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2023-2024 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog

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College of Education and Community Innovation


Dean: Soman, Sherril



Educating leaders and professionals to engage, enrich, and transform communities.


The College of Education and Community Innovation (CECI) embodies principles of democracy, high ethical standards, diversity, and active engagement. CECI builds upon the wisdom, goals, and life experiences of our learners and community partners. We will establish an open and creative culture that welcomes innovative scholarship and service where all CECI learners are successful contributors. Within this culture, we will nurture key innovations, bolster community capacity, and inculcate leaders with the appreciation of applied knowledge toward improved and healthy communities.

Academic Units

Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling
Department of Literacy, Educational Foundations, and Technology
Department of Teaching and Learning
School of Criminology, Criminal Justice, and Legal Studies
School of Community Leadership and Development
School of Social Work


Founded in 2021, Grand Valley's newest college (CECI, pronounced chech-ee) is the first academic college in the nation to unite the transformative power of education, social work, criminology, philanthropy, social innovation, and legal studies with the community engagement of hospitality, health, nonprofit, and public management and policy. We are dedicated to developing well-rounded and high-quality administrators, educators, social workers, paralegals, peace officers, counselors, community organizers, and civil servants through active, experiential, and community-based learning. Our multidisciplinary environment will incubate innovative approaches to building healthy communities, promoting equity and social responsibility, and providing quality research and data.

Program Information

Graduate Degrees

Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) in Leadership

Master of Education (M.Ed.)

Master of Health Administration (M.H.A.)

Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership (M.P.N.L.)

Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.)

Master of Science (M.S.) in Criminal Justice

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Professional Master of Arts (M.A.) in Social Innovation (PMASI)

Graduate Certificates

English as a Second Language

Nonprofit Leadership

Online/Blended Instruction and Assessment

Undergraduate Programs

Birth to Kindergarten (B.A., B.S.)

Criminal Justice (B.A., B.S.)

Elementary Education (B.A., B.S.)

Hospitality and Tourism Management (B.S.)

Legal Studies (B.A., B.S.)

Public and Nonprofit Administration (B.A., B.S.)

Secondary Education (B.A., B.S.)

Social Work (B.S.W.)

Special Education (B.A., B.S.)


Adventure Tourism Management

Cannabis Operations

Criminal Justice

Hospitality and Tourism Management

Information Security Systems

Juvenile Justice

Legal Studies

Nonprofit Administration

Public Administration

Undergraduate Certificates

Cannabis Operations

Paralegal Studies

External Certifications

Military Police Veteran's Academy

Police Academy

School Social Work Certification

Teacher Certification


Cannabis Operations

Food and Beverage Service

Accreditation and Approvals

Police Academy by Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) since 1970.

Social Work (M.S.W.) by Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) since 1984.

Education (Initial and Advanced Teacher Preparation Levels) by Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) since 1988

Social Work (B.S.W.) by Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) since 1990.

Public Administration (M.P.A.) by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) since 1995.

Legal Studies (B.A., B.S.) by the American Bar Association since 2010.

Health Administration (M.H.A.) by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) since 2017.

Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership (M.P.N.L.) by the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council (NACC) since 2019.

Student Resources

Advising and Services
CECI Undergraduate Advising Center: For birth to kindergarten (B-K), criminal justice, hospitality and tourism management, legal studies, public and nonprofit administration, and social work advising.

CLAS Academic Advising Center: For elementary and secondary subject area advising.

Office of Certification and Accreditation: For questions on all education courses, special education, program requirements, or field placement information.

Scholarships and Graduate Assistantships

Each year, the college assists students through the generosity of individuals and organizations dedicated to our students. Please refer to CECI specific scholarships at for more information, or the university's scholarship website at to apply through myScholarhips, the online application database.

Graduate assistant positions are available within all units within the College of Education and Community Innovation to assist with research, writing, data collection and analysis, grant proposal development, student services, computer projects, and serving on graduate committees. Refer to The Graduate School section in this catalog for additional information on Graduate Assistantships.

Student Organizations

Students in the College of Education and Community Innovation have developed excellent student organizations that fulfill a variety of interests and give opportunities for personal and professional growth. More details can be found on our student organizations website.


For graduate program admission, see:

Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) in Leadership

Master of Education (M.Ed.)

Master of Health Administration (M.H.A.)

Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership (M.P.N.L.)

Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.)

Master of Science (M.S.) in Criminal Justice

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Professional Master of Arts (M.A) in Social Innovation (PMASI)

For secondary admission to the Bachelor of Social Work program, see:

B.S.W. Admission and Academic Requirements

For specific undergraduate education initial certification admission requirements, see:

Undergraduate Teacher Education Program

Community Resources

Art and Science of Aging Conference

The annual Art and Science of Aging Conference offers sessions that educate professionals and consumers with evidence-based prescriptions for healthy aging that they can adopt and adapt to their own circumstances.

Center for Educational Partnerships

The Center for Educational Partnerships (CEP) is a service unit committed to supporting and promoting collaborations between faculty, staff, and students and K-12 schools in West Michigan. The CEP provides high-quality programming and resources to school districts and educators, with a goal of supporting student achievement. Projects housed in the CEP include experiential learning initiatives highlighting design thinking and environmental place-based education (Groundswell), promotions and outreach, event planning, and career guidance (Education Alumni Affinity group).

Juvenile Justice Vision 20/20

Juvenile Justice Vision 20/20 is a coalition of individuals and institutions interested in improving outcomes for youth, families, and communities through improvements in the juvenile justice systems.

Rethinking Dementia

Rethinking Dementia is a web resource for improving the lives of people affected by dementia by promoting better access to quality support and services through innovative community collaboration.

Michigan Literacy Project

The Michigan Literacy Project (MLP) was developed to address the needs of our recent graduates and their young students. MLPs mission is to provide quality classroom libraries to recent education graduates teaching three years or less in pre-K through 6th grade classrooms in underserved Michigan public school districts and GVSU charter schools across the state.

Social Work Continuing Education

Through our continuing education offerings, we offer quality courses that are meaningful and applicable to professional social workers. We also provide small, personal, and intellectual environments to optimize your learning experience.

W.K. Kellogg/BCPS/GVSU Education Programs Partnership

CECI partners with Battle Creek Public Schools and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to positively impact education in the region through initiatives such as Early Career Teacher Mentoring, High-Leverage Teaching Practices, Paraprofessional Pathway, Project-Based Learning, and Teacher Intern Pipeline.

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