GRCC In the News, 2-20-17

Posted February 20, 2017 by grcctoday
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What will you be making at age 34?

Feb. 17, 2017; Grand Rapids Business Journal

Lou Glazer said a common refrain he hears from employers, parents and politicians is high school graduates would make higher wages by pursuing two-year degrees or occupational certificates instead of a traditional four-year education.

… Among two-year colleges in West Michigan, the highest median wage at 34 goes to students who attended Grand Rapids Community College at $30,700, and the lowest wage in the same category is earned by students who attended Montcalm Community College at $20,600.

Avanti Guitar Trio to perform as part of International Guitar Series

Posted February 20, 2017 by grcctoday
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The final performance in this year’s International Guitar Series will feature the Avanti Guitar Trio on March 16:

The GRCC International Guitar Series presents the Avanti Guitar Trio. Thursday, March 16, 2017, 7:30 p.m. Park Church, 10 East Park Place NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. Tickets available at Eventbrite and at the door from $10-15. To buy tickets, visit Parking is available at Park Church and in the GRCC Bostwick Parking Ramp for $3.50. Be sure to ask for a parking voucher at the door. For more information, call (616) 234-4095 or email Thank you to our sponsor: Guitar Foundation of America.

Grant and Resource Development Department debuts newsletter

Posted February 20, 2017 by grcctoday
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The Grant and Resource Development Department is thrilled to roll out the newly minted Grants Lab Newsletter! This newsletter will keep you informed on topics ranging from recent awards to upcoming opportunities to helpful resources. We will also be publishing short articles to help you and your team as you engage in the grant development process.

The Grants Lab Newsletter is your one-stop-shop for all things grant-related at GRCC! Won’t you check it out here?

College Channel programming through Feb. 24

Posted February 20, 2017 by grcctoday
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The latest schedule, through Feb. 24, for the College Channel includes Greg Forbes’ lecture on Charles Darwin.

IIPD Grant Applications are due on March 17, 2017 at 4:30 pm.

Posted February 20, 2017 by grcctoday
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The deadline for the submission of grant applications for the Instructional Improvement & Professional Development (IIPD) Grants program is 4:30 p.m., March 17, 2017.  Information about how to apply for an IIPD grant can be found at this website: IIPD Application and Guidelines. Please note that applications must include Dean’s and Department Head Approval forms, a budget form and budget documentation. If you have any questions about IIPD grants, please contact Judith Larsen, Director, Grants and Resource Development Department, at 234-3910 or Good luck!

SLT Profile: Default Management Team

Posted February 20, 2017 by grcctoday
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The GRCC Default Management Team includes:
  • Ann Isackson, Paul Doane, Sandi Glennemeier, Rebecca Powell and Veronica Beitner, Financial Aid
  • Bruce Morrison, Institutional Research and Planning
  • Bryan Vliem, Student Records
  • Eric Mullen, Enrollment Management and Financial Aid
  • John Cowles, Student Success and Retention
  • Marisol Blanco, College Success Center
  • Michael Passer, IT-Enterprise Applications
  • Tina Hoxie, Student Affairs
  • Todd Hurley, Accounting and Budget Services
  • Victoria Powers, Counseling and Career Center/TRiO

To address rising student loan default rates at GRCC, this team has developed, implemented and begun monitoring a student loan default management plan.

This plan consists of two primary areas of focus. The first is to provide delinquent borrowers with information necessary to facilitate successful loan repayment.

The second is to identify various touch points during the student’s college experience where financial literacy education could be delivered effectively. Since the team’s formation in June 2012, resources have been secured to provide students both delinquency outreach and financial literacy services through the SALT® educational finance support program.  Additionally, two part-time Loan Repayment Specialists were hired to serve as student advocates and to organize on-campus financial literacy events.

During the past year, an outreach campaign to delinquent borrowers and students entering repayment was initiated.

The campaign included:

  • Phone, text, mail and email communications.
  • In-person loan exit counseling sessions.
  • Information at Gradfest.
  • Information sent with 1,800 diplomas.

