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GVSU expands reach in K-12 schools with new accelerator

GVSU expands reach in K-12 schools, announces idea accelerator
Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley State University President, Philomena V. Mantella, announced a new idea accelerator during a Board of Trustees meeting on Friday. The NextEd Accelerator aims to provide support to education entrepreneurs who want to create programs that will quickly impact students in need.

The initiative will house programs designed to address issues around equity and opportunity. It comes on the heels of the K-12 Connect program, which has served more than 1,700 learners through more than 7,000 hours of virtual tutoring since last summer.

In a statement Mantella said, "NextEd Accelerator will create space and synergy for initiatives such as K-12 Connect, which is a great model of a low-cost, high-impact program," adding, "These initiatives deserve to be supported and scaled, and not just the project of the moment. The learning gaps created by COVID will deepen inequality and have devastating impacts for years to come, unless we move quickly and boldly.”

NextEd Accelerator will take off in partnership with GVSU’s College of Education and will be overseen by Associate Vice President Rob Kimball. 

"Our students’ diverse and evolving needs compel us to activate ideas across our communities and region,” Kimball said. “NextEd Accelerator is one way GVSU can further distinguish itself and provide leadership to support diverse learners in these increasingly complex times.”

GVSU said the pioneers of the K-12 Connect initiative are currently fielding inquiries from other institutions and others who want to reproduce the success found in GVSU’s statewide virtual tutoring program. 

In a statement, the school added it "is working on scaling up programs and securing meaningful partnerships, both with education leaders and the philanthropic community. No tuition dollars will be used in this initiative."