BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP/FOX 17) — A 5-year, $15.5 million grant will seek to help better prepare Battle Creek Public Schools students for careers in science, technology, health care and education.
The funding was announced Monday by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to offer teachers additional support and career pathways. The grant was awarded to Grand Valley State University, which is partnering with the school district to roll out programs.
Battle Creek school leaders say the grant will be a huge benefit for the students.
"So another exciting part of this partnership is that Grand Valley State will be at Battle Creek Central, teaching courses, allowing students to gain college credit," said Kimberly Carter, Battle Creek Public Schools superintendent. "So we're reducing the barrier of transportation and those kinds of things by having it right on site."
The partnership includes BCPS teachers as well, giving them opportunities for professional development and additional resources.
"We know there's a shortage of teachers all over the country," said La June Montgomery, WK Kellogg Foundation CEO. "And look right here in Battle Creek, we will grow a pipeline."
Officials say the goal for the partnership is for students who take advantage of the program to return to the area and apply what they learned.
"It is happening in Battle Creek, so this is just one of those great things that we're doing to ensure the entire community thrives," Carter said.
As part of the effort, Grand Valley State plans to open an outreach center this summer in downtown Battle Creek.
The Battle Creek-based W.K. Kellogg Foundation in 2017 awarded the public school district a $51 million grant to support quality education while attempting to bridge racial and economic divides in the district.