This was DAA's first eighth-grade promotion ceremony. The
K-8 charter school is authorized by GVSU; Kyle Smitley, executive
director, founded and established the school in 2013.
“It is important to get our prospective learners in a pipeline on a
college pathway as early as possible,” Truss said. “We will provide
early information to learners to assist in navigating the college
process with four years of preparation. This pathway program with DAA
is pulling the veil back and telling students the information they need.”
The pathway program aligns with the Grand Valley
Pledge, which awards full undergraduate tuition (renewable for
four years) to students from six Michigan counties where the
university has a physical presence, including Wayne County. The
free-tuition program is for students from families with incomes less
Truss told students they can attend any college they please, but
stressed Grand Valley would be "an amazing opportunity" as
students would be successful because of the resources and support they
President Philomena V. Mantella said, “Pledges and promises are not
enough to close the gaps in pathways to college for students from
diverse backgrounds. We want this pilot to be a model for the future
of college admissions, with Grand Valley leading the way."
Grand Valley’s pilot project will deploy tools that help DAA students
succeed in high school, prepare them to learn and live on campus, and
involve a student’s entire family in supporting the journey from
admission to graduation.