row of students and staff standing against floor to ceiling windows

GVSU expands pipeline pathways for diverse students to education

Leaders from GVSU, Talladega College sign articulation agreement

The pathways for students from diverse colleges or universities to earn graduate degrees at Grand Valley have expanded to education.

Leaders from GVSU and Talladega College in Alabama signed an articulation agreement April 26, providing students with opportunities to earn master's degrees in education and school counseling, in addition to Michigan teaching certification.

Talladega College is the sixth partner to join the HBCU/Hispanic Serving Institution Pipeline Consortium. Leaders signed the agreement on GVSU's Pew Grand Rapids Campus. Agreements with the five other institutions have focused on graduate degrees in STEM fields.

President Philomena Mantalla shakes the hand of Talladega College President Gregory Vincent while Donta Truss looks on and claps at left
President Philomena V. Mantalla shakes the hand of Talladega College President Gregory Vincent, while Vice President Donta Truss, a native of Talladega, looks on at left.
Image credit - Kendra Stanley-Mills
Angelina Quezada-Reynolds addresses students from Talladega College
Graduate recruiter Angelina Quezada-Reynolds talks with students from Talladega College at the Consumers Building on GVSU's Pew Grand Rapids Campus.
Image credit - Kendra Stanley-Mills

President Philomena V. Mantella said the agreement with Talladega College will help alleviate a shortage of teachers in Michigan while diversifying the talent pipeline. The agreement provides pathways for qualified students to earn Michigan teacher certification, and master's degrees in higher education, school counseling, instructional technology and instruction and curriculum.

"I'm so pleased to welcome Talladega College to the pipeline consortium," Mantella said. "Expanding the pathways to graduate degrees in education means more access for students, which is a critical aspect of Grand Valley's mission."

Talladega College President Gregory Vincent said: “We are excited to develop the partnership with Grand Valley State University as part of our strategic plan to ensure our students have increased opportunities to attend graduate school. This partnership is especially valued because GVSU is so aligned with our goals and values, including our student-first perspective, and is a university that recognizes the merits HBCU graduates bring to graduate and professional school.”

Sherril Soman, dean of GVSU's College of Education and Community Innovation, said graduate students in the program will have opportunities for high-impact field experiences in the classroom, which will also benefit pre-K-12 students.

Ashton Hall waves to the crowd while standing from a table with other student
Ashton Hall, Talladega College student body president, waves from a table during the event.
Image credit - Kendra Stanley-Mills
three people stand from a table with draping that reads Talladega College
From left to right are, from Talladega College, President Gregory Vincent; Barbara Johnson, executive vice president and provost; and Edward Hill, vice president of strategic initiatives and associate provost.
Image credit - Kendra Stanley-Mills

"All students benefit from having teachers of color, but this is especially true for students of color," Soman said. "It is important that the educator workforce reflects the diversity of school populations. We are honored to partner with Talladega College on this goal.”

B. Donta Truss, vice president for Enrollment Development and Educational Outreach, said the pipeline consortium will reach a milestone during GVSU's commencement ceremonies on April 29, when the first HBCU student to enroll at GVSU will earn a graduate degree in cell and molecular biology.

"Students who choose to come to Grand Valley for a graduate degree will find an institution with many of the same values as Talladega: diversity, integrity and a student-first mindset," Truss, a native of Talladega, Alabama, said. "They will be supported by a myriad of student resources and services, including being welcomed by several cohorts of HBCU students who think of themselves as a family."


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