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GVSU offering free professional development to all Michigan educators

Grand Valley State University

A one-of-a-kind offer is being made to every teacher in the state providing free professional development workshops.

Grand Valley State University and its Charter Schools Office are offering the program. The university operates 78 charter schools across the state. It offers those teachers professional development workshops.

“Our professional development workshops are opportunities for teachers to come together and really study the practice of teaching.”

School districts traditionally offer professional development days and it can be expensive. Rob Kimball is associate vice president for charter schools at Grand Valley. He tells us roughly 1,300 teachers passed through its professional development workshops last year at a cost $75 per session per teacher. While demand was high there was some availability to serve the larger teaching community.

“We had empty seats and the need is great. We found that when you get charter teachers, traditional teachers, private school teachers together, we find that it doesn’t matter what context you’re teaching in. You’re talking about the problems and the practice of teaching and that creates a very powerful learning environment. And we saw that that opportunity to come together to study the practice of teaching was too great an opportunity to put a price tag on.”

Kimball says on average about 20 seats are available per workshop. Again, those will now be free of charge to every school educator in the state of Michigan with GVSU Charters receiving priority.

Patrick Center, WGVU News.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.