When a student heads off to college, every parent wants her/him to feel at home in their new surroundings. At Grand Valley State University, located in Allendale – just 12 miles west of Grand Rapids – that’s exactly how they should expect to feel. Situated on 1,322 acres, this picturesque campus is the ideal spot to call home during both undergraduate and graduate studies.
“Grand Valley is a great place to be,” says V’Lecea Hunter, a counselor in enrollment development support services at Grand Valley State University and an alumnus of a GVSU Detroit charter school. “I think that it’s a great starting zone for students academically, socially and emotionally to mature into something great.”
Hunter, a GVSU graduate, says the campus became her home after she enrolled back in 2008. She completed both her undergraduate and graduate degrees before becoming employed at the university. Additionally, Hunter a Detroit native graduated from University Prep High School, which is a charter school authorized by GVSU’s charter school office.
Some 25,000 students – also known as Lakers (after the university’s sports teams and mascot, Louie the Laker) – from 79 different countries call this Michigan campus home. Focused on their futures, these students are all a part of the “Laker Effect.”
“The Laker Effect is the collective impact of the Grand Valley State University community on individual students, West Michigan, our state and beyond,” GVSU’s website explains. “It’s a force for positive change.”
While GVSU is one of the largest universities in Michigan, it’s small enough to provide personal attention to its students. Its small class sizes boast just 26 people on average, which gives students and professors the opportunity to work closely together.
GVSU offers 90 undergraduate and 41 graduate programs, plus there are more than 400 student organizations to choose from. Outside of the classroom, students can participate in organizations ranging from fraternities and sororities to faith-based groups to sports clubs and more. No matter what a student’s area of interest, there’s bound to be at least one activity or club suited for him or her on campus.
“I think Grand Valley just provides unique experiences,” Hunter says.
The study abroad program is among the unique experiences offered at GVSU. Ranked No. 10 nationally for study abroad participation, GVSU is helping students build their understanding of different cultures as they receive their educations through more than 4,000 programs in countries such as Australia, Poland, Spain and Costa Rica.
For those interested in learning more about GVSU, the university hosts Laker Experience Days, which are open houses for high school students and their families. During these events, families can meet with faculty and student support staff, tour the campus and learn more about the university’s offerings. Registration is required.
Reserve your spot for a campus visit, too. This two-hour tour for incoming freshmen includes a Q&A with current students, plus a campus walk-through.
For more information on GVSU and the Laker Effect, visit gvsu.edu.