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Nov. 8 , 2005
CONTACT: Ward Mullens
734.487.4400
Ward.Mullens@emich.edu

EMU joins governor's "Return to Learn" initiative

YPSILANTI - Akia Brown of Warren was a teen parent who put her educational aspirations on hold when she got out of high school because she had to raise her children.

            At 29, Brown is the mother of four, a business owner and works full-time in the construction field. She recently returned to Eastern Michigan University to continue to work on a degree in construction management.

            Getting more people to follow in Brown’s footsteps and go back to school for a postsecondary credential is the reason Eastern Michigan University is joining Governor Jennifer Granholm’s “Return to Learn” initiative in the month of November.

            “If you think you’re too old to go back to school, or if you think your credits have expired, or that it’s simply too expensive, think again,” said Granholm. “In our 21st century economy, the greatest asset you can have isn’t just a strong back or the stamina to work extra hours, it’s a single piece of paper – a diploma.”

            “The constraints of time and life can be difficult obstacles for some. Many of our students are considered non-traditional, which means they already have jobs and families and very little extra income,” said John Fallon, president of Eastern Michigan University. “We understand that, but we also provide a lot of flexibility so that they can get a degree and improve their position.”

            As part of its efforts for “Return to Learn,” EMU will host four open houses around southeastern Michigan to answer questions about how students can “Return to Learn.”

            The open houses are scheduled for EMU-Brighton (1.800.777.3521), Tuesday, Nov. 15, 4-8 p.m.; EMU Detroit (1.313.342.2731), Wednesday, Nov. 16, 4-8 p.m.;  and EMU-Livonia (1.877.818.4368), Thursday, Nov. 17, 4-8 p.m.; and EMU’s main campus in Ypsilanti (1.734.487.2382), Nov. 29, 4-8 p.m. at McKenny Union. For more information, go to www.returntolearn.org or www.michigan.gov/gov

            “It is critical that the entire EMU community supports this initiative because learning and degree attainment is not time-limited,” said Dr. Lynette Findley, executive director of strategic enrollment outreach for EMU. “More importantly, we have to begin to adjust to the changing job markets that will drive our economy which will no longer depend on jobs in the auto industry and other manufacturing related positions. Many of our residents will need to be retrained in other careers that will drive our economy such as technology, teaching, business related fields and health services.  As educators, and we all are, we must invest in the future of higher education. It is our responsibility to encourage adult learners to return to higher education.”

            “We want Michigan to be the best educated state in the country,” Granholm said. “We want to be a state of tremendous opportunity, where the opportunity of education is within grasp for not just every child, but every person in Michigan.”

Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their careers and lives, and to be better citizens.

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Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.


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