Battle Creek high school students learn about education careers, college admission process at GVSU camp
Rising high school seniors from Battle Creek Central High School spent the week learning about careers in education and developing leadership skills at a summer camp in Battle Creek sponsored by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek Public Schools and the GVSU College of Education.
Forty-eight seniors attended Exploring Careers in Education and Leadership (ExCEL) camp, a one-week camp held at the Battle Creek STEM Innovation Center at Battle Creek Central High School. Students in GVSU’s College of Education served as camp counselors.
ExCEL camp is designed to help students think about careers in education, gain opportunities to be a student leader and prepare for pursuing a college education.
Kevin Holohan, co-principle investigator of the W.K. Kellogg/Battle Creek Public Schools/GVSU College of Education Partnership, said one of the primary goals of the camp and partnership is to draw talented, diverse young people to careers in education.
“We want to encourage students to consider professions in education and ideally come back to Battle Creek Public Schools to work — to give back to their community and shape the next generation,” Holohan said.
Students participated in hands-on experiences and attended workshops focused on college application, project-based learning, and culturally relevant and responsive teaching.
Program activities included explorations of high-impact, community-based projects and learning more about the college admissions process in preparation for their senior year. Participants practiced writing a college entrance essay.
Adriona Mandoka said, "I used to think college wasn't an option, but now I realize college is an opportunity for me."
Janet Juarez said she enjoyed the different activities and teamwork. “I used to think that the camp would be boring and nonsense work. Now I think it’s fun and helpful,” she said.
GVSU President Philomena V. Mantella and Sherril Soman, dean of the College of Education, greeted camp members via Zoom on Thursday.
This is the second year for ExCEL camp; last year it was held virtually. Students who complete the camp are awarded a $500 stipend for their participation. A visit to the Allendale Campus for all camp participants is planned for fall.