Here to Help: Scott Mattson helps students connect with in-demand skills leading to rewarding careers

Scott Mattson smiling.

Always remember, at GRCC, you are surrounded by people who want you to be successful and are ready to walk with you on your educational pathway. We are here to help!

Meet Scott Mattson. Scott is GRCC’s Job Training and Construction Trades Program Manager.

Scott works with an incredible team at the GRCC Leslie E. Tassell M-TEC, helping students learn hands-on skills to start new careers in automotive; computers; construction electrical; machine tool and CNC; medical assistant; residential construction; and welding.

Scott enjoys helping people reach their goals, whatever that may be.

“There are so many opportunities in the skilled trades that don’t often get shared and I love to share the life that can be earned on this path,” he said. “I get to see individuals make life-changing decisions and how proud they are of themselves when they complete their program and begin working.”

Scott received his bachelor’s degree from Lake Superior State University. He worked in Lansing after graduating, and then in the Upper Peninsula to work in the hospitality industry.

He then returned to Lake Superior State University, this time as a staff member, serving as the men’s and women’s tennis coach and intramural activities director for four years.

He came to GRCC in 2000.

If you are interested in gaining career skills, connect with the M-TEC team via email at, by phone at (616) 234-3800. The M-TEC is located at 622 Godfrey Ave. SW in Grand Rapids.

GRCC awarded $1 million grant through Ready by Five Early Childhood millage to support youngest learners and their families

Play and Learn group at Early Childhood Center.

A $1 million grant from Kent County’s Ready by Five Early Childhood millage will support Grand Rapids Community College’s “Play and Learn” groups, helping the community’s youngest learners and their families.

The First Steps Kent Commission, which coordinates the millage funds, awarded the $1,009,459 grant, to be divided over 2022 and 2023. GRCC is one of 28 organizations sharing $9.7 million generated by the millage, which Kent County voters approved in 2018.

“When we say GRCC supports lifelong learning, that includes our community’s youngest residents,” GRCC President Bill Pink said. “Our Play and Learn groups strengthen the relationships between children, their families and caregivers, and their schools in order to make the transition into kindergarten as smooth, comfortable, and successful as possible. That solid foundation can help a student be more successful all along their educational journey. That helps them, their families, and our community as a whole.”

A Resident Proposal Review Board comprised of parents and community members reviewed all proposals requesting funding. The First Steps Kent Board of Commissioners signed off on the recommendations, which were approved by the Kent County Board of Commissioners this week.

“We continue to see a great need from families in Kent County,” said Annemarie Valdez, president of First Steps Kent. “The number of proposals we received exceeded the amount we had to allocate, which shows that this millage is necessary and continues to make an impact. We are grateful for the support of Kent County residents. This continues to be a vital investment in young children across our community and families need these resources now more than ever.”

GRCC’s Phyllis Fratzke Early Childhood Learning Laboratory operates the Play and Learn groups for children up to age 5 to help parents and other caregivers learn skills and strategies to prepare for success in school. The groups meet at the preschool and six other locations, and the curriculum aligns with state Department of Education expectations for kindergarten readiness.

Rebecca Brinks, head of GRCC’s Education Department, said the grant funding is especially meaningful in light of a challenging year.

“Child development liaison Kathleen Neumann and her team have been so amazing in adapting this program to all the punches that the pandemic has thrown at them, and all their hard work is being rewarded,” Brinks said.

GRCC received $671,553 from the millage in 2020 to support the Play and Learn groups.

“We are so proud of the impact the Ready by Five millage is having on our community,” Kent County Administrator Al Vanderberg said. “These funds are significantly advancing the work of First Steps Kent and local community organizations to ensure every Kent County child enters kindergarten thriving and ready to learn.”

GRCC plans virtual ‘Service Saturday’ to help students prepare for Monday’s Winter 2022 semester start

Students standing in front of Student Financial Services.

New and returning students can get last-minute help applying, registering, and preparing for the start of winter classes at Grand Rapids Community College with a special virtual GRCC Service Saturday.

