Veterans Advance: Progressive Work-Based Learning

An innovative program for student veterans who want meaningful work while earning their degree.

On Veterans Day 2022, Grand Valley State University President Philomena V. Mantella announced an innovative approach to ensuring student veterans gain meaningful work experience while pursuing a degree at the university. The pilot program will be sponsored through SpartanNash and called “Veterans Advance: Progressive Work-Based Learning.”

The program is Grand Valley's commitment to helping veterans start their careers post-service, giving them an opportunity to work, learn, and advance 

Request Information About Veterans Advance

GVSU President Philomena Mantella thanking veterans at the GVSU Veterans Breakfast.


Earn While You Learn

You will get an average of 20 hours of work experience per week, while pursuing your degree at Grand Valley.

Hone Your Leadership Skills

Veteran's Advance partners, such as SpartanNash will provide a unique leadership track that will help jumpstart your career.

Graduate with a Degree from GVSU

Graduate with valuable work experience and a degree from Grand Valley.


About the Program

“Grand Valley State University leads the pack when it comes to innovation and commitment. The Veterans Advance Progressive Work-Based Learning program is a shareable blueprint that has the ability to make a widespread and lasting impact for all campuses moving forward."

- Jared Lyon, President and CEO of Student Veterans of America

The Veterans Advance program is designed to acknowledge the strong transferable skills you have learned from your service that can be used to advance your civilian career while pursuing a degree at GVSU. Michigan-based food solutions company SpartanNash, a longtime supporter of veterans and military families as well as a food distributor for the U.S. Military, is our launch partner for this program and more will be coming.

In this unique program you will:

  • Participate in a work-study program with our corporate partner(s).
  • Earn a competitive wage for a 20 hour work week, while pursuing your degree.
  • Take a specialized leadership track designed with your employer to help you advance.
  • Have the support of our veteran community and access to Grand Valley's veteran-specific resources.
  • Graduate with valuable work experience and a degree from GVSU.

Fill out our request for information form or contact us for more information about this unique program.

The Veteran's Breakfast on November 11.

About Our Partner

SpartanNash, a Fortune 400 company, headquartered in nearby Byron Center, has joined us as our launch partner.

SpartanNash prides itself on its efforts regarding military-connected employees and has been recognized for those efforts. They received DOD's highest corporate award in 2019, earning the Secretary of Defense Freedom Award, for its demonstrated commitment to policies, practices, and resources that serve its military-connected employees. They have also been recognized by Michigan Veteran Affairs Agency as a Silver level employer (2018-2022). 

In addition to numerous retail outlets throughout our area, the SpartanNash corporate office is home to positions in Accounting/Auditing/Finance, Asset Protection, Communications, Logistics, Human Resources, IT, Inventory Management, Marketing, and many others, providing opportunities for students in a variety of university programs.

Employers: We Want You

To help us build the next generation of leaders.

“SpartanNash is proud to join with Grand Valley for Veterans Advance. One of SpartanNash’s core behaviors is ‘We Serve,’ and we look forward to giving back to these veteran heroes. The training and lived experience veterans bring to employers is invaluable. Blending their skills with work-based learning experiences and the educational excellence provided by GVSU is a recipe for building our next generation of leaders.”

- Nicole Zube, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, SpartanNash

The Veterans Advance program will provide a competitive wage and career progression while veterans are in school. But only with the help of veteran-inclusive corporate partners like you! As a partner, you would provide paid professional work experience and a leadership track that runs concurrent with a veteran’s degree plan. Employers will have the flexibility to design their program with their GVSU student veterans.

If you would like to become a partner, fill out the information request form below, or contact us by phone at (616) 331-2369. We would love to work with you.

A student veteran on Grand Valley's Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids campus.

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Veterans Advantage: An innovative approach to ensuring student veterans gain meaningful work experience while pursuing a degree at GVSU.

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Page last modified February 16, 2023