Kalamazoo Public Schools sixth graders to visit WMU

Contact: Deanne Puca
Photo of students raising hands in a classroom.

Students participate in the 2014 Bronco BUDS program.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The sixth-grade Class of 2021 from Kalamazoo Public Schools will tour Western Michigan University and participate in activities on campus beginning Monday, March 16, and continuing into April. 

The students will get a first-hand look at college life and the opportunities available with a college education through a program called Bronco BUDS—Building Unique Dynamic Students. For the sixth year in a row, WMU has opened its residence halls, classrooms and dining halls through Bronco BUDS. The program is free, and all KPS sixth-grade students are able to attend through their middle schools. The University partners with KPS to encourage early middle school students to set their sights on college and take advantage of the Kalamazoo Promise tuition scholarship program.

During March and April, KPS will transport all of the district's sixth graders to WMU for a day to engage in hands-on activities related to choosing a college career and to take a University tour. The latter includes a visit to a classroom and residence hall, and the students also eat lunch at a campus dining hall. KPS students are guided through their college experience by WMU students and staff. Many of the college-student guides are Kalamazoo Promise scholarship recipients themselves.

The Bronco BUDS is reinforced with programs each year that continue as students move toward high school graduation.

For more information, contact Vanessa Laurent, doctoral graduate assistant for the WMU Office of Diversity and Inclusion, at vanessa.r.laurent@wmich.edu  or (269) 387-6325.

For more news, arts and events, visit wmich.edu/news.