Skip to main content

2018-2019 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog

Search Help

Community Resources

The applied Medical Device Institute (aMDI) serves the medical device community as a focused service enterprise. Medical device innovation begins with an idea. The idea, often in the form of a napkin sketch, must cross a "development valley of death." Ideas need preseed funding; resources in the form of research clinicians, engineers, medical professionals, technicians, and their associated infrastructure; and an integrated process that includes technical, intellectual property, business review, and mentoring.

The aMDI exists as a bridge that spans the development valley of death by providing a means for the idea to be tested and, if technically feasible, a proof-of-concept prototype can be realized. Innovation is then furthered in collaboration with aMDI and other entrepreneurial, regulatory, investment, and business architecture entities. The aMDI provides design and development for manufacturing engineering as the prototype is productized, as well as connects to the regions existing commercialization and financing organizations. In addition to the physicians, nurses, and clinicians, the institute serves small companies as a contract research and development department and serves large companies by providing responsive intellectual capacity to meet the demands of unforeseen business cycles or emerging technologies.

The aMDI differentiates itself with an applied focus, where proof-of-principle and go/no-go criteria are balanced with a risk mitigation plan. This approach provides expedient response time, where cost models provide high value for early concept development and proof-of-principle answers that determine technical feasibility and commercially viability.

The aMDI services the medical device community, which is broad and includes many stakeholders, including but not limited to, clinicians, interns, inventors, commercial researchers, engineering firms, integrators, medical device manufacturers and suppliers, research academicians, and students. Strategically located along Grand Rapids Medical Mile, the aMDI is immediately accessible to this broad community. The aMDI will build development teams across the academic, health care, and business communities to pursue funding at federal and state levels (NIH, NSH, DoD agencies, etc).

The aMDI is West Michigan's medical device technology innovation hub that leverages the vast potential of the Grand Rapids region's academic, medical, technology, industry, and economic development resources. The aMDI's goal is to provide services at every stage of the invention-to-commercialization continuum.

Autism Education Center

The focus of the Autism Education Center (AEC) is helping individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) to become fully integrated members of their communities. The center is committed to developing and supporting the use of evidence-based practices in partnership with individuals on the autism spectrum and their families, educational providers, health care professionals, and community stakeholders to ensure that individuals with ASD receive evidence-based information, support, and services that will assist them throughout their lives.

The primary work of the AEC is conducted through the Statewide Autism Resources and Training Project (START), a state-funded grant project designed to provide training and technical assistance to educators in Michigan who serve students with ASD. The START Project has been in place since 2001 through the support of the Michigan Department of Education, Office of Special Education. The START Project serves as a coordinating and supporting entity for schools across the State of Michigan to better service students with ASD. One major emphasis of the START Project is coordination of 17 regional collaborative networks that serve as the infrastructure for collaboration and coordination across school districts, intermediate school districts, and community stakeholders, allowing shared training and resources and systemic planning on a broad scale that leads to more effective educational programming for students with ASD. The START Project addresses both the individual and system-wide needs of students with ASD including the classroom, building, district, and regional levels. All students with ASD have the right to a high-quality education and services that enhance their potential to become fully participating citizens. School professionals working with students with ASD learn to implement and promote evidence-based concepts and practices such as early intervention, educational supports and strategies, positive behavioral interventions and supports, teaming and collaboration, and peer supports. Educators also need to provide programming that prepares students with ASD for paid work and community integration in adulthood through early job experiences in the community. Throughout the educational process, parents are included as active, contributing members of any team supporting a student with ASD.

The AEC is involved in other projects to support individuals with ASD in the community, including facilitation of summer camp integration, the GVSU Campus Links program for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders, implementation of the Michigan ASD State Plan, the development of the Autism Resources and Information Center website, program development with state autism organizations, and applied research projects. Presentations are provided to the community on various topics related to ASD.

