Business Department launches Business Cafe

The faculty of GRCC’s Business Department are trying out a new academic advising model this fall entitled the Business Café Series.

Throughout the semester, at different days and times, a business faculty member will be available to discuss various topics related to careers in business, advising, transferring, and more. The sessions are held in the Business Tutorial Lab in room 201 Cook Academic Hall. This is a drop-in conversation, so students may stay for the entire hour or for 5 minutes and enjoy some free coffee and snacks.  The dates, times, and topics for each week are listed in the table below.  You can also find more details on our webpage at

Last week, GRCC’s Assistant Professor Mark Jasonowicz, along with Ariane Bishop and Alex Ruedger from Accountemps, discussed careers in accounting, the educational requirements for various accounting positions, as well as accounting-related job opportunities in the West Michigan area. We had 23 students attend this session and the feedback was great!

Upcoming sessions:

  • “So, You Want to Be a Bronco?” with Jeff Spoelman, 8-9:30 a.m. September 21.
  • “Careers in Marketing and Management,” with Glenn Gelderloos and Felix Pereiro, 4-5 p.m. September 26.
  • “Careers and Opportunities in the Nonprofit Industry,” with Orletta Caldwell, 4:30-7 p.m. October 5.
  • “Email Like a Pro: This Is Not a Text,” with Ann Alexander, 9-10 a.m. October 12.
  • “I Want to Major in Accounting: Now What?” with Richard Barnhart, 4:45-5:45 p.m. October 18.
  • “Pursuing a Law-Related Career,” with Garry Brand, 3-4 p.m. October 27.
  • “MWest Challenge,” with Matheta Righa, 2:15-3:15 p.m. November 1.
  • “Entrepreneurship & Starting Your Own Business,” with Felix Pereiro, 11 a.m. to noon November 7.
  • “Transferring to GVSU for Business,” with Jennifer Knauf, 12:30-2:30 p.m. on November 7.
  • “Transfer Resources,” with Brent Spitler, 1-2 p.m. November 16.

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GRCC In the News, 9-19-16

Herman Miller, GRCC, Careerline Tech sign agreement on early college program

Sept. 18, 2016; The Holland Sentinel

An alliance between Careerline Tech Center, Grand Rapids Community College and Herman Miller on an early college and work program was made official on Thursday, Sept. 15.

Finding talent remains challenging for West Michigan contractors

Sept. 18, 2016;

Despite ongoing concerns about a talent gap, employment in West Michigan’s construction industry continues to rise.

… The steady growth in the industry has led to largely flat enrollment and in some cases, negligible declines for Grand Rapids Community College’s construction trades program, according to Scott Mattson, jobs training manager at the school.

Beer and business: GRCC’s Fountain Hill Brewery responds to industry’s growing hiring needs

Sept. 15, 2016;

Beer City needs beer employees and who better to provide high quality education and training for our metropolis’s brewing and food operations than Grand Rapids Community College and the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education?

Initiative looks to aid ITT exiles

Sept. 16, 2016; Grand Rapids Business Journal

Earlier this month, as millions of students across the nation loaded up bookbags for the first day of classes, more than 40,000 ITT Technical Institute students and 8,000 faculty members were left with nowhere to go.

… On Sept. 15, T2C Studio, an organization launched by TCTC, hosted an ITT Student College Fair at the Kroc Center to provide students with more information and allow for one-on-one connections to be made with some of the areas local colleges. Counselors, admissions and financial aid personnel from seven West Michigan schools — Aquinas College, Calvin College, Davenport University, Ferris State University, Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Valley State University and Western Michigan University — were on hand to answer questions about transfer credits, financial aid and class availability.

Belknap event offers job, housing, education resources

Sept. 15, 2016; GVSU press release

Residents of the Belknap community will be able to connect with a variety of resources related to job training, workforce development, employment opportunities, child care and education and housing issues during an open house, September 15.

