Part of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the Center for Educational Outreach (CEO) supports and advances the University of Michigan’s commitment to educational outreach and academic excellence. CEO partners with faculty, staff, and students to develop and implement programs that inform, engage, and inspire a diverse community of scholars.
As the University’s K-12 Outreach Hub, CEO leads a coordinated, university-level strategy to significantly increase the capacity and effectiveness of U-M faculty, campus outreach professionals, and student groups through fostering communities of practice, building capacity and consulting, developing infrastructure to support outreach, and delivering direct service to K-12 communities.
CEO leads the development of communities of practice to gain insight into optimal strategies for youth outreach and engagement across campus; share best and promising practices to increase student access and success; and highlight the work of U-M colleagues to support collaboration and promote innovation.
CEO consults with U-M faculty, staff, students as well as K-12 schools and community-based organizations. We support outreach and DEI initiatives by bolstering existing efforts, creating new opportunities, identifying resources, promoting meaningful work, and connecting cross-campus colleagues.
CEO develops and curates educational technology tools and supports and sustains a cross-campus outreach infrastructure. CEO actively works with ODEI, Ginsberg, ITS, CAI, and many more to enhance the outreach community through data, technology, training, and virtual resources.
CEO serves the Michigan community directly through various K-12 programs that impact schools, students and their communities. CEO also facilitates outreach opportunities for the U-M campus, connecting U-M faculty, staff and students with classrooms and students with on-campus opportunities.
Following the passage of Proposal 2, U-M President Mary Sue Coleman convened a Diversity Blueprints Taskforce to frame the University of Michigan’s response and share recommendations for how the university might move forward with efforts to attract and retain a diverse community of students, faculty, and staff. Chief among those recommendations was the establishment of a center for educational outreach.
The Center for Educational Outreach (CEO) was established in 2009 with the charge of promoting and coordinating educational outreach and engagement activities, and strengthening partnerships between the university and K-12 school systems and communities in the State of Michigan.
Since its inception, CEO has informed, engaged, and inspired youth across the state to pursue postsecondary education, primarily by administering outreach and engagement programs to youth and families and building strong, mutually-beneficial relationships with K-12 schools and communities. Today, CEO utilizes its expertise to serve as the hub for the University of Michigan’s educational outreach.
In addition to offering its own educational outreach programs, CEO aims to expand the University of Michigan’s impact in educational outreach by strengthening collaboration and coordination between the U-M community and K-12 schools and communities and building capacity for U-M faculty, staff, and student groups to develop and implement their own outreach programs and initiatives.
Communicating with students about educational options after high school is a critical step to address issues of access and equity in post-secondary education. Navigating through the variety of options can seem overwhelming and the college application process can be daunting and complex. The process of obtaining financial aid is also a significant barrier to entry for many students and inhibits them from pursuing post-secondary options for which they are qualified. However, these factors should not be deterrents, and addressing this issue is one aspect of our work at the Center for Educational Outreach. Research has continually demonstrated that “informational interventions” significantly increase the likelihood of students pursuing post-secondary options by addressing the misconceptions that many students hold and by bridging the resource gap. Informing students about the options, resources and support available to them in their educational journey is a key component of our mission.
Developing a college-going culture among youth is essential for making post-secondary education more accessible. College aspiration does not happen overnight; this mindset and belief must be cultivated through meaningful and effective engagement. For many students, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds, information about college is provided only sporadically and without structure. Research has shown that having college plans by the tenth grade increases students’ likelihood of attending by 21%, compared to plans created during the twelfth grade. Providing students with opportunities to engage with ideas and explore academic disciplines and career paths is an important way to help students prepare for life after high school graduation; this can have a significant impact on their aspirations. At the Center for Educational Outreach, we seek to engage students, schools and communities in a variety of ways to promote access to and success in post-secondary education.
Enhancing the concept of college in the minds of K-12 students is crucial and seeing themselves at college is a key focus for the Center for Educational Outreach. Through the power of storytelling, students can see themselves within the stories of professionals and their educational journeys. Developing a sense of belonging is a powerful motivator. The Center strives to promote a college-going culture within our school and community partners as well as provide the resources and inspiration needed for students to know they belong in college and will succeed.