GVSU Board hears how university is expanding access, capacity for all learners

Grand Valley's Board of Trustees heard Feb. 23 about multiple initiatives designed to build capacity and propel the university forward while providing critical opportunities for learners to access higher education.

President Philomena V. Mantella outlined how GVSU can address difficult broader state and national circumstances through its commitments to an empowering education, equity and innovation. Noting growing enrollment, Mantella called the university a beacon of progress and resilience amid the challenges Michigan faces in higher education enrollment.

Some of the ways GVSU is leading the way through its mission includes expanding adult learning, deepening investments in student success and support, providing more educational opportunities to meet student demand and pioneering the future of education through the Blue Dot ecosystem, Mantella said.

One person smiles as another speaks. Microphones are before them.

"As educators, we understand that what people face today affects not only their lives but the lives of their children and communities," Mantella said. "We know the opportunity to grow must be seized, the urgency imposed by our national circumstances must be heeded, and the lasting effects of the pandemic on education must be addressed. We know that work will necessitate new learning strategies, engagement opportunities, and support of social and emotional needs for both us and our students." 

Here are some of the initiatives that were presented to Board members:

  • Trustees approved moving the GVSU Police Academy to the Holland Meijer Campus to help meet increased demand for the academy's law enforcement education and training. This move includes a renovation of the campus building for classrooms, scenario rooms, a multipurpose room, an exterior drive track for training and performance testing and more. The academy, founded in 1974, has a 96% completion rate, a 99% licensure exam pass rate and a 96% employment rate. Expanding the academy's capacity will allow GVSU to continue to meet the growing need for law enforcement officers in the region.
  • Board members learned about a new delivery model for adult learners anywhere to earn a degree or skills certificate. Omni from Grand Valley State University is designed to help Michigan residents advance their careers through an approach that is flexible and works with their life and work commitments. Omni will combine flexible online learning with opportunities at GVSU's regional campuses across Michigan, broadening educational accessibility for adult learners. GVSU leaders say Omni will help the 2.5 million Michigan adults who do not have a post-secondary credential improve their career path.
  • Trustees also received a presentation on the 10-year plan for housing that recommends adding hundreds of beds to the Allendale and Pew Grand Rapids campuses. For the Allendale Campus, the proposal calls for new and renovated residence halls as well as apartments. The Pew Campus upgrades outlined in the plan include a new residence hall and a student center/dining building that is the campus centerpiece while offering multi-use options for GVSU and the community. Recommendations for both campuses include robust student life enhancements, from new recreational zones to updated dining options. More details about the plan are available on the Housing and Residence Life website .

People sit at tables set up in a semi circle before a seated audience in a meeting room.


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