Next Citizenship Orientation and First Assessment – 9/22/12

Citizenship Orientation at the Westside Learning Corner
GRCC will hold a  Citizenship Orientation and First Assessment, September 22, 2012 at 9:00 AM. GRCC WestSide Learning Corner is offering Citizenship Classes sponsored by The WORD ESL and the college. The classes are available for anyone preparing for the U.S. Citizenship Exam. In order to be eligible, you must have a permanent residence card (green card) for five years, and be able to speak, read and write in Advance ESL level 3 (CASAS testing) and attend an orientation.

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The Word ESL will provide the instructors, textbooks, printed materials and consultants to guide the students through the process of filling out the N-400 forms. GRCC will provide the network for class enrollment, classroom space and building support on Saturday. Class starts October 6, 2012, must attend an orientation and ESL tests. For more information contact or visit the WestSide Learning Corner at (616) 234-3172, 665 Seward Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Important MPSERS Retirement Information

The Payroll Department will be offering several Retirement Reform general sessions over the next few weeks. Please plan to attend one of the sessions to learn more about the different choices you have to make, where to go to make your election, and get answers to your questions regarding the new law.

For more information and to register please go to or email staff development at

These sessions are for all employees in the Michigan Public Schools Retirement System (MPSERS).

This does not affect employees with the Optional Retirement Plan through TIAA-CREF.

Faculty Invited to Attend Free Online Course – “Designing an Exemplary Course” in Blackboard


All faculty are invited to participate in a FREE online course that begins on September 26th.

Registration opens Wednesday, September 19th here.

“Whether you are just getting started or are an advanced online educator, this course will provide you with a framework to help identify and apply best practices for designing engaging online courses.”

Course Description: You will learn from 11 instructors and instructional designers including distinguished Exemplary Course Program (ECP) Directors and several of the 2012 ECP winners. Using the Blackboard ECP Rubric as a guide, the course will focus on the four critical elements of a course: design, interaction and collaboration, assessment, and learner support.

You will have the opportunity to participate in weekly live, online sessions, learn with peers in focus groups, and complete optional assignments to aid your course development and improvement. A panel of course design experts will facilitate each group to provide you with valuable feedback.

  • Presenters: Blackboard Exemplary Course Program Directors and 2012 Exemplary Course Program Winners representing over ten institutions.
  • Duration: September 26 – October 17
  • Format: Asynchronous content and activities; 1 live one hour session per week (Wednesdays at 2pm EST)
  • Location: Online at CourseSites by Blackboard, a free and open online learning platform.

GRCC in the News – 9/18/12

Dropouts can register through September for Grand Rapids schools, GRCC program to earn diploma and college credit
Published: Monday, September 17, 2012, 2:50 PM | Grand Rapids Press | By Monica Scott

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – High school students who have left school or dropped out can register through September to participate in a Grand Rapids schools and Grand Rapids Community College program to earn a diploma and college credit.  (More)

GRCC Faculty Member Dianne Carroll Burdick in Spring Lake Library’s “A Taste of Fall”

From the Spring Lake District Library description for “A Taste of Fall!”:

Fall is my favorite time of year with the brilliant colors of the changing leaves, the softer slant of the sun’s rays, cool, crisp days, and the abundance of the fall harvest. This year there is one more reason to welcome fall’s arrival. On the first day of autumn, Saturday, Sept. 22, Spring Lake District Library will be hosting a presentation by the creators of the book “Tasting and Touring Michigan’s Homegrown Food: A Culinary Roadtrip.” […] Award winning photographer Dianne Carroll Burdick is a Western Michigan University graduate with a BFA in photography. She is an instructor at Grand Rapids Community College and a Continuing Studies Instructor at Kendall College of Art and Design where she teaches digital photography. (More)

Mathematics Seminar – 50 Centuries in 50 Minutes

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department will host its first monthly Mathematics Seminar of the 2012-2013 academic year on Wednesday, September 19, 3:00 – 4:00 PM in 107 Cook. Our speaker will be GRCC Mathematics Instructor John Dersch. The title and abstract for John’s talk may be found below.

The history of mathematics is vast, fascinating and sometimes surprising. Most of this talk will be accessible to those with a modest background in mathematics; as always, anyone from the greater GRCC community is welcome to attend.
Pop and cookies will be served at 2:45 PM.

50 Centuries in 50 minutes
(A Brief History of Mathematics)

How did we get the mathematics that is studied today? Who was responsible for major advances in the mathematics that we now take for granted? When and where did this work take place? Such questions will be addressed by tracing the development of mathematics from 3000 B.C. to the dawn of the 21st century. There will be time for questions and suggestions for further study will be made.