Detroit Regional Chamber > Education & Talent > Detroit Reconnect Partners with Schoolcraft College for Adult Summer Spark Pilot

Detroit Reconnect Partners with Schoolcraft College for Adult Summer Spark Pilot

August 31, 2022

To support post-secondary success, many colleges and universities offer summer bridge programs for traditional-age students who are in between their high school graduation and their first semester of college. These programs often include intensive, short-term programming that engages and acclimates these recent high school graduates to college campus environments and courses, helping them enter, navigate, and complete college.  

Summer bridge programs have shown to be quite successful, with those who complete them often achieving higher GPAs and retention rates. Unfortunately, this type of program has not yet expanded to include adult learners. To remedy this and close the gap for adult learners in Southeast Michigan, the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Detroit Reconnect piloted an Adult Summer Spark program for adults ages 25 and older interested in attending a community college to earn a degree or credential.  

Detroit Reconnect’s intent with Adult Summer Spark was to provide programmatic support and develop an infrastructure that provides a comprehensive and universal support system for adult learners. The program’s goals were to help adults achieve academic success, create a culture of academic resilience and skill development, and build awareness of Michigan Reconnect scholarship funding.

The Framework of Adult Summer Spark 

Detroit Reconnect partnered with Schoolcraft College during the Summer 2022 semester to pilot Adult Summer Spark. They worked together to engage Schoolcraft’s population of adult learners who applied for free tuition at their in-district community college through Michigan Reconnect but did not enroll in college, also called Reconnectors. Through targeted and systematic messaging, Detroit Reconnect built awareness of the program, the dollars available through the Michigan Reconnect scholarship, and the scholarship requirements of enrolling in six credit hours, anticipating students will matriculate to the fall semester. 

The Success of the Adult Summer Spark 

Because the Michigan Reconnect scholarship only covers the cost of in-district tuition for Reconnectors, Schoolcraft College covered the difference between out-of-district and in-district tuition for adult learners reached through Adult Summer Spark. It did this through a $13,500.00 award from the Schoolcraft Foundation. Schoolcraft also facilitated a workshop series called “Quick Learning Bites,” which featured topics designed to align with the student’s academic journey. 

The financial assistance of Michigan Reconnect and Schoolcraft Foundation and the programmatic support provided by Detroit Reconnect and Schoolcraft College led to the success of Adult Summer Spark. As of Aug. 19, 2022, 162 Reconnectors registered for the Fall 2022 semester at Schoolcraft.  

Learn more about the Detroit Regional Chamber’s flagship education and talent programs.