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.

Past Themes and Speakers include:

October 21, 2022
Theme: Mind the Gap: Building Bridges For Bouncing Back

  • Keynote: Darrell “Coach D” Andrews
  • Hosted by Grand Valley State University (in-person in Grand Rapids, MI) 

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