Our Coordinator

Alyssa Merten has been the coordinator of the Oceana College Access Network  since it’s inception in 2015. She is passionate about the mission of this cross-sector collaborative to ensure that students have the aspirations and resources to pursue education after high school.  We know that the majority of jobs of the future will require education beyond high school- our community must work together in every way possible to make sure all students recognize their unique talents and potential and have the tools, resources, and support to pursue fulfilling careers. 

Why are you passionate about your work?

“I believe that college, meaning any education after high school, can be for everyone if that is what they choose. All students need the encouragement to aspire towards lifelong learning.  Many in our community do not have a network of support around them to build them up, hold them to high expectations, and help them along their unique path. I know that it often just takes someone believing in them, encouraging them to have dreams, and to pursue them even when it seems scary, out of reach, or unattainable.”

Where is your favorite place to visit/go/hang out in Oceana County?

“I love to hang out at Claybanks Pottery, our family business, with my husband, 3 kids, and 3 fur babies. I love to relax along that entire lakeshore area, including floating down Stony Lake channel, hiking in the dunes, and hanging out at the beach. My other favorite place in Oceana is at my mom’s house in Ferry, roaming the woods where I grew up.”

Leadership Team

Oceana CAN! Leadership Team is comprised of members from k-12 schools, local colleges, businesses, and organizations to focus on post-secondary education awareness, access and attainment specifically in Oceana County. The team meets monthly to provide strategic direction for the network, strengthen programming and partnerships, and to mobilize funding that will sustain the network. The team is committed to understanding the community’s college attainment barriers and focused on creating a college-going culture throughout the community.

Members are from these organizations

What Is "College"?

College is all post-secondary education including certificate programs, trade schools, community colleges and 4 year colleges and universities. Learn More