Sixth graders come to campus for Bronco BUDS program

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Photo of middle school students visiting WMU's campus.

Previous class of Bronco BUDS

KALAMAZOO—Kalamazoo Public Schools sixth graders who make up the Class of 2019 will continue touring and participating in activities at Western Michigan University throughout April so they can get a first-hand look at college life and the opportunities available through a college education.

For the fourth year in a row, WMU has opened its residence halls, classrooms and dining halls through a partnership with KPS called Bronco BUDS—Building Unique Dynamic Students. The program encourages early middle school students to set their sights on college and take advantage of the Kalamazoo Promise tuition scholarship program.

The goal of the program, which this year began March 20, is to make sure all of the district's 950 sixth-graders are transported 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.

Bronco BUDS is an annual program for KPS sixth-graders and one that is reinforced with programs each year, beginning with the Class of 2016 and continuing as these students move toward high school graduation.

Linden Grove Middle School and Milwood Magnet School Center for Math, Science and Technology came to campus in March.

Scheduled visits in April include students from these schools on these dates:

  • Maple Street Magnet School for the Arts: Wednesday, April 10, and Friday, April 12
  • Hillside Middle School: Wednesday, April 17, and Friday, April 19

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