Preparing Tomorrow's Problem Solvers

Grand Valley's liberal education foundation fosters critical-thinking, creative problem solving, and cultural understanding for the benefit of lifelong learning and global citizenship. The concept has been so deeply ingrained in our academic reputation and in each of our undergraduate and graduate programs that it has simply become known as the Grand Valley education. One of the hallmarks of the Grand Valley education is the ability for graduates to be ready for whatever comes next, including meeting some of the most challenging and important problems facing the world today – from global pandemics to international economics to climate change.

In this quickly changing and often turbulent world, Grand Valley graduates are well-prepared to learn, lead, and make a difference no matter what’s next. That’s the Laker Effect.


A Competitive Edge

The Grand Valley education helps you develop skills that make our graduates well-rounded employees and citizens. These skills are valued by employers in all sectors and industries and will help alumni get, and thrive in, jobs throughout their working life. Because of the breadth of knowledge inherent to the Grand Valley education, graduates build resumes of qualifications outside the skill sets of their degrees that will give them the competitive edge over other job seekers. According to 2020 EMSI data, there are 114,000 job postings in 50 different occupations across the state of Michigan, asking for the following skills that are ingrained in every one of our undergraduate and graduate programs:

  • Leadership
  • Communications
  • Problem solving
  • Intercultural competence
  • Sustainability
  • Team Building
  • Team Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Critical Thinking
  • Decision Making
  • Creativity

Source: EMSI, 2021


Faculty Members Who Love to Teach

One of the differentiators of the Grand Valley education is our faculty members' commitment to teaching. Unlike most schools, the great majority of our classes are taught by faculty members, not graduate assistants, providing students a more personal and collaborative learning experience. Through active scholarship, in which faculty members contribute to the growth of their fields, stay current in their professions, and enhance student learning in the classroom, our faculty accomplish the GVSU mission of educating students to shape their lives, their professions, and their societies.

Find out how GVSU professor Patty Janes, Ph.D. puts the liberal education foundation to work by engaging with students and the community.


Local Learning, Global Impact

The Grand Valley education prepares students for life in a fast-changing world. It fosters a commitment to economic, social, and environmental sustainability and an inclusive campus that values diversity. Through this forward-thinking education, students are empowered to positively affect the global community now and in the future.

See how GVSU alum, Joe Gibson is using his liberal education experience to tackle complex problems as a Senior Flight Software Engineer at NASA.