Oct 15, 2021
The College of Education and Community Innovation (CECI, pronounced chech-ee) is the first academic college in the nation to unite the transformative power of education, social work, criminology, philanthropy, 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.
Our name includes “education” in recognition of Grand Valley’s long-term commitment to teacher education which began in 1964. “Education” also indicates shared values and practices present in all programs in our new college: interaction of theory and practice, field studies and internships, learning relevancy, and the personalized attention needed for our students to become leaders in their fields, organizations, and communities.
Our name includes “community innovation” in recognition of the long-term commitment of our programs to improve our communities. In the two years prior to our merger, students, faculty, and staff in our component programs engaged with over 500 public, nonprofit, and business organizations. We approach community issues with a combination of critical, creative, reflective, and visionary thinking balanced with an ability to collaborate with our partners.
Taken together, “education” and “community innovation” is a reminder of our commitment to develop and foster opportunities that expand access and remove barriers which prevent people from achieving their educational and career goals. These barriers are overcome in several ways. We are committed to supporting alternative delivery modes, evening, and weekend courses, non-credit courses, summer courses, study abroad opportunities, micro-credentials, and dual degree programs. We offer exceptional academic advising and field placement opportunities. Our faculty, staff, alumni, and supporters have contributed to many field-specific student scholarship funds. The student demographics of many of our programs indicates unusually strong participation from BIPOC, first-generation, career advancing, career changing, part-time, and out-of-state students. This diversity creates a rich and supportive learning environment for students from many backgrounds.