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Two WMU initiatives named state innovation finalists

June 22, 2009

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University's outreach to students who have aged out of foster care and its dual-enrollment engineering initiative with Kellogg Community College are among the statewide finalists for the 2009 Innovation Michigan program sponsored by Michigan Business Review.

The two WMU efforts are among 39 innovative initiatives that will be featured in a special supplement to the publication Thursday, July 16. That evening, the 2009 Innovation Michigan Exposition will be held at Grand Valley State University's Pew Campus in Grand Rapids, and eight of the 39 finalists will be named winners of this year's Innovation Michigan Award.

The annual exposition recognizes the development or use of innovative products and services in Michigan. The 2009 event will be the fourth staging of the exposition and the first time it has been opened up to entries from across the state.

Foster care initiative

WMU's Foster Youth in Higher Education/Seita Scholars initiative is a Universitywide effort designed to combat historically low rates of college attendance and graduation rates among young people who have aged out of the foster care system. Now moving into its second year, the program offers free tuition to qualified students and makes academic support services and year-round housing available as well.

Dual-enrollment engineering initiative

The joint program between KCC and WMU will provide students with the best of both worlds by offering them joint admissions, efficient and flexible class scheduling, and the freedom to move seamlessly from the community college to WMU on their way to earning an associate degree at KCC and then a bachelor's degree at WMU.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
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