ALLENDALE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Valley State University is forming a new college centered on computing and advanced technology that is expected to be ready by fall of next year.

No matter where you are, the odds are technology is right there with you.

“It’s impacting every business, every human activity, every creative activity,” said Fatma Mili, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at Grand Valley State University.

To help meet the tech needs of the future, GSVU is turning its School of Computing, which is currently a part of the Padnos College of Engineering and Computing, into its own college.

“Several universities have done the same and have seen much more growth as a result of that energy of creating a new college,” Mili said.

As part of its strategic plan, GVSU hopes to graduate three times as many technologically advanced students over the next 10 years.

“This is not just the majors in computing and majors in engineering, but we are also looking at majors in any other area at the university that will be using technology in different ways,” Mili said.

Mili said the new college will expand GVSU’s ability to meet that goal.

The university is also seeing increases in the number of students pursuing computing or tech-related degrees. For example, master’s degrees have jumped by nearly 50% since 2021.

“It really has been exploding, growing exponentially,” Mili said.

Joshua Hulst is a co-founder of Michigan Software Labs in Ada and a graduate of GVSU. He said the importance of computing is only growing.

“Whether that’s data science or computer science, analytics,” Hulst said. “You’ve got new businesses that are creating software that’s the cornerstone of some of their competitive advantage, so there’s really no stopping. We’ve got AI that’s coming out that’s really starting to increase some of the opportunities for efficiency,” Hulst said.

As talks of Grand Rapids becoming a Midwestern tech hub ramp up, Hulst said having a pipeline of talent locally is a vital component.

“This just feels like one of those next pieces that comes along with that, to kind of create the overall community going forward and create that buzz and excitement that really lets Grand Rapids get its place on the map,” Hulst said.

Mili said GVSU will add more faculty, especially over the next two years, as the college develops. The university has also formed a task force that will help guide decisions as the new college becomes a reality.