GV launches outreach center, looks to improve educational resources

Courtesy ./ Matt Bozzo

Courtesy ./ Matt Bozzo

Kylie Elwell, Staff Writer

On Jan. 16, the new Grand Valley State University Outreach Center had a community open house event and ribbon cutting ceremony provided by the Battle Creek Chamber of Commerce (BCCC).

“The funding for the GVSU Battle Creek Regional Outreach Center was provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in May 2019,” said Career Navigator Matt Bozzo. “Once the location for the new outreach center was selected, a complete remodel transformation was underway in preparation for Nov. 4, 2019.”

The outreach center officially opened Jan. 7. The center is available to increase regional access to educational support resources. Staff at the center can provide assistance to students and residents in the area with college and career exploration, as well as helping with financial aid forms and college applications.

There will be support for career exploration and individualized educational planning assistance to facilitate educational attainment. The staff will also support the educational goals of K-12 students, transfer students and adults in the community, while providing resources to assist Battle Creek Public Schools (BCPS) in their district transformation.

“The center aims to best support students in accessing and attaining in their post-secondary plans, regardless if that’s going to trade school, community college or a four-year university like GVSU,” Bozzo said. “The hope is for students, their families and community members to be provided a comfortable and focused space to get 1:1 individual advising services to those who want assistance in pursuing post-secondary education.”

The opening date worked out well because of Battle Creek Public School District’s Transformation initiatives. GVSU wanted to support BCPS as best they could, which means supporting students, their families, teachers and school staff. The transformation was extensive and great.

“It’s incredible to see the role the GVSU Battle Creek Regional Outreach Center has in best supporting students in their post-secondary educational plans,” Bozzo said.

President Philomena Mantella attended the center’s grand opening on Jan. 7 and gave comments to the audience and attendees regarding GVSU’s mission in supporting the Battle Creek region.

Many of the BCPS students attending the center will be the first in their families to attend college or get secondary education after high school. This center helps to knock down barriers and fears of higher education by providing resources, advising and assistance with anything they may need.