On February 2, Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II visited Delta College’s main campus to celebrate Michigan Reconnect’s ongoing success on the program’s second anniversary.
The scholarship program, the most significant such effort in state history, ensures that Michiganders 25 and older without a degree can receive a tuition-free opportunity to earn an associate degree or skills certificate. They can do so at any of Michigan’s public community colleges, including its three tribal colleges. In her 2023 State of the State address, Governor Gretchen Whitmer proposed lowering the age to 21, opening the opportunity to roughly 400,000 more Michiganders.
During the tour with President Michael Gavin, Gilchrist visited the welding engineering technology and computer numerical control (CNC) programs to speak with students and instructors.
Afterward, Gilchrist had a round-table discussion with students on their individual experiences, pathways to future employment options and how the state can provide diverse support to students based on their various needs.
“I appreciate that Delta is trying to figure out how to make this work for people who need different kinds of support,” Gilchrist said. “I’m very confident at the state level that Delta can help figure out how to meet student needs. We will stay committed to that.”
Of the 2,332 Delta students who enrolled in either the Future for Frontliners or Michigan
6 percent are in skilled trades, 38 percent are in health careers, and 56 percent are in other parts of the college.
Since its launch in February 2021, more than 114,000 Michigan residents have applied, with more than 24,000 scholarship participants enrolling in community colleges. And more than 2,000 participants have received their degree or skills certificate.