The Autism Education Center's website is

Center for Adult and Continuing Studies

Through an ever-changing, ever-evolving array of programs, the Center for Adult and Continuing Studies helps the university expand beyond the classroom to build communities of lifelong learners who are more informed, better prepared, and uniquely engaged in their work, leisure, and the world in which they live.

Grand Forum
Grand Forum is an educational outreach program for adults 55 and older and is a division of the Center for Adult and Continuing Studies at Grand Valley. Grand Forum provides the opportunity for individuals of diverse backgrounds to meet in an academic setting for the purpose of intellectual stimulation and social engagement.

Led by university faculty members and administrators, community leaders, Grand Forum members, independent scholars, and local professionals, topics are offered in such fields as the arts, business, current events, history, and science.

Through presentations and discussions, held both on and off campus, Grand Forum provides a broad spectrum of stimulating programs in a setting that encourages lively discussion. An interest in learning is an essential part of membership.

Another feature of Grand Forum membership includes the monthly Grand Forum Book Discussion Group, which meets the first Wednesday of the month. Information on Grand Forum is available by calling (616) 331-6615 or visiting

Workforce Development
The Center for Adult and Continuing Studies sponsors select training and professional development activities to serve business and professional communities in West Michigan. Contract and custom training opportunities are available and can be offered on the site of the organization. Seminars and workshops are also available online. These programs are not for academic credit and are offered to meet professional and personal development needs of individuals, corporations, and organizations. For more information, please call (616) 331-7180 or visit

Professional Development Partnership Program (PDP)
Coordinated through the Center for Adult and Continuing Studies, the PDP creates and maintains partnerships with schools, agencies, and businesses throughout the State of Michigan. PDP offers the opportunity to receive graduate academic credit and State Board CEUs for educators and is a provider of continuing education for social workers through the Michigan Social Work Continuing Education Collaborative. For more information, please contact (616) 331-6522 or visit

Center for Scholarly and Creative Excellence

Vice Provost for Research Administration and Executive Director: Robert P. Smart, Ph.D.

The Center for Scholarly and Creative Excellence (CSCE) promotes a culture of active scholarship, encourages innovation and enterprise, facilitates collaborations, and serves as an advocate for university scholarship and creative practice. The CSCE sponsors workshops, colloquia, lectures, and discussions. It provides help with developing a scholarly agenda, mentoring by senior faculty members, assistance in finding collaborations, and publishing as a scholar.

The center coordinates the efforts of the following units within the university:

  • The Office of Sponsored Programs serves as the university's central office that supports faculty and staff members in the identification, development, submission, and administration of externally sponsored agreements for scholarly research and creative activity.
  • Research Protections oversees compliance awareness and accountability within the research culture of the university through assistance, education, and communication. The office is responsible for activities involving human subjects, animal welfare, biohazards, and chemical safety.
  • The Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship offers a variety of opportunities for undergraduates to pursue research and scholarship in various disciplines under the direction of a faculty mentor.
  • The Technology Commercialization Office is a resource and partner for university faculty members, staff members, and students developing technologies with commercial potential. The office acts as a bridge to coordinate efforts between industry and the GVSU community advancing ideas through partnerships.

Design, Optimization, Evaluation, and Redesign Center

The Design, Optimization, Evaluation, and Redesign (DOER) Center was founded in 2006 to draw upon the diverse knowledge of the School of Engineering to benefit local industry and to foster engagement in the community. The DOER Center matches industry partners with expert faculty members and students in short- to medium-term contracts in the furtherance of the School of Engineering's educational mission and to provide an avenue to directly engage expert faculty and students in projects of varying length, schedule, budget, and level of effort.

The DOER Center matches clients with a team of faculty members and students who apply their knowledge to solve advanced industrial problems. Students involved in the DOER Center gain experience in product development and applied research while clients enjoy top quality, highly supervised support at a negotiated, low university rate. In addition to helping prepare the next generation of engineers by providing real-world learning experiences, businesses enjoy valuable and tangible benefits. More information is available by contacting [email protected].