… Eighteen community organizations, educational institutions and businesses will be participating, including Rockford Construction, Spectrum Health, Mercy Health, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Grand Rapids Public Schools, Grand Rapids Community College and the City of Grand Rapids.

Badgers football: Derrick Tindal overcomes rough surroundings, personal tragedy to excel for UW

Sept. 17, 2016; Portage Daily Register (Wis.)

Anyone close to Derrick Tindal particularly those from his hometown of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. wanted to make sure the cornerback’s absence from the University of Wisconsin football team in 2014 didn’t extend any further than it had to.

… He signed with Michigan before failing to gain admission, and the same happened after attempting to transfer to Louisville. Dorsey played for Grand Rapids Community College in 2011 and did not qualify academically at Hawaii the next year. He then played one season at Arizona Western Community College, spent one year in the Arena Football League in 2014 and hasn’t been heard from since.

Great workshops scheduled for this week!

Building a Stronger Team

Not just a team building session! Come learn about leadership styles and discover ways to not only manage conflict, but enhance positive communication! Take away 6 power tools that help to foster a collaborative and constructive workplace. The session runs 2-5 p.m. September 21 in room 304 of Sneden.

Benefits 101

Come learn about your benefits with Maria Belmares-Herrera! Bring any questions you may have on Friday, September 23rd, from 9:30-11 a.m. in  room 304 of Sneden.

PACE survey results available for review

Our Personal Assessment of the College Environment (PACE) survey results are available for your review.

The report titled “2015 PACE v. 1 with comments” provides our responses according to the NILIE personnel classification system (admin, admin support, faculty and tech operations).  The 56-question survey results are organized in the following climate categories: institutional structure, student focus, supervisory relationships and teamwork. We also have custom questions. This report provides norm data based on the 87 other two-year, public colleges who participate with PACE.

The report titled “2015 PACE v. 2 by employee group, division and ethnicity” is an additional report that GRCC requests. It has the same climate categories; the responses are just organized in three additional ways.

This information has been presented to Cabinet, the Board of Trustees, and some of the divisions have begun their review. We encourage all employees, particularly those in a supervisory capacity, to review the data and consider improvement areas in your work.  For example, if it’s been awhile since you had some team building activities in your area, please consider contacting Jessica Berens to review our available resources.

Jessica will also be organizing our “Putting Input Into Action” sessions.  She’ll provide a review and ask for feedback on “what would improvement look like.” Watch for further information in GRCC Today.

Thank you to the 314 employees (49.6% response rate) who completed their PACE survey.  “The results from the PACE survey indicate that personnel perceive the composite climate at GRCC to fall toward the upper range of the Consultative management style.” Please attend one of our “Putting Input Into Action” sessions to learn more.

If you have any questions, please contact Cathy Kubiak (x.3971) or Jessica Berens (x.3179)


Strategic Leadership Team 2016-17 meetings begin

The Strategic Leadership Team had its kickoff meeting for 2016-17 last Friday morning. The purpose of this team is to guide the development and ongoing implementation of the GRCC Strategic Plan, review benchmarking data, study budget realities and offer recommendations to the president. The team is 80 members strong!

On Friday progress reports from two college action projects were given:

  • Improve outreach and recruitment of new students. (CAP 1.1.1)
  • Reduction of financial barriers for students. (CAP 1.2.4)

The agenda and supporting documents following each monthly meeting can be found online.

Faculty and staff are seated around tables in Sneden Hall's conference room.

SSPD Grants: September 2016 Funding Opportunity

The deadline for the submission of grant applications for the Support Staff Professional Development (SSPD) program is 4:30 p.m., September 23, 2016. The SSPD application packet and SSPD Guidelines are available on the Grants Department web page at Please note that applications must include a supervisor’s approval form, a budget form, and budget documentation. If you have any questions about SSPD grants, please contact Lisa Dopke, Associate Director of Grants & Resource Development at 234-3340 or  Good luck!