On-campus financial literacy offerings were expanded to current students through partnerships with Student Alliance and Phi Theta Kappa, as well as community organizations including Hello West Michigan, PNC Bank, and Lake Michigan Credit Union.  Additionally, in the last year 3,026 students enrolled in SALT® and 6,381 financial literacy modules were successfully completed by students enrolled in CLS 100, PY 100 and CLS 102 classes.

With these outreach and financial literacy initiatives, the college’s cohort default rate has continued to decline from an all-time high of 26.4% to our current rate of 23.2%. When draft cohort default rates are released in late February, a further decline is anticipated.

During the coming year, the team will:

  • Evaluate and revise the default management plan.
  • Expand the communications plan
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of financial literacy components used in first-year experience courses.
  • Examine the relationship between SALT® enrollment and successful loan repayment.

The GRCC Default Management Teams goal is to reduce the cohort default rate to 20% or below in the next three years.

GRCC In the News, 2-17-17

Posted February 17, 2017 by grcctoday
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U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ Prepared Remarks at the Community College National Legislative Summit

Feb. 16, 2017; U.S. Department of Education

Below are the prepared remarks delivered today, Feb. 16, by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos at the 2017 Community College National Legislative Summit, hosted by the Association of Community College Trustees and the American Association of Community Colleges.

… I’m also very pleased to note that over the years, I’ve hired many talented individuals who were graduates of GRCC — Grand Rapids Community College.

College names Giants

Feb. 16, 2017; Grand Rapids Business Journal

As part of an annual tradition dating back more than three decades, a local college has honored a group of African-American leaders for their contributions to the community.
Grand Rapids Community College recognized 13 honorees at its 35th-annual Giants Awards & Banquet this month at DeVos Place.

Great guards: Ball, Pierce helping Spring Lake boys succeed in a tough new league

Feb. 16, 2017; Local Sports Journal (Muskegon)

SPRING LAKE — There’s nothing that Spring Lake varsity basketball coach Bill Core likes more than having a great senior point guard in the lineup.

… “I’ve decided I like basketball the best,” said (Isaiah) Pierce, who is considering Grand Rapids Community College. “Coaches have told me that if that’s what I’m considering, now is the time to go for it. So I’ve been lifting and trying to get stronger and working on my shot a lot.”


Strategic Leadership Team meeting includes Jesse M. Bernal presentation

Posted February 17, 2017 by grcctoday
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Today’s meeting of the Strategic Leadership Team featured a discussion on diversity led by Jesse M. Bernal, Grand Valley State University’s vice president for inclusion and equity.

Jesse Bernal of GVSU talks to tables of GRCC faculty and staff. The video screen behind him says: "Why diversity?"

Collegiate covers budget discussions, building projects

Posted February 17, 2017 by grcctoday
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Reporter Avery Jennings covers discussions of the 2016-2017 budget, employee salaries, enrollment numbers, tuition cost and building projects.

Education Department, Counseling Center provide session on suicide prevention

Posted February 17, 2017 by grcctoday
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The Education Department and GRCC Counseling Center presented “Warning Signs of Suicide in Students” on Wednesday, February 15. Suicide Prevention is an important topic to talk about and the Counseling Center prepared students with potentially life-saving training. A big thanks to all who came and made the seminar a huge success.

Faculty and students are seated at tables in rows. They look at a video screen showing suicide statistics.


Preschool hosts training sessions for child-care providers

Posted February 17, 2017 by grcctoday
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GRCC’s Phyllis Fratzke Early Childhood Learning Laboratory provides free monthly training sessions for in-home child-care providers.

From 6:30-8 p.m. Feb. 21, the topic will be “Using Children’s Books to Build Cultural Competence.” A training certificate will be provided. RSVPs are appreciated, but not required; contact Kathleen Neumann at (616) 234-4004 or

Upcoming topics are:

  • “Using the GRCC Resource Room” from 6:30-8 p.m. March 21.
  • “Hands-On Exploration for Young Children” from 6:30-8 p.m. April 11.
  • “Learn About Early On Kent County” from 6:30-8 p.m. May 2.

