The Michigan Association for College Admission Counseling (MACAC) held its annual conference virtually March 8-11. During its commemoration and awards ceremony, MACAC presented Dawn Medley with this year’s Achievement Award. The Achievement Award is presented to individuals or institutions who have established a tool, program or procedure that greatly aids in the high school to college transition.
“Wayne State University has made the news for two innovative programs that provide academic access and pathways to success, both at the institution and across metro Detroit,” said Holly M. Markiecki-Bennetts, MACAC’s past president. “Dawn Medley is the visionary behind both of these programs. MACAC is pleased to present the Achievement Award to Dawn for her tireless efforts in removing barriers to higher education. Her work is transforming higher education here in Michigan and across the country.”
One such program, the Heart of Detroit Tuition Pledge, offers free tuition to graduates of a Detroit high school, or Detroit residents that earn a high school diploma, who are granted admission to WSU in 2020 or beyond. This last-dollar financial aid program provides qualifying students with tuition and standard fees for up to four years, with zero out-of-pocket expenses.
“I am honored and inspired to receive the Achievement Award from MACAC,” said Dawn Medley, associate vice president of enrollment management. “Wayne State University has always been committed to access, and the Heart of Detroit program allows us to continue that mission. We have no greater resource than our children, and their education should be the number one priority of all higher education institutions.”
Warrior Way Back is another initiative designed to help grant students access to a Wayne State education. Launched in July 2018, Warrior Way Back is a first-in-the-nation debt-forgiveness program that offers students the opportunity to earn their way out of a past-due balance owed to Wayne State.
“The Warrior Way Back program is a simple and effective concept to assist students who are unable to complete their degree due to a past-due balance,” said Medley. “Without a culture of collaboration and enthusiasm to see it succeed by all participating units across the university, the program may have stalled.
“I am grateful to the leadership of Wayne State and my colleagues around the university — especially Amanda Rosales, who served as project director,” Medley continued. “I do not believe that Warrior Way Back would have been the success it is without Amanda and Amber Neher, our adult learner academic advisor, who took my idea and made it a reality by lifting the operations and creating a support system for students.”
Senior Director of Undergraduate Admissions Ericka M. Jackson shares in Medley’s enthusiasm for collaborating on creative solutions that help expand educational access.
“Dawn is so deserving of this award,” said Jackson. “She is dedicated to removing barriers to access higher education. She is an innovator who has developed programs that will benefit Michiganders for years to come.”