Michael Lawrence Collins is a vice president at JFF. He leads the postsecondary team, developing and advocating for state policies on behalf of national initiatives, such as Achieving the Dream, Completion by Design, and the Student Success Center Network. A policy researcher, analyst, writer, and strategy consultant, Michael helps states develop and implement public policies designed to increase the number of low-income and minority students who successfully transition from high school into college, persist, and earn credentials and degrees.
Michael leads JFF’s Postsecondary State Network, which provides access to state lawmakers, faculty, and college leaders in almost half of the community colleges in the nation, educating over 50 percent of the nation’s students in public two-year colleges. Michael regularly convenes education thought leaders and collaborates with public policy decision makers, state and national intermediary organizations, philanthropic organizations, academic researchers, and nationally recognized policy experts. Together, they design and execute on-the-ground policy/action agendas for dramatically improving the rates at which students reach their individual education goals and states reach their statewide education attainment and workforce goals.
Before joining JFF, Michael served as assistant commissioner for participation and success at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. In that capacity, he worked with K–12, higher education, the business community, the Texas Legislature, and community-based organizations to increase college access and success.
Michael earned a master's degree from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas–Austin.