Congressman Sandy Levin : Background
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Higher Education in Macomb County
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12th Congressional District Advisory Committee on
Higher Education in Macomb County

Ken DeBeaussaert, Co-Chair
Former Member of the Michigan State House and Senate

Jim Edoff, Co-Chair
Former Superintendent of the Warren Fitzgerald School District

The State of Michigan Report of the Cherry Commission on Higher Education and Economic Growth spelled out how Michigan's economic future is directly linked to our ability to accelerate the completion of degrees of higher education, and it set out a strategy to double the number of Michigan residents achieving college degrees within the next ten years.

  • Two-thirds of the jobs that will be created in the next decade will require post-secondary education and training.
  • Those earning bachelor's degrees can be expected to earn 60% more than those with high school diplomas.
  • 90% of our students express a desire to go to college as they enter high school.

In past decades, the hardworking residents of Macomb County have contributed greatly to Michigan’s economic prosperity. Now Michigan’s economic future depends on our ability to respond fully to increased global competition. To lead the way in Macomb we can and must address the fact that only 18 % of residents 25 years or older have a college degree, and another 84,000 start college but face obstacles to completion.

The Congressional Research Service did an expedited analysis at Rep. Levin’s request on higher education institutions in the nation and reported that there are only two counties in the nation with a population greater than Macomb County without a four year public higher education institution within their boundaries.

If we are to address head-on the twin goals of preparing a workforce that meets the economic realities facing our County and our State, and importantly, meeting the aspirations of students in Macomb County, we must set out a path leading to the establishment here of a four year public institution. In doing so, we can build on the strength of the Macomb Community College system, enhance the environment in which educators, students, their families, employers and workers prepare plans for post-secondary education, and provide a home in the County for an institution that is a beacon for higher education.

As with any successful effort of this magnitude, meeting the challenges of higher education requires broad community involvement. A 12th District Congressional Advisory Committee on Higher Education in Macomb County has been formed to facilitate discussions, meetings and other activities on the challenges of higher education and the establishment of a four year public institution in Macomb. Former Fitzgerald School Superintendent Jim Edoff and Former State Senator Ken DeBeaussaert will co-chair this Congressional Panel.

All residents of the 12th Congressional District in Macomb County to join in this discussion at whatever level they wish. They may email their views to, attend town hall meetings, join an Advisory Committee working group, organize a discussion within a community group, volunteer to outreach to others B together we seek consensus around an issue vital to Macomb's future.

The 12th District Congressional Advisory Committee will establish work groups to gather information and analysis for full Committee review, engaging Stakeholders, and increase citizen involvement and heighten community awareness. The work groups will evaluate current post secondary services to Macomb County residents, current and future economic needs and opportunities, inherent barriers to enrollment and completion and how to enhancing the Higher Education environment within the County and responding to expectations of students, parents, and the community.