By Mechell Clark McCrary
Fort Valley State University announced their partnership with Grand Valley State University (GVSU) during a virtual signing ceremony hosted by FVSU’s Center for Student Engagement. Representatives from both universities met to finalize an agreement that will create a pathway for FVSU students to earn a master’s degree in electronic engineering technology or computer science in as little as five years.
“This collaboration will allow our students to benefit from the best strengths of both universities — receiving a solid foundation in science and technology and exposure to specialized courses, research and connections,” said Dr. Paul Jones, president at Fort Valley State University. “We are immensely proud and excited to partner with GVSU in this opportunity to further our long-standing commitment of preparing students for successful careers in STEM.”
The dual degree program utilizes combined coursework from both institutions. The partnership will also help diversify the talent pipeline for employers throughout Georgia and West Michigan, where GVSU is based. Beginning as early as the Fall 2021 semester, qualified FVSU students can earn GVSU master’s degrees in engineering and computer science disciplines. FVSU students will have access to scholarship and financial support, student support and retention services, Michigan in-state tuition rates, and opportunities to visit GVSU before enrolling.
GVSU President Philomena V. Mantella said this is the first of such collaborative agreements with HBCUs, an initiative that broadens Grand Valley’s student population and responds to industry needs for a diverse workforce.
“This agreement allows Grand Valley to build on the successes of the Padnos College of Engineering and offer a rigorous advanced degree curriculum to FVSU students in addition to the resources that will enable them to succeed, graduate and find jobs,” Mantella said.
FVSU has a long history of focusing on the development of a diverse pipeline of STEM students who are prepared for the workforce through collaborative partnerships with other universities and employers. In 1983, the nationally recognized Cooperative Developmental Energy Program (CDEP) was founded at FVSU by Dr. Isaac J. Crumbly, assistant vice president.
“Through CDEP, our students have participated in a variety of dual degree programs with partnering institutions and in nearly 900 internships with the public and private sectors,” said Crumbly. “We are pleased to have GVSU to join us in this important and ongoing mission.”
About Grand Valley State University
Grand Valley State University attracts nearly 24,000 students with high-quality programs and state-of-the-art facilities. Grand Valley is a comprehensive university serving students from across Michigan and dozens of other states and foreign countries. Grand Valley offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in 300+ areas of study from campuses in Allendale, Grand Rapids, and Holland, and from regional centers in Battle Creek, Detroit, Muskegon, and Traverse City. The university is dedicated to individual student achievement, going beyond the traditional classroom experience, with research opportunities and business partnerships.