The event is planned for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Jan. 8, with GRCC specialists ready to remotely answer questions or provide assistance students might need prior to Monday’s start of the Winter 2022 semester.

About 60 percent of available Winter Semester classes are being offered in online, virtual and hybrid formats, making a GRCC education more accessible to students of all ages, allowing them to schedule around home and work responsibilities – and not worry about commuting during icy weather.

More than 10,900 students already have enrolled in Winter 2022 classes, an increase of nearly 3 percent from a year ago.

Tina Hoxie, GRCC’s associate provost and dean of Student Affairs, said there is still time for students to enroll in winter classes.

“The winter semester is a perfect time to take advantage of educational opportunities, especially with the online classes students of all ages are finding convenient,” she said. “Even taking two classes will allow students to qualify for some programs that lower costs while helping them keep that momentum and work toward a credential.”

Students can call the campus’ general information number at (616) 234-4000, text (616) 383-2842, or can connect directly with the following individual departments:

  • Admissions and Enrollment: (616) 234-3300
  • Financial Aid: (616) 234-4030
  • Student Financial Services: (616) 234-4020
  • Student Records and Veterans Services: (616) 234-4121

Students in need of Academic Advising assistance can text (616) 404-0044 or sign up for an Express Advising session. Sign up for these sessions opens Saturday morning at 10 a.m. and runs to 1 p.m.

Several programs are available to help students lower or even eliminate in-district tuition costs. Specialists can help students determine if they are eligible for the state Michigan Reconnect program, a Grand Rapids Promise Zone scholarship, a federal Pell Grant, or the Michigan Equity, Courage, Hope, and Opportunity Scholarship for students not eligible for federal financial aid.

Tech Tip: Wireless Accounts

Did you know there are several ways to access GRCC Wireless? The chart below will help guide you through which one is best for you to use when on campus.

GRCC SECUREDesigned to help faculty, staff and students work efficiently by blocking many high-bandwidth, non-academic sites.Click on the network connection and use your MyGRCC login credentials.
GRCC WirelessLess restrictive and should be used for general purposes.Click on the network connection which may open a browser window.You may need to open your web browser and navigate to to get the login page. Use your MyGRCC Login Credentials when prompted.
Raider GuestDesigned for campus visitors that need to access the internet with limited bandwidth. Users can be connected for up to 12 hours.Authenticate using email or SMS-based registration.

For additional assistance check out our Knowledge Base article on Connecting to GRCC Wireless: 

How do I connect to the wireless network (wifi) at GRCC?

How do I connect to Raider Guest Wifi?

For more information and helpful tips, please visit the IT Customer Support Portal or contact the IT Customer Support Desk at x4357.

If you have a suggestion or a Technology Tip you think can be useful, you can submit them by emailing 

GRCC In the News 01/07/2022

Learning hub offers drop-in tutoring for college students

1/5/22 (Kent Intermediate School District)

GRCC — Senad Ajdarevic drops by the Seymour Branch of the Grand Rapids Public Library a few times a week to take advantage of tutoring services from Nathan Reinke.

On a recent Thursday afternoon, Ajdarevic was working on a cover letter for an English 101 assignment. “I’m getting ahead in my work,” said the first-semester GRCC student. 

 ‘Our finest hour’


Let’s begin with a movie you have likely seen, Apollo 13.

(Column written by President Pink.)

GRCC closes its offices due to severe weather, students can reach staff working remotely for services

1/5/22 MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Grand Rapids Community College closed its offices at noon Wednesday, Jan. 5 as conditions deteriorated rapidly from a winter storm.

Spectrum Health begins 2022 with board transitions

1/5/22 Grand Rapids Business Journal

A regional health system appointed one incoming board member as three board members completed their terms of service.

… Outbound members include Steven C. Ender, Ph.D., president emeritus, Grand Rapids Community College; Dr. M. Ashraf Mansour, former vice president and academic chair in the department of surgery at Michigan State University (MSU) and division chief of vascular surgery for Spectrum Health; and Daniel F. Hopp, former senior vice president of corporate affairs and general counsel for Whirlpool.

