access and Excellence

  • Keynote: James Applegate, Senior Vice President for Program Development at the Lumina Foundation
  • Hosted By University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

November 21, 2008
Theme: Building Youth Assets as a Long-Term Strategy Toward a Better Michigan

  • Keynote: Bryan Taylor, President and Founder, EduGuide
  • Hosted By Michigan State University