Grand Valley State University

05/30/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/30/2024 05:42

Pathways to GVSU program grows with addition of Battle Creek Public Schools

Pathways to GVSU program grows with addition of Battle Creek Public Schools

BY Michele Coffill
Image credit - photos by Michael Lanka

May 30, 2024

Battle Creek Public Schools became the first public school district to join the Eighth Grade Pathways to GVSU Program, which provides students opportunities for early admission to Grand Valley upon graduation.

Grand Valley leaders surprised eighth graders with the announcement during their promotion ceremony May 29 at the Battle Creek STEM Innovation Center. All BCPS eighth graders are eligible to participate in this program.

The Eighth Grade Pathways to GVSU program is an initiative that offers qualifying students the opportunity for early admission. Participants gain access to recruitment events and college-preparedness workshops provided by faculty and staff members. Seven more announcements will be held at schools and youth organizations throughout the summer, bringing the number of students involved in the program to more than 1,000.

Danny C. Vélez, associate vice president for Admissions & Recruitment, discusses the Eighth Grade Pathways to GVSU program during an event in Battle Creek May 29.

Astin Martin, associate director for Admissions and Recruitment, said eight schools and three community organizations across Michigan have joined the program since it was established in 2021.

The Eighth Grade Pathways to GVSU Program aligns with the Grand Valley Pledge,a tuition-free program for Michigan students from families with incomes less than $50,000.

B. Donta Truss, vice president for Enrollment Development and Educational Outreach, has delivered many of these announcements about the program's benefits during eighth-grade promotion ceremonies. He said while he addresses the parents and supporters in the room, he keeps an eye on the students.

"I really want students to know that Grand Valley is here for them, starting now," Truss said. "We will begin to walk alongside these students after they complete the eighth grade and include them in programming designed to increase chances of enrolling in college and, hopefully, they will select GVSU at that time."

Eighth graders at the Battle Creek STEM Innovation Center listen to an announcement about the pathway program during an eighth-grade promotion event May 29.
More than 1,000 students across Michigan now participate in the Eighth Grade Pathways to GVSU Program.

Christian Manley, principal of the Battle Creek STEM Innovation Center,said the Pathways program gives BCPS eighth graders a "direct connection to college" during what can be, for some, a difficult transition to high school.

"Middle school students are very nervous about high school," Manley said. "We work really hard to prepare students to know what to expect. Having workshops dedicated for students and led by university staff is an amazing opportunity for our students to have a space to connect and grow. They will walk into high school with a direct and real connection to college."

With funding from a 2019 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Grand Valley faculty members worked with Battle Creek Public Schools teachers and administrators to help develop the curriculum for the STEM Innovation Center. Learn more about Grand Valley services and resources in Battle Creek.


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