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Lt. Governor Gilchrist celebrates Michigan Reconnect success with Delta College visit

February 8, 2023

Lt. Gov. Gilchrist

On February 2, Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II visited Delta College’s main campus to celebrate Michigan Reconnect’s ongoing success on its launch’s second anniversary.

The scholarship program, the most significant 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 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 and Delta College officials to highlight the additional support of the initiative, 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.

“Everybody’s situation is different, and one thing I know that I appreciate about Delta and sister institutions is trying to figure out how to make this work and make it fit and the puzzle pieces are going to look different for some people who use a different kind of support,” Gilchrist said. “But I know I’m very confident in our partnership at the state level with a college like Delta that we can figure it out. My commitment is that we will stay committed to that.”

Of the 2,332 Delta students who enrolled in either the Future for Frontliners or Michigan Reconnect programs: 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 receiving their degree or skills certificate.

Written by Ashley Terrell, Writer.