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Schools and Colleges

West Michigan offers a tremendous array of educational options from preschool for tiny tots to professional development programs. Many of our school districts are award winning and justifiably proud of the high percentage of students who go on to higher education. In addition to public schools, we also offer parents the option of enrolling their children in numerous private and charter schools.

West Michigan also offers specialty classes, schools, and other cultural experiences for parents interested in an international experience for their children:

More than a third of our residents also go on to post-secondary education, usually at one of our regional colleges and universities. Together, these institutions offer degree-granting, technical, and continuing education to more than 85,000 students from Michigan and around the world.

Area Colleges and Universities

Many Michigan colleges and universities allow students to complete all or part of their studies online. Such courses can generally be taken for credit as part of a degree or certificate program verifying that the student completed the course. Visit the online school directory for a complete list of schools that offer online courses.

Professional Development

Greater Grand Rapids is fast becoming a magnet for professionals on the move. In response, we now offer a number of professional development programs to help them stay competitive. The area is home to several manufacturing-related and corporate training programs and associations. They include:

  • Leadership West Michigan: The mission of Leadership West Michigan is to equip leaders for regional collaboration and to develop and engage regional trustees who work for the benefit of the entire region. The LWM program offers hands-on, minds-on exercises to help participants digest and apply the rush of information about regional challenges and opportunities. In each session, participants connect the data and opinions from presenters with their own direct observation and experiences of the everyday realities of West Michigan.
  • Inforum: Inforum is a professional women's alliance offering a unique, action-learning program that provides opportunities for talented women to develop their leadership capability. It enables them to tap into the experience and talent of some of Michigan's most accomplished executive leaders in mentoring roles.
  • The Multiracial Association of Professionals: The Multiracial Association of Professionals (MAP) works to create a strong network of professionals of all races in West Michigan and to assist organizations to welcome, retain, and connect professionals of color and their families. MAP corporate services and membership benefits include concierge services, professional networking events, educational programs, and online community resources.

Other Professional Development Resources


U.S. News & World Report, famous for its lists of top colleges and top high schools, ranks City High School of the Grand Rapids Public Schools as the number two high school in Michigan. Read More