$15.5M grant increasing school district’s ‘access to higher education’


Students in the Battle Creek Public Schools district work with computers during a class. Photo via fb.com

A foundation has given a university a $15.5-million grant to expand higher education options for a public school district’s students and teachers.

With the grant from the Battle Creek-based W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Grand Valley State University will offer Battle Creek Public Schools, or BCPS, middle and high school students opportunities for exposure to the health care and education industries, as well as offer teachers enhanced professional development and mentorship opportunities.

Middle and high school students enrolled at BCPS will be able to attend STEM-focused summer camps, where they will get hands-on experience in the health care, engineering and science fields. High school students can also enroll in university classes in education and health sciences to get a head start on their college and career pursuits.

Special camps will encourage young girls to explore math and sciences.

GVSU will also open an outreach center in downtown Battle Creek this summer to coordinate student services, also enabling the entire community to inquire about and access the university’s resources.

Through the program, GVSU’s College of Education will offer the school district’s teachers mentoring, leadership development and various programs to support curriculum design and instructional practices. Classroom assistants will receive support to become certified public school teachers, and pipeline programs will be established to bring more educators to Battle Creek.

"We know how education positively affects the entire climate of a region, and we look forward to a fruitful relationship and successful outcomes for the students, teachers and members of the community,” said Thomas Haas, president, Grand Valley State University.

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