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After Difficulties in High School, Schoolcraft Provides Path to U of M

September 16, 2020

If you met Austin Goff in high school, you might have thought it unlikely he’d graduate from the University of Michigan.

Thanks to determination on his part and support from instructors and academic advisors at Schoolcraft College, Goff proved any doubters wrong and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan.

That’s just the start. He wants to pursue a joint master’s and law school program with an eye toward working as an investigator in a public defender’s office.

Goff admits his grades at Canton High School weren’t the greatest, but he didn’t let that deter him. He wanted to attend Michigan and believed Schoolcraft College was the place to help him achieve his dream.

“I decided to go to Schoolcraft because I had many friends who attended Schoolcraft before transferring to different universities and they all recommended it,” Goff said.

Once admitted, Goff got down to business.

“I took a wide breadth of courses at Schoolcraft because I knew that was what the University of Michigan was looking for in transfer students,” Goff said. “I wanted to get as many of my general requirements completed as possible. I was also hoping to major in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Michigan, which is a major program you must be admitted into, so I tried to take the prerequisites courses required for that as well.”

In addition to providing the rigorous academic courses he needed to transfer to Michigan, Schoolcraft College also provided a supportive atmosphere through caring academic advisors and professors who value their students.

“Everybody I interacted with at Schoolcraft seemed eager and happy to help me pursue my goals and excel,” said Goff, who attended Schoolcraft College from 2015-17. “They were all also very personable, easy to talk with, and I really can't think of a negative experience I had with any of my professors.”

In particular, he appreciated the support from Academic Advisor Gary DeGuzman and professors Dr. JuJuan C. Taylor (Communication Arts), Professor Ed Kavanaugh (Mathematics) and Professor Andrea Nofz (Foreign Languages).

“I enjoyed talking with Mr. DeGuzman so much that sometimes I even made appointments just to chat and catch up,” Goff said.

DeGuzman admired Goff’s determination.

“Very few times I’ll come across a student that can achieve a perfect score in all of his or her classes and have the foresight to move forward with focus and determination. Austin was one of those students.” DeGuzman said. “In my two years of advising Austin, he brought to our advising appointments compelling insight on his goals and how he will achieve them.

“He was determined to complete his degree with Schoolcraft and transfer to the University of Michigan to obtain a world-class education. I have no doubt we’ll be reading about Austin in the headlines.”

After finishing his two years at Schoolcraft College, Goff said it was easy to transfer to Michigan and begin as a junior. He majored in Philosophy, Politics and Economics with a minor in History.

Goff hopes others can benefit from his story.

“Don't let past mishaps cause you to set your sights low,” he said. “If you don't think your high school grades accurately capture your potential, you can prove that by succeeding at Schoolcraft.”