John Johnson, director of postsecondary and alumni affairs at
University Prep Schools, said all three middle schools now participate
in the program. Because many would be first-generation college
students, Johnson said they typically do not have college aspirations
as eighth graders.
"By creating that mindset early in the students' high school
tenure, we create an attainable goal that we hope will lead to better
grades, a focus on what their postsecondary education goals will be,
and a greater interest in exploring various careers and
opportunities," he said.
The Pathway to GVSU program aligns with the Grand Valley
Pledge, a free-tuition program for Michigan students from families
with incomes less than $50,000. B. Donta Truss, vice president for
Enrollment Development and Educational Outreach, said he wants Detroit
area families to know Grand Valley will walk alongside them from
middle and high school to college and beyond.
"I want Detroit students and their supporters to partner with
Grand Valley and better understand the college-going culture,"
Truss said. "We are increasing access to higher education and
pulling the veil back to help students see and visit the on campus
resources that are available to help them succeed."