The DTE EMC Center is a unique facility that has been made possible by an equally unique collaboration between GVSU and EMC practitioners from our community.

The intent of the center:

  • Provide a one-of-a-kind facility for teaching EMC principles and practices
  • Provide GVSU students with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the regulatory and testing requirements for EMC compliance
  • Support the local industrial community with design/redesign assistance and precompliance testing for products during the development cycle. (Such capabilities are beyond the scope of our local companies.)
  • Support continuing education in EMC for practicing professionals
  • Support practicing professionals via the IEEE EMC Chapter in West Michigan

Find more information at

Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy

The Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy is a university-based center serving nonprofits, grantmaking institutions, and others seeking to transform their communities for the public good. Established in 1992 with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and named for Dorothy A. Johnson, a longtime leader in Michigan philanthropy, the Johnson Center for Philanthropy helps nonprofit professionals, donors, academics, volunteers, and others across the country and the world navigate this dynamic, complex field. Through original research, meaningful thought leadership, strategic collaboration, trainings, and more, the center provides trusted guidance for doing good.

Program Areas

  • Capacity Building for Nonprofits: Our Nonprofit Services (NPS) team works directly with nonprofits in Michigan and beyond, offering strategic support services, workshops, and coaching. Through one-on-one, team, and community-wide programming, NPS works to foster a deeper understanding of the many roles that structural and human ecosystems can play in building capacity and resiliency for communities, organizations, and individuals.
  • Education for Grantmakers and Donors: The Institute for Foundation and Donor Learning (IFDL) uses applied research, original writing, publishing, and organizational and professional development programs to identify and address emerging needs and trends in giving. Through The Grantmaking School and The Foundation Review, IFDL supports and advances effective philanthropy. IFDL also houses two groundbreaking endowed chairs that seek to enhance society's understanding and experience of philanthropy. The Frey Foundation Chair for Family Philanthropy and the W.K. Kellogg Community Philanthropy Chair, both first-of-their-kind positions, focus on how new data and ideas can inform and empower donors, grantmaking organizations, and communities.
  • Research Design and Analysis: The Community Research Institute (CRI) helps nonprofits, funders, and government entities collect, interpret, and share data about their work and communities. CRI develops online tools and original research projects to promote data-driven decision making and program evaluation, ultimately strengthening the infrastructure of philanthropy and shaping how funders, nonprofits, and public organizations use data to define their relationships and their impact.

Developing the Next Generation of Leaders in Philanthropy

Grand Valley State University undergraduate and graduate students and alumni work as interns, fellows, graduate assistants, and full-time staff at the Johnson Center for Philanthropy, contributing to original research, assisting with our work on the ground, and supporting our thought leadership. Through research-to-practice engagement, we are preparing the future leaders of philanthropy.

Information and Insight for the Field

  • The Foundation Review, the nation's first peer-reviewed journal of philanthropy, supports an academic approach to nonprofit and grantmaker work.
  • LearnPhilanthropy is a hub for grantmaker learning, built by and for professionals working in the field. More than 60 content partners contribute to this online information exchange, creating a vibrant space designed to help grantmakers learn about the field and improve their work.
  • Our State of Generosity is an online platform that preserves and shares more than 40 years of history from Michigan's philanthropic sector.
  • Our archives and special collections provide scholarly resources related to philanthropy and philanthropists in Michigan. The collections support the research interests of visiting scholars, Grand Valley faculty; students in the School of Public, Nonprofit, and Health Administration; and the general public.

Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies

Inspired by Ralph Hauenstein's life of leadership and service, the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies at Grand Valley State University is dedicated to raising a community of ethical, effective leaders for the 21st century. Our world-class initiatives and resources include the following:

The Peter C. Cook Leadership Academy serves university students at all levels of their development. We strive to transform learners into leaders. Emerging leaders work to become more ethical and effective in their communities through mentorships and frequent engagement with experienced professionals. The Cook Leadership Academy, within the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies, has become one of the Midwest's preeminent centers for the exploration and development of leadership excellence.

