About the Conference 

PCC Mission Statement

The Pre-College and Youth Outreach Conference strives to serve as the premier resource for higher education pre-college professionals and college access practitioners to learn, connect, and network with colleagues across the state and beyond. Our work increases college aspirations, readiness, enrollment, and graduation for all students—especially for K-12 students underrepresented in higher education— to change life trajectories, strengthen the workforce, and enhance communities. The conference highlights the statewide work of the public colleges and universities and the work of the conference attendees. It provides a space to learn from each other and unites our efforts to exponentially increase the college success of youth.

The steering committee would like to welcome you to the 2021 Pre-College and Youth Outreach Conference. These past 20 months have been challenging; however, as pre-college leaders, we continue to be strong and accept the challenge of providing exceptional pre-college programming to incredibly innovative, resilient, and persevering students. We commend everyone on their efforts to serve students this past year during this uncertain time. You are heroes and we thank you. Our hope is that you leave today’s online conference with innovative ideas for your initiatives and new connections with other leaders in the pre-college field. We also hope you leave feeling rejuvenated and inspired to serve the next generation of students. While time and other resources are now at a premium, we appreciate your choice to invest in outreach and attend today. We wish you the best in your future efforts and look forward to hearing of your successes.
Our 2021 conference theme is “New Horizons: The Innovation, Resilience, and Perseverance of K-12 Students.” As we reflected on the pre-college space following the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous social and economic upheavals, the 2020 election, and a mass transition to virtual education, the steering committee knew that education had changed. While there have certainly been challenges, we have chosen to focus on the opportunities that have come from these events. We choose to see endless opportunities. This theme reflects the ingenuity and transformation required of those of us working in education today. Though so much has changed in the transition to online learning, we are more prepared to navigate the future, including re-introducing in-person and hybrid models. These challenges and opportunities will require tenacity, creativity, and innovation to support the resilience and perseverance of students. As a conference and organization, we stand with this generation of students as they adapt and we remain committed to providing the necessary spaces and resources they need to keep moving forward.
The State of Michigan occupies the ancestral, traditional, and contemporary lands of the Anishinaabek – Three Fires Confederacy, the Odawa (Ottawa), Ojibwe (Chippewa), and Bode’wadmi (Potawatomi). We recognize historic Indigenous communities in Michigan and those who were forcibly removed from their homelands. We further recognize the ongoing relationship of dependence upon, and respect for, all living beings of earth, sky, and water. In offering this land acknowledgment, we affirm Indigenous sovereignty, history, and experiences.


2021 Steering Committee

This conference was organized and planned by 16 institutions, which includes Bowling Green State University, Calvin University, College for Creative Studies, College Prep International, Eastern Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, Lansing Community College, Lawrence Technological University, Michigan College Access Network, Michigan College Access Programs and Personnel, Michigan Independent Colleges and Universities, Michigan State University, Oakland University, University of Michigan, Wayne State University, and Western Michigan University. We are so grateful for these 25 members of our community who planned today’s conference: 

  • Jessica Bilodeau, Gifted and Talented Education (GATE), Michigan State University
  • Matthew Bozzo, Grand Valley State University
  • Jeffrey Carl, Oakland University
  • Zach Constan, Michigan State University
  • Shannon Dunivon, Michigan Independent Colleges & Universities
  • Kate Dyki, Wayne State University
  • Aja Gore, Oakland University
  • Keenan King, Western Michigan University
  • Barry Hall, Grand Valley State University
  • Kim Lijana,  Center for Educational Outreach (CEO), University of Michigan
  • Leah Melichar, K-12 Operations, Lansing Community College
  • Mollie Mfodwo, Michigan State University
  • Doreen M. Odom, College Prep International
  • Rosalba Ramirez, College Access Programs – Calvin University
  • Christopher Rutherford, Michigan College Access Network (MCAN)
  • Jane Rohrback, Lawrence Technological University
  • Mae Rickey, Grand Valley State University
  • Matthew Schell, Michigan State University
  • Susan Sheth, Gifted and Talented Education (GATE), Michigan State University
  • Bobby Springer, Grand Valley State University
  • Jane Stewart, College for Creative Studies
  • Elise Sturdivant, Eastern Michigan University
  • Marissa Taylor, Center for Educational Outreach (CEO), University of Michigan
  • Christopher Tremblay, A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan
  • Kari Wilson, Bowling Green State University


Serving on the PCC Steering Committee is one of my favorite parts of working for the U-M Center for Educational Outreach. State-wide and region-wide work is true collaboration and I believe that it’s through this sharing of knowledge and expertise is how we make exponential change for our students! Marissa N. Taylor, MSI - University of Michigan