A new partnership has now been announced between the Battle Creek Public Schools and Grand Valley State University, with help from the WK Kellogg Foundation.

At an event Monday, May 13, the three organizations announced a partnership to "increase regional access to higher education programming".  This partnership will allow Battle Creek Public Schools students to get ready for careers in Education, Health, and STEM fields, leading all the way to BCPS Juniors and Seniors being able to earn college credit and build their path towards higher education.

The programs will be funded by a five-year, $15.5 million grant from the WKKF, awarded to GVSU.

In the Education field, students interested in teaching will "worth with children and explore the teaching career path" at a Teaching Education Camp, and qualified BCPS seniors can earn college credit and "explore the fundamentals of teaching".

In Health, Middle School students will be able to attend the "sHaPe Camp", which will let them "get engaging, hands-on expopsure to health professions like physical therapy, lab science and sports medicine". There will also be the "Freshman Health Career Exploration Fair", which will allow all BCPS freshmen to learn about the "range of exciting and high-paying jobs available in health". BCPS juniors and seniors who are qualified will be able to "earn college credit and build the base of skills they need to pursue health education and careers.

In STEM, GVSU's Regional Math and Science Center and the College of Education will help design a curriculum for the Battle Creek STEM Innovation Center, to "help encourage middle schoolers to pursue careers in science and engineering". There will also be a new STEPS Camp for Girls, where seventh-grade girls will get hands-on experience building and flying radio-controlled model airplanes.

There will also be resources to help the educators at the Battle Creek Public Schools. There will be professional development and "project-based learning" programs for current teachers, to help them "enhance teaching techniques"; there will also be a New Teacher Mentoring Program for those first-year teachers in the district. As well, students at the GVSU College of Education will be placed at BCPS to complete their student teaching semester, "helping young educators get a strong start in the district"; finally, there will be a new "Paraprofessional Pathway Program" to help identify BCPS staff who want to become teachers.

There will be pipeline programs put in place to help drive more educators to Battle Creek.

To cap it all off, Grand Valley State University will be opening up an Outreach Center in downtown Battle Creek, to help the community learn about the resources available to them in this partnership between the Battle Creek and Grand Rapids communities. The Outreach Center is set to open up in the summer of 2019.

A video of the full announcement event can be seen below.


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