Our Common Ground Initiative enhances community access to national thought leaders, confronting the political and cultural challenges our diverse communities face. Partnering with organizations at Grand Valley and around the state and nation, we host world-class lectures, conversations, debates, panels, and conferences. Launched with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, these programs challenge leading scholars, writers, and public officials to explore the possible common ground between left and right. In short, we promote common ground for the common good.

Our website and social media presence opens a window to the world on the scholarship we have produced as a presidential studies center and the programs we have offered to the West Michigan community. More than 27 years' worth of video, transcripts, and original scholarship grows daily. Our website and social media efforts have drawn more than 30 million hits from around the globe.

Our book collections have been recognized by the Library of Congress as "a uniquely valuable resource." No other place on earth houses, in one room, all the books written by U.S. presidents. We are proud to have one of the Midwest's leading espionage and intelligence collections. We also have a collection of books authored by many of our first ladies.

The Colonel Ralph W. Hauenstein Fellowship is a prestigious award inspired by Colonel Hauenstein's extraordinary life, which exemplified the service and leadership that Grand Valley seeks to cultivate in its students and graduates. Past recipients include President Gerald R. Ford, 64th Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, 61st Secretary of State James A. Baker III, National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft, and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Carla A. Hills.

Kutsche Office of Local History

The Kutsche Office of Local History is a humanities-based learning initiative that blends academics with community engagement. Through this office, students studying in all disciplines are offered opportunities to blend classroom knowledge with hands-on experience in the field of public, local history. Our mission is to use history to foster an earnest appreciation of our common challenges, common destiny, and common humanity.

Our strategy for achieving our mission is three-dimensional. First, the office assists groups that have been understudied and underrecognized to document, preserve, and disseminate their knowledge of history. Second, the office reinforces Grand Valley students' understanding of public, local history by engaging students in hands-on, history-driven community based learning projects and internships.

Finally, the office will support the work of local history institutions and organizations in West Michigan by providing faculty and student research assistance, opportunities for networking and collaboration, and providing information to help local history organizations improve their delivery of public history to the citizens in West Michigan and beyond. For more information, call (616) 331-8099 or email [email protected]

The Mobile Applications and Services Laboratory (MASL) is an interdisciplinary initiative hosted by the GVSU School of Computing and Information Systems. MASL offers a unique environment to faculty and students who have interests in emerging mobile technologies from both a research and educational perspective. The emergence of open mobile platforms and thriving mobile application deployment ecosystems makes it possible to explore a variety of experimental in situ research themes in a number of different mobile application domains.

Our approach is unique in that while we engage in academic research in the traditional sense, we are also focused on creating an environment for our undergraduate and graduate students that approximates as much as possible the "real world" outside of the academy. To that end, we are engaged in a number of projects with external industry partners in which students and faculty members are working together to understand how mobile technology can be effectively applied in a variety of real-world situations. We like to call this "application research." Our research has ranged from building apps for patients with traumatic brain injuries to apps that are helping entomologists better understand the declining honeybee populations.

More information on current projects can be found on the laboratory's website at or by contacting [email protected]

The Muskegon Innovation Hub at Grand Valley serves as a beacon that celebrates the innovative spirit of entrepreneurs in West Michigan. The hub provides coaching, funding, networking, and a synergistic work environment to help businesses and entrepreneurs maximize their growth potential. As a key partner in the region's innovation ecosystem, the Muskegon Innovation Hub supports startup businesses, entrepreneurs, and corporate innovation teams. Through our business incubator, CoLaunch coworking space, we offer the breadth of support necessary for success, including funding assistance programs and training and event spaces!

The hub's business incubator fosters emerging entrepreneurs to transform their ideas into successful companies through support of a dynamic team specializing in an array of critical business skills. Clients of the incubation program receive ongoing support to spur innovative business growth, which may also include office space located at the hub when required. We understand that every entrepreneur and early-stage company has unique needs requiring customized solutions, which is why we provide tailored programming specific to each of our clients.

