The Series

A joint project from Detroit Public Television and Chalkbeat Detroit, Ready or Not is a multi-platform docu-series that follows four Detroit high school graduates – Marqell, Demetrius, Kashia, and Joe – as they embark on their first year of college. 

The Students

Marqell – Cody High School c/o 2019, Michigan State University

Demetrius – Jalen Rose Leadership Academy c/o 2019, Central Michigan University

Kashia – Jalen Rose Leadership Academy c/o 2019, Michigan State University

Joe – Cody High School c/o 2019, Davenport University

Watch the series

Part II: College Support

Air date: December 12, 2019

Students featured: Demetrius, Marqell, Kashia

Special guests: Mary Henley, Central Michigan University; Dr. Jerry Caldwell, Michigan State University; Antoine, Michigan State University;  Kai, Michigan State University; 

Organizations mentioned: Central Michigan University Pathways to Academic Student Success, Michigan State Charles Drew Science Scholars Program, Michigan State University Big Sister Little Sister Mentoring Program

Part I: Meet the Students

Air date: Sept. 2019

Students featured: Marqell, Demetrius, Joe

Special guests: Jalen Rose

Schools mentioned: Cody High School, Jalen Rose Leadership AcademyMichigan State University, Central Michigan University, Davenport University

From Chalkbeat Detroit

Joseph Thomas was alone in his dorm room.

Perhaps that’s why his mind was racing. Why he couldn’t stop thinking about the future. He kept going over all the steps he needed to take over the next four years at Davenport University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to achieve his dreams: a successful football season, a professional sports career, a practical backup plan.
Published September 18, 2019

She’s scheduled office visits with her professor. She’s asked the teaching assistants for help. She’s dropped into the math learning centers.

But still, despite excelling in her other classes, Marqell McClendon has struggled in the remedial math class she’s taking during her first semester at Michigan State University.

Published November 15, 2019

High school needs to be “harder.” Schools need to get rid of worksheets. And high school classes should be more like college classes.

These comments shed light on some of the struggles Detroit students face when they get to college. The insights come from a new Michigan Future report based on the experiences of 133 students who graduated from two charter schools and one traditional public high school in Detroit from 2014 to 2017. 

Published January 22, 2020
Lori Higgins

Lori Higgins

Bureau Chief, Chalkbeat Detroit

Chalkbeat Detroit bureau chief. Former Detroit Free Press education writer. Music lover. Maker of bags. Native Chicagoan. Die-hard Cubs fan. 

Angela N. Brown

Angela N. Brown

One Detroit, Detroit Public Television

Detroit PBS digital producer. Former educator. Lover of Jodeci, Chuck Taylors, and moleskine notebooks. Native Detroiter. Go Tigers.

Behind the Scenes

Coming soon…

About Us

WTVS Detroit Public Television is the viewer-supported PBS member station serving the nation’s 11th largest television market. Our vision is for a community in which people trust public media to help them discover new ideas, make informed decisions, and enjoy enriched lives.

Chalkbeat Detroit is part of a national nonprofit news organization committed to covering one of America’s most important stories: the effort to improve schools for all children, especially those who have historically lacked access to a quality education.