Two children sit on the floor of a preschool classroom.


Photos from Creating Connections

Posted February 17, 2017 by grcctoday
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The GRCC Foundation held its 9th annual Creating Connections breakfast on Thursday, Feb. 16. This wonderful morning was spent with scholarship “owners” connecting with their scholarship recipients. Guests were treated to a hot breakfast, warm welcome by Dr. Mullins and Dr. Ender, as well as two GRCC student speakers, Dawyne Johnston and April Shirey.  We spotlighted the James D. And Sally A. Skidmore Business Scholarship.

Scholarship support is critical in helping students pursue a college degree. We cannot thank our faithful scholarship donors enough for their continued support of our students.

A special thank you to Facilities, Bayard Brooks, Jared Staub, Luba Petrash and her team, and Media for their hard work in making this event spectacular for our donors and students! On behalf of the GRCC Foundation, Thank you!

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GRCC In the News, 2-16-17

Posted February 16, 2017 by grcctoday
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Doug and Maria DeVos Foundation Awards $60,000 Grant to GRCC’s Cruisin’ to College Program

Feb. 15, 2017; Targeted News Service

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Feb. 15 — Grand Rapids Community College issued the following news release:

Grand Rapids Community College’s Summer Learning Academy has been awarded a $60,000 grant from the Doug and Maria DeVos Foundation to expand its work and assist more students.

GRCC’s board approves contract with next president

Feb. 15, 2017; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The Grand Rapids Community College Board of Trustees unanimously approved a contract Monday, Feb. 13, for its next president, Bill Pink, currently vice president and dean for workforce development.

Keith St. Clair to examine contrasts between China, Taiwan on Feb. 22

Posted February 16, 2017 by grcctoday
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Keith St. Clair will explore the historical, political, and cultural contrasts between China and Taiwan based on his recent IIPD trip to both locations.

Despite the One China Policy of the United States, there are two Chinese governments that claim to be the one government of China. The People’s Republic of China controls the mainland and has its capital in Beijing. The Republic of China controls Taiwan and has its capital in Taipei.  Both claim the other’s territory, yet have developed separately since the Communist takeover of the mainland.

Keith will examine the relations between these two countries and discuss the possibility for their reconciliation. His presentation will be on Wednesday, February 22, 2017, from 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. in Room 168 ATC (auditorium). Stop by and bring your class for an informative session.

Mathematics Seminar looks at ‘Tower of Hanoi’

Posted February 16, 2017 by grcctoday
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The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its next Mathematics Seminar on Thursday, February 23, 3:00-4:00 PM in 101 Cook.  Our speaker, GRCC mathematics instructor Sang Lee, will discuss mathematics related to the Tower of Hanoi puzzle.  The title and abstract are below.

In 1883 Édouard Lucas, working under the pseudonym M. Claus, created a puzzle that may have been inspired by an ancient legend.  Anyone who attempts to solve this puzzle will notice the need for logical thinking and pattern recognition, which means mathematics is close at hand.  Sang will discuss various aspects of this mathematics and related applications.  Regardless of your puzzle-solving ability or background in mathematics, you are encouraged to attend – everyone is always welcome to our mathematics seminars.

Pop and cookies will be served at 2:45 PM.

Mathematics in the Tower of Hanoi

The Tower of Hanoi puzzle was first introduced by the Frenchman M. Claus in 1883.  The puzzle has been popular ever since, and it can be found in toy/game shops around the world.  The puzzle has drawn interest from a wide range of people, especially those who plan to study computer science.  In this math seminar we will look at some fascinating, beautiful and powerful mathematics hidden in the Tower of Hanoi, along with those mathematicians related to the puzzle.  Tower of Hanoi puzzles will be available for those attending the seminar.