• Inner Top Education


Academic excellence is promised and delivered.

In Southwest Michigan, employers, educators and community partners work side by side to build a culture of excellence across the continuum of education from pre-K to higher education. You’ll often find business leaders integrated into classrooms or curriculum planning sessions to ensure career readiness is incorporated into all levels of learning. Companies can easily identify talented college students through integrated internship programs and career fairs. Active apprenticeship training is accessible to companies seeking to offer on-the-job training experiences. K-12 Career and technical education is customized to support cutting-edge technologies. And you might also recognize the region for a certain promise that gives up to a 100% tuition scholarship to Kalamazoo residents.

Higher Education

  • Western Michigan University (WMU) is a top 100 national public four-year research university located in Kalamazoo with 147 undergraduate degree programs, 73 master’s degree programs, 30 doctoral programs and one specialist program within seven degree-granting colleges. Regional companies regularly partner with WMU’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, its Top-5 nationally ranked Integrated Supply Chain Management Program, College of Aviation, Center for Advanced Vehicle Design and Simulation and Product Design and Innovation Program. The community’s commitment to higher education was made evident by a $550 million anonymous donation called the Empowering Futures Gift─the largest private gift ever bestowed upon a public university.
  • Kalamazoo College was founded in 1833 and is among the 100 oldest colleges and universities in the nation. Highly selective, nationally renowned and globally oriented, Kalamazoo College is the home of the K-Plan which combines rigorous scholarship, study abroad, career development and civic engagement in a flexible curriculum.
  • Glen Oaks Community College is a skills-focused community college located in Centreville, Michigan with accredited certificates in manufacturing. Glen Oaks also serves as a fiduciary for the Michigan New Jobs Training Program (MNJTP) and was one of the state’s first adopters of the Early Middle College program.
  • Southwestern Michigan College in Dowagiac, Michigan is a skill-focused community college that also serves as a fiduciary for the MNJTP.
  • Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC) is the largest community college in Southwest Michigan offering associate degrees and professional certificates in a wide variety of disciplines including industrial trades and manufacturing and workforce training academies.
  • Kellogg Community College (KCC), with sites in Battle Creek, Albion, Coldwater, Hastings and the Fort Custer Industrial Park, offers 60 pre-professional transfer curricula, 37 associate degree programs, 25 certificate programs, seven categories of professional certifications and a variety of short-term, non-credit courses.
  • Albion College is a private liberal arts college in Albion. With 49 majors, concentrations and pre-professional programs, Albion gives students the flexibility to forge their own paths while gaining a true understanding of the world.
  • Andrews University is a private Seventh-day Adventist university in Berrien Springs. Defined by U.S. News and World Report to be one of the most culturally diverse universities in the nation, it places importance on serious scholarship, quality research and practical for its students pursuing associate to doctoral degrees.
  • Lake Michigan College, with locations in Benton Harbor, Niles, South Haven and Allegan offers 80 academic programs including associate degrees and certificates and the unique Welch Center for Wine & Viticulture which opened on the main campus in 2019.
  • In close proximity across state lines in Angola, Indiana, Trine University is a private university offering degrees in the arts and sciences, business, education and engineering.

Focus on Glen Oaks Community College

Located in Centreville, Glen Oaks Community College serves approximately 650 students with strong programs in Agriculture, Allied Health, Nursing, and Information Technology. The college offers associate degrees and certificate programs in areas like Agriculture and Water Technology; Arts and Communications; Business; Computer Science and Information Technology; General; Health and Human Services; and Manufacturing and Industrial Technology.

Glen Oaks Community College also partners with area high schools to provide Career and Technical Education, Dual Enrollment, and Early Middle College to ensure that St. Joseph County students have a clear and accessible pathway to higher education and excellent careers.

Glen Oaks Community College has a robust business and industry division called The Department of Business Services. This division offers a wide variety of professional and personal development training for business and industry. Whether it is customized training, small business and entrepreneur resources or professional development, Glen Oaks is prepared to meet the region’s business and professional learning needs. Business Services at Glen Oaks specializes in workforce development and training that supports business and industry in reaching and maintaining excellence and a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Training options include customized training, online training, apprenticeships, and health care specific options. The college prides itself on meeting business needs through flexibility, creativity and communication.

Intermediate School Districts

In Michigan, an Intermediate School District (ISD), sometimes called a Regional Educational Service Agency (RESA), is a governmental agency organized at the county or multi-county level that partners and assists a local school district in providing programs and services. The following ISDs and RESAs are key partners in educating students from birth through high school. For businesses, they can play a big role in developing your workforce pipeline—particularly in career and technical education.

St. Joseph County ISD encompasses local schools from the communities of Burr Oak, Centreville, Colon, Constantine, Mendon, Nottawa, Sturgis, Three Rivers, and White Pigeon, as well as Glen Oaks Community College, who offers Career and Technical Education as well as Early Middle College enrollment for all ISD students. It offers the St. Joseph County community programming that includes Career Preparation, Career and Technical Education, Pathfinder Educational Center and Talent Development.