Annese is named national coach of the year

1/5/22 The Pioneer (Big Rapids)

BIG RAPIDS – Ferris State University Football head coach Tony Annese, who led FSU to its first-ever NCAA Division II National Championship this past fall, has been chosen as the 2021 National Coach of the Year.

… This fall, Annese notched his 100th victory at Ferris State with FSU’s national semifinal win over Shepherd and he presently holds a 101-16 (.863) during his Bulldog tenure. Overall, Annese is 326-61 (.842) in a memorable coaching career that includes several stops on the high school level in Michigan where he won three prep state championships along with a pair of national junior college crowns at Grand Rapids Community College prior to his FSU arrival.

Winter storm forces all Grand Rapids Public Library locations to close

1/5/22 MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – All Grand Rapids Public Library locations are closed Wednesday due to the winter storm.

… A winter storm warning is in effect until 7 a.m. Thursday for Allegan, Kent, Lake, Mason, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana and Ottawa counties. Many area school districts and Grand Rapids Community College are also closed because of the inclement weather.

 GRCC receives $1M grant to support ‘Play and Learn’ groups

1/6/22 FOX 17

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College’s “Play and Learn” groups will be better able to support the community’s youngest learners and their families thanks to a $1 million grant from Kent County’s Ready by Five Early Childhood millage.

Sen. Huizenga hires district, constituent staff


LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Mark Huizenga on Thursday announced he has hired former Rep. Rob VerHeulen as a part-time district director and Stacey Gomoll as constituent relations director.

… VerHeulen served as mayor of Walker from 2001 to 2012, state representative for the 74th District from 2013 to 2018, and district representative for Sen. Peter MacGregor from 2019 to 2020. He attended Grand Rapids Community College, graduated from the University of Michigan and received his Juris Doctor degree from Wayne State University. VerHeulen lives in Walker with his wife Norma.

Daughter of Brown v. Board of Education namesake keynote speaker for Grand Rapids holiday event honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

1/6/22 MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Cheryl Brown Henderson, whose father’s Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court case ended legal segregation in public schools, is the keynote speaker for a free downtown event celebrating the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Davenport University, Grand Valley State University and Grand Rapids Community College will host the 35th annual commemoration on the federal holiday honoring the slain civil rights leader at 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 17 at Fountain Street Church, 24 Fountain Street NE,

Faith over fear: Memorial service information for Jessica Berens

Jessica Berens smiling

A memorial service for our friend and colleague Jessica Berens is planned for 1 p.m. on Jan. 8, 2022 at Corinth Reformed Church, 129 100th St. SE, Byron Center.

Relatives and friends may meet the family prior to the service from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the church.

Read more about Jessica and her family here:

Wellness Champions: ‘Get on Track’ with your new resolutions

Two people walking on the indoor track.

Be a champion! GRCC is helping students and employees focus on all areas of health and wellness as we emerge together from the pandemic.

Wellness is a full integration of physical, mental and spiritual health. That includes physical health, but so much more. During the next year we’re also looking at emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual, environmental and occupational health, and how we all can work to help ourselves and each other.

There are many resources at GRCC to help all of these types of wellness. Each week, we’ll introduce you to people and places here on campus ready to support you on your wellness journey.

Many of us made resolutions or set goals to be more active and healthier at the start of the new year.

The Wellness Champions can help.

Get on Track is a new program for employees to get steps on the Hunsberger Arena’s indoor track in the Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse.

There will be an open timeslot every week for employees to drop by the area’s indoor FFH indoor track and a Wellness Champion will be there to walk with them to encourage, motivate, and just get to know them.

Champions pledging to walk and talk include Provost Brian Knetl, Dean Eric Mullen, Interim Dean Bill Faber, and others. A schedule is available here.

The track is also available for walking during other times. It’s open from 6 – 10:15 a.m. and 12:15 – 1:45 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. on Wednesdays, and 6 – 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. on Fridays.

Angela Salinas, GRCC’s coordinator of Employee Events, Engagement, and On-boarding, said Get on Track supports increased physical activity, but also creates accountability and positive connections among employees.