W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Battle Creek Public Schools
In March 2019, Grand Valley State University (GVSU) received a $15.5 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) to partner with Battle Creek Public Schools (BCPS) to assist with the educational transformation in the district. The partnership assists in strengthening BCPS by improving the quality of teaching in the district and providing students with a pathway to high-paying, high-demand jobs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and healthcare fields. Working with administrators, teachers, students, and families, GVSU is providing students with hands-on experiences in STEM, health care, and education to ensure that they are college or career-ready upon graduation. With a robust Early Career Teacher mentoring program and ongoing professional development initiatives, it also transforms the K-12 teacher career pipeline to improve teacher recruitment and retention. Major initiatives include:
Preparing BCPS Students for Careers in Education, Health, and STEM:
- Dual Enrollment Courses - Health and Education
- Freshman Career Exploration Fair
- Career exploration camps
- STEM Innovation Center Curriculum
- High-Leverage Teaching Practices
- New Teacher Mentoring
- Paraprofessional Pathway
- Project-Based Learning
- Student Teacher Pipeline
The Grand Valley State University Battle Creek Regional Outreach Center (BCROC) opened on November 4, 2019. Located at 8 Michigan Avenue West in downtown Battle Creek, Michigan, the center serves as the home for the Director of Community Engagement, Special Projects Coordinator, Career Navigator, and Office Assistant, as well as several part-time student workers. This space is available for anyone in the Battle Creek and southwestern Michigan community to receive advisement and resources to assist with their educational journey.
Through additional funding from WKKF, six graduates from Battle Creek Central High School received a full-ride scholarship to attend GVSU in 2020. The BCPS Health and Teacher Education Pipeline Scholarship program provide funding for the cost of tuition and fees, housing, dining, and a book stipend. Scholarships were awarded to ten additional students in 2021, and twelve in 2022. The grant also helped implement a unique advising model utilizing a college-based career navigator. The career navigator addresses educational access barriers, and provides holistic support, planned curricular and extracurricular activities, and weekly advising sessions for scholars to 27 current Pipeline Scholars.