Holland-Grand Haven Gives Parents, College Students Options Close to Home

Hope College is a place for dreams and passions.

On Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - 12:09

Hope College is a place for dreams and passions.

It is a rare private college with national accreditation in art, dance, music and theater. The four-year liberal arts institution, affiliated with the Reformed Church of America, is just two blocks from downtown.

U.S. News & World Report put Hope on its 2008 list of the country’s top 100 liberal arts colleges. “Colleges That Change Lives” singles out Hope and 39 other places. In 2007, The Fiske Guide to Colleges called it one of “the best and most interesting institutions in the nation.” Western Theological Seminary is adjacent to Hope. Davenport University, based in Grand Rapids, has blossomed into the largest independent university in Michigan and northern Indiana. Its Holland campus is on South Waverly Road. Grand Valley State University’s Meijer Campus in Holland sits on 19 acres donated by Meijer Inc.

The university is known for its teacher education and programs in business, art, design, music, chemistry, engineering, physical therapy and social work. Lifelong learning is a community affair here.

An $11.5 million renovation and expansion will nearly double the size of Loutit District Library in Grand Haven. The addition may be ready by July 2009, but a temporary spot is set up on South Beacon Boulevard for book checkout and other services. Parents have their pick of public, private and parochial schools. Grand Haven Public Schools serve 6,000 students across 100 square miles. The district overall scores an impressive 8 on Greatschools.net’s 10-point scale; Rosy Mound Elementary School gets a perfect 10. In the Holland area, K-12 students are spread out among Hamilton School District, Holland Christian Schools, Holland Public Schools, Saugatuck Public Schools, West Ottawa Public Schools and the Zeeland School District. Greatschools.net gives Holland a 6 overall, with at least four schools scoring 9. Black River Public School, a college preparatory school chartered by Grand Valley State University, is among them and has landed on Newsweek’s list of top U.S. high schools for three years running.