CoLaunch is the newest feature at the hub. Within the 4,200 square feet of CoLaunch space, members can experience an innovative workplace community culture. Whether you are a freelancer, entrepreneur, or a remote corporate professional, CoLaunch offers creative thinkers a community-driven work environment to spur individual or collaborative projects. Grand Valley students and alumni are always welcome to use CoLaunch for free during regular business hours. Visit us online at to find out more or stop by to experience firsthand our on-site business training tools and resources designed to turn your idea into a business.

As an additional benefit, CoLaunch members receive access to an array of innovative programs and events at the hub. From creative conversations with highly successful entrepreneurs to collaborative workshops and networking opportunities, CoLaunch creates the innovative atmosphere perfect for inventors and business owners at any stage.

Funding is always one of the most challenging, yet vital, parts of building a new business. The hub's funding assistance programs uniquely position us to help clients pursue competitive funding through programs such as the Business Accelerator Fund for high-tech and advanced technology companies and other state funding channels. With a history of guiding businesses from startup to success, the hub team welcomes entrepreneurs, inventors, and startups alike.

The hub is also proud to offer more than 4,000-square-feet of training and event space that area organizations and corporations can rent. Ready to be configured to meet your event needs, the hub's meeting spaces are equipped with state-of-the-art technology necessary to conduct modern presentations effectively.

To learn more about the Muskegon Innovation Hub's services and resources, visit, email [email protected], or call (616) 331-6900.

Regional Math and Science Center

The Regional Math and Science Center serves the science and mathematics education needs of elementary and secondary schools in West Michigan. The center focuses on providing professional development opportunities for practicing teachers and enrichment activities for precollege students. Preservice teachers are also encouraged to participate in center activities. The Regional Math and Science Center supports the Michigan K-12 curriculum and standards in science and mathematics. The center's staff is available for consultation, professional development resources, and collaboration on grants and science and mathematics programs.

The center administers such popular programs as Science Olympiad, Discovering STEM kits, and STEM summer camps for students as well as the Fall Science Update and professional development opportunities for teachers. These offerings are content-rich and utilize best practice in science and mathematics teaching and learning.

SCI 580 Special Topics in Science and Mathematics. Lecture and/or laboratory courses or workshops in interdisciplinary studies relating to more than one science and/or mathematics discipline. One to three credits.

Robert and Mary Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center

Guided by the ideals of liberal education and the principles of inclusive excellence, the Robert and Mary Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center supports the university in carrying out its primary mission of teaching and learning. The center presents programs for faculty throughout the calendar year, including workshops, mentoring programs, conferences, and consultations. Its staff offers leadership on teaching and learning issues across the university, promotes scholarly and reflective approaches to teaching, and provides support to full-time and part-time faculty. The Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center also provides tangible support and recognition of teaching excellence through a grants program and campus-wide teaching awards. The Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center is located in Zumberge Hall. For more information, call (616) 331-3498.

Robert B. Annis Water Resources Institute

The Robert B. Annis Water Resources Institute (AWRI) is a multidisciplinary research organization committed to the study of freshwater resources. The mission of the institute is to integrate research, education, and outreach to enhance and preserve freshwater resources.

AWRI seeks to accomplish this mission through

  • research into major questions about our water resources, including ecosystem structure and function; contaminants and toxicology; hydrology; land use; watershed, stream, and wetland ecology; water quality; and basic and applied limnology;
  • public education for a variety of groups ranging from school children to adults; and
  • outreach to ensure that decision makers are equipped with the best available knowledge on environmental and water resource-related issues, to reduce the uncertainty associated with their resource management decisions.

The institute occupies the Lake Michigan Center and Annex on Muskegon Lake in Muskegon, MI. Facilities include classrooms, conference areas, analytical labs, research labs, mesocosms, dockage, and ship support and storage. AWRI also promotes collaborative research and educational programming and offers research space and equipment, as well as ship support facilities to advance such collaborative efforts. AWRI operates its own research vessels, the D. J. Angus and the W. G. Jackson, and offers the Water Resources Outreach Education Program for K-12 schools and community groups.

