UM-Dearborn is 'On the Move'


University of Michigan-Dearborn is gearing up to host its annual “On the Move: College is an Option!” event, a free one-day outreach program dedicated to introducing individuals experiencing socioeconomic challenges to post-secondary education.

“On the Move” will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on March 29 at Fairlane Center North, located off Hubbard Drive.

UM-Dearborn alumna Beverly Alexander, a division manager with the Detroit Recreation Department, will speak at the event, along with recent graduate Kathie Norfleet, who participated in the campus’ Student Outreach and Academic Resources (SOAR) Program.

Alexander has the distinction of being the first graduate of UM-Dearborn’s SOAR program, formerly known as “Women on the Move: College is an Option.”  She also is a licensed and ordained minister who has devoted nearly 25 years of her life to working with high-risk girls and young women, inspiring them to overcome personal adversities. Norfleet is a 2011 graduate with a degree in general studies and concentrations in sociology, psychology, and women’s and gender studies. She also is pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree at UM-Dearborn. She will speak about the challenges and rewards of returning to school as a non-traditional learner.

“On the Move offers both encouragement and practical advice for non-traditional prospective students seeking a pathway to begin or complete their college education,” said Ellen Judge-Gonzalez, event coordinator and director of the SOAR Program. “For 15 years, this outreach effort has brought together area universities, community colleges and human service organizations with one common goal – to improve the lives of those in our metropolitan area who need it most through access to education.”

Accompanied by volunteer mentors, participants attend a college course; hear a panel discussion of returning students who share their own college experiences; and receive information on how to apply for college, register for classes and apply for financial aid and scholarships. Representatives from local colleges, universities and community service organizations will staff informational tables.

UM-Dearborn’s Office of the Provost and Commission for Women, as well as the American Association of University Women (Dearborn branch) will sponsor the event. Interested individuals may register online or call the SOAR office at 313-593-3960. Those interested in volunteering to mentor at the event may do so online.  The deadline to register as a participant or a mentor is March 27. General information about the workshop and the SOAR program can be found on the UM-Dearborn SOAR webpage.

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