GRCC Construction Trades Students Build Wheelchair Ramp (Photos)

constructiontradesstudentsbuildramp_09-19-12004 (Small)

John Doane’s Construction Trades class has partnered with the Home Builder’s Association, and Home Repair Services for the past two years to build a wheelchair ramp for a needy family in Grand Rapids. All of the materials are donated by local businesses and the labor is provided by volunteers. This particular ramp was built for a elderly man on the Northwest side of Grand Rapids. The students were on this particular project for 4 days.

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Inclusive Communities – Advancing Effective Inclusion Strategies in the Higher Education

The West Michigan Presidents’Compact Committee Conference is presenting a program “Inclusive Communities: Advancing Effective Inclusion Strategies in the Higher Education” on Friday, October 5, 2012 at the Robert W. Sneden Center on Davenport University, 6191 Kraft Avenue, Grand Rapids, MI.

This annual regional conference is open to college and university faculty, staff, administrators, and students. The conference features a series of panels and plenary speakers which address issues surrounding inclusive communities, pedagogy, and current diversity related scholarship.

Please RSVP to Debra Bales at or 616.554.5683.  More information available here.

Policy Update Highlights – Foundation, Contributions, Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Cut-off Date, Late Enrollment, Maximum Credit Load

9.3 Grand Rapids Community College Foundation (Full Policy Here)

  • There are no substantive changes to the policy.
  • The policy recognizes that the GRCC Foundation exists to support the College.
  • The GRCC Foundation’s By-Laws establish it as a Michigan non-profit organization that exists to support the College. The Policy indicates the dates the By-Laws were most recently modified.
  • GRCC employees, the GRCC Board of Trustees, and the GRCC Foundation Board of Directors should be aware of the policy.

9.10 Contributions to the College (Full Policy Here)

  • The primary changes to the policy include: 1) moving it from the “old” format to the “new format; and, 2) changing the numbering and associated sections/subsections (11.10 to 9.10).
  • The policy communicates the process for receiving and documenting gifts to the College.

6.24 Drug and Alcohol Abuse Policy Highlights (Full Policy Here)

  • The policy has been updated and modified to provide greater clarity to supervisors regarding concerning behaviors that may indicate substance abuse.
  • Provides students and employees with information regarding how to access community resources if they have a substance abuse problem.
  • Provides required warning regarding the dangers of alcohol and substance abuse to students and staff In compliance with the Clery Act.
  • Policy is required by the Drug-Free Workplace Act and Drug Free Schools and Communities Act
  • The use of alcohol on campus is prohibited unless specifically permitted for work or educational events or at the Heritage during regular hours.
  • Covered substances and exceptions are outlined in the policy
  • Identifies actions to be taken for refusal of pre-employment drug-screening

Admissions Cut-off Date (Full Policy Here)
GRCC will not accept new student applications five business days prior to the start of a semester.

  • Allows opportunity for academic advising
  • Allows more time to deliver other needed services to students

Blocking Late Enrollment (Full Policy Here)
GRCC will not allow students to enroll in a class after midnight of the day before the class meets for the second time.

  • Allows for limited swaps if the second class has not met
  • Promotes student responsibility and planning
  • Facilitates building a learning community from the start of a class

Maximum Student Credit Hour Load Per Semester (Full Policy Here)
Students who want to enroll in more than 18 hours in a semester must get permission from the appropriate Associate Dean.

  • Student success rates are negatively impacted when students enroll in too many credits in a given semester.

Donuts and Distance Learning and Blackboard and Bagels 10/10/12

On Wednesday, October 10th from 8:30 – 10 AM, DLIT will host a “Donuts and Distance Learning & Blackboard and Bagels” morning and all faculty are invited!  The theme for this session is around providing an opportunity for gathering feedback from faculty on how we can improve the College’s distance learning program, online courses, and the Blackboard system at GRCC.

When: Wednesday, October 10 from 8:30 to 10 AM
Where: White Hall Reading Room, Sneden Campus

For more information visit

Also, be sure to keep up-to-date with the latest distance learning and instructional technology information by reading the DLIT newsletter that is sent out via email once a month. In case you missed one, the archives are available here:

If you can’t make it to the donuts event but have a suggestion or feedback for improving the core teaching & learning tools in Blackboard and/or to accelerate innovation to advance teaching and learning, please reply to the email or send us a note to:

At this donut event, we provide the rounds, and you arrive to enjoy, discuss, ask questions, share stories, and learn more about distance learning and Blackboard at GRCC! See you in a few weeks.