The institute consists of three main programmatic areas:

(1) The Ecological Research Program, which consists of environmental biology and environmental chemistry groups, addresses questions about water resources, hydrology, watershed ecology and management, environmental chemistry and toxicology, aquatic ecosystem structure and function, aquatic conservation, land use change, pollution prevention, and aquatic food webs.

(2) The Information Services Center, which uses state-of-the-art geospatial technology to collect and analyze data, and condense it into useful information for those who make critical decisions about natural resource management.

(3) The Education and Outreach Program, which includes the use of AWRI's two research vessels, and provides scientific information to K-12 students, policymakers, educators, college students, and community groups.

Grand Valley students and faculty members have the opportunity to participate in AWRI activities as volunteers, paid assistants, interns, research associates, or graduate students. The AWRI office is located at the Lake Michigan Center, 740 West Shoreline Drive, Muskegon, Michigan 49441. Telephone (231) 728-3601. More information can be obtained from the website:

Seidman Business Services

The center provides a forum for members of the local business community and Grand Valley faculty members to exchange ideas on ethical questions for the benefit of the university, business community, and the West Michigan community in general. Entrepreneurs, corporate managers, and faculty members interested in participating in the dialog groups should contact Michael DeWilde by email at [email protected]

Family Owned Business Institute
The mission of Grand Valley's Family Owned Business Institute (FOBI) is to champion and serve family owned businesses through scholarship, education, and advocacy. The creation of the institute was born out of the collective belief that family businesses are the cornerstone of a community's prosperity and a vital ingredient in its quality of life. Our national and regional history has demonstrated that it is in the best interest of communities to foster the creation, growth, and continuation of family owned businesses because they are the leaders in job creation, innovation, and in providing stable employment opportunities with superior wages and benefits for their employees.

Despite their tremendous contributions, family businesses face a unique set of challenges that can limit their impact and threaten their very survival. By providing support through research, curriculum, and knowledge management, FOBI serves to develop, retain, and expand the influence of family businesses within our communities. The institute fosters research through its research scholars programs, its professional relationships and data sources, and its affiliation with local organizations such as the Grand Rapids Family Business Alliance, as well as national and international organizations.

Michigan Small Business Development Center - West Michigan Region
The Michigan Small Business Development Center (MI-SBDC) West Michigan Region provides no-cost counseling, training, market research, and advocacy for small businesses in Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon, Allegan, Ionia, Barry, Montcalm, Mecosta, Newaygo, Oceana, Mason, Lake, and Osceola counties. It is a partnership between the U.S. Small Business Administration and Grand Valley. Companies receive business consultation services from an experienced team. Visit the website at

Michigan Small Business Development Center - Lead Center
In 2001, Grand Valley was awarded the State Headquarters, now the Lead Center, for the Michigan Small Business Development Center (MI-SBDC). As host of the MI-SBDC Lead Center, the Seidman College of Business oversees the 12-region MI-SBDC network. Examples of assistance provided include: business plan development, market research, raising capital, business workshops, technology commercialization, financial management, export strategy, and strategic planning. Entrepreneurs and small business owners can access the services of their nearest MI-SBDC by calling (616) 331-7480. Visit the website at

Richard M. and Helen DeVos Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
The Richard M. and Helen DeVos Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) in the Seidman College of Business is dedicated to developing best practices in entrepreneurship education and community engagement that enhance and impact the creation of new ventures and opportunities.

Student support: Through a combination of courses, curriculum, peer-to-peer networking, competitions, and mentorship, CEI provides all students an environment that fosters entrepreneurship and enhances entrepreneurial activities.

Community support: CEI is committed to supporting and enriching the entrepreneurial community by providing an essential hub where entrepreneurs can connect to resources, mentorship, networking opportunities, regional and national conferences, and workshops, and gain access to capital.

Full descriptions of CEI's activities can be found at

U.S. Department of Commerce Export Assistance Center
The U.S. Department of Commerce Export Assistance Center (USEAC) provides practical international trade information and export counseling throughout West Michigan. The USEAC is housed in the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley. The USEAC regularly hosts student interns, and works with the Van Andel Global Trade Center to hold trade education events for businesses such as the West Michigan World Trade Week which is held annually.

Van Andel Global Trade Center
The Van Andel Global Trade Center is an outreach center of the Seidman College of Business. The mission of the Van Andel Global Trade Center (VAGTC) is to strengthen the community through increased global business by providing international consulting, training, and resources. Grand Valley State University founded the center in 1999 and it is currently located in the L. William Seidman Center on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus.

The VAGTC is recognized as an effective source of international resources, training, and assistance services for business and academic communities in Michigan. The center enters into strategic partnerships with universities, state and federal organizations, as well as the business community across the state to accomplish global objectives supporting international growth.

VAGTC services include a series of seminars, workshops, programs, and conferences encompassing many different international business topics. In addition, the center provides vital customized import/export and consulting services for all types of businesses. The center has created global reference materials utilizing many international trade resources to assist businesses. VAGTC also provides a membership program which offers high value, high quality networking opportunities and services to businesses within Michigan and beyond who choose to utilize it.

Since its inception, VAGTC has assisted more than 7,000 businesses and over 21,000 individuals through its services. With a growing membership base, the VAGTC is poised to continue expanding its international impact.

The center is a conduit for students, providing opportunities for international careers through internships both within VAGTC as well as with its clients, along with opportunities to network with businesses at the events and programs it offers the community.

Benefits to the community and university:

  • Increased competency within organizations to be globally successful
  • Strategic partnerships both inside and outside the university that enhance constituents and stakeholders
  • Increased economic development of the region by growing international business

Services to the community:

  • International consulting services, training services, resource development, and facilities; job opening connector
  • Cultural education, language center, and matchmaking/trade missions/business development
  • Provider of foreign trade missions, speaker series, business referral source, and intermediary of international businesses
  • Advocacy, service-provider broker, statewide resource center, and research provider
  • Educating Grand Valley's student community on the importance of creating international business relationships bringing hands-on experience to students doing international market research helping Michigan businesses

The Van Andel Legacy: As the founder and pioneer of international trade for Amway, Jay Van Andel was an inspiration for those in Michigan seeking to prosper in expanding overseas markets. It is in this spirit that the Van Andel Global Trade Center was named after Jay Van Andel and is quickly becoming the core facility dedicated to advancing international trade and supporting Michigan businesses as they prepare to enter and prosper in an era of global competition.

While leading Amway to record growth through international expansion, Jay Van Andel became convinced the global marketplace would be pivotal in enhancing the prosperity of the region where he began his business. Recognizing that the downtown campus would be a focal point for international business education and activity, Van Andel became a major benefactor of the building where the VAGTC originally resided. Named in his honor and dedicated to international business assistance for local companies, the Van Andel Global Trade Center is the university's commitment to fulfilling the global vision of one of Michigan's most outstanding global leaders and entrepreneurs.

Kent-Ottawa-Muskegon Foreign Trade Zone

Van Andel Global Trade Center serves as the grantee administrator for the Kent-Ottawa-Muskegon Foreign Trade Zone (KOM-FTZ number 189). The center provides marketing, strategic planning, administration, and zone development support. The KOM-FTZ maintains a board of 12; three representatives from each of the counties: Kent, Ottawa, and Muskegon as well as three from Grand Valley State University. A Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) is a secure and enclosed area, considered to be outside of the United States territory for purposes of customs duty payments. The FTZ program was designed to promote American competitiveness by encouraging companies to maintain and expand their operations in the United States. Communities that offer an FTZ see economic growth and development and are often stimulated by retaining and creating jobs in the community as businesses using the zone may see an increased cash flow, savings in fees and processes, and improved bottom line and global supply chain.

If you are in need of assistance please submit any questions or comments.