An Empowered Educational Experience
At Grand Valley, we center students in everything we do. Education is an intrinsic value for the learners themselves, as well as the public good for the wider communities of which we are a part. We consider each member of our educational community a learner, each of us at different stages in our educational pathway. We commit to helping students discover their passion and guide and support them along the way. Leading these efforts are expert faculty members who develop the curricula our students need for mastery of their chosen academic directions.
Student agency and success will always drive our collective work. We will demonstrate this by prioritizing:
- Continual movement toward an understanding of individual student needs, motivations, and goals that is actively supported by faculty and staff.
- Expanded flexibility for students to learn when, how, and where they learn best, coupled with appropriate support for faculty and staff to be able to adapt to changes while continuing to provide quality educational opportunities.
- Relevant programs full of learning opportunities that can be applied to the pressing concerns and problems of our communities and the world.
- Deeper and broader experiential learning for all students that includes internships, practica, cooperative placements, global learning, undergraduate research, community-based learning, and more.
- Strong integration of liberal education with professional education that also reflect students’ digital literacy, technological proficiency, and leadership development.
- Collaborative research, scholarship, and creative expression that brings students and faculty members together in partnership and models lifelong learning and pursuit of new knowledge.
- Personalized assistance for students to identify and develop a network of mentors and advisors from among faculty, staff, peers, employers, alumni, and community members that form an extended GVSU learning community.
- Community engagement practices that demonstrate reciprocity of learning.
- Progressive expansion of high-demand programs rigorously designed and reflective of the integration of liberal education and professional education.
A Lifetime of Learning
From our first encounter with learners, we strive to provide innovative curricular, co- curricular, and experiential learning opportunities. At Grand Valley, our approach to teaching and learning continues to integrate liberal and professional education in both disciplinary and interdisciplinary ways, and it is directly relevant to the communities and world our graduates shape. The liberal education approach of the undergraduate curriculum provides a foundation for how to learn and how to apply that learning in leadership roles and within diverse communities. With our support and guidance, lifetime learners shape those communities while they are students, as well as across the rest of their lifetimes. Our faculty model the passionate pursuit of lifetime learning through cutting-edge research, scholarship, and expression. We pursue reciprocal relationships with alumni and community partners to create sustainable and supportive learning networks. Our programs and educators encourage students to generate ideas on how they can be enterprising in their learning, especially in ways that enhance their communities and workplaces.
Design and leverage learning opportunities for students of all stages in their lives and careers, meeting their needs where they are.
We will succeed at this through:
- Championing a strong foundation of liberal education that engenders the mindset and skills to advance students’ education across a lifetime; the liberal education will always be integrated with experiential, practical, and professional educational opportunities that propel all in our learning communities to positively effect society and the larger world.
- Developing beneficial and supportive connections between and across all those in the larger GVSU learning community, including future and currently enrolled students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community members.
- Increasing flexibility for students in terms of pace and engagement with curricular components; this may include additional terms across the calendar year, more summer time, online, low-residency, and on-demand selections.
- Attracting our traditional-aged FTIAC student population and supporting them in learning across their lifetimes while also providing more and attractive options for adult learners.
- Building strategic institutional partnerships to scale our impact, expand our reach, and better serve diverse groups of learners (e.g., community colleges, Hispanic-serving institutions, historically Black colleges and universities, etc.).
A Culture of Educational Equity
We embrace our role as a leader in urgently advancing equity for all learners. Together, we ensure that our community serves as a catalyst toward a more just and sustainable world – on our campuses and beyond. We work to eliminate disparities and obstacles for student success, especially those that have historically been along lines of color, race, socioeconomic status, sex/gender, including gender identity and expression, and sexual orientation.
Center equity and inclusion for a more diverse learning community.
We will achieve this through:
- Removing systemic barriers to educational access, retention, and persistence.
- Developing and establishing university policies, practices, systems, and culture that demonstrate our institutional accountability to diversity, equity, inclusion, access, and total well-being for all community members.
- Recruiting, empowering, and retaining a diverse student body, faculty, and staff.
- Appropriately acknowledging GVSU exists on the land of the Anishinaabe peoples—the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Bodéwadmi —and commits to increasing the visibility of Anishinaabe people among its students, faculty, and staff; its curriculum; and its cultural programming.
- Incorporating environmental, human, and economic factors toward global and societal vitality that advance beyond our current award-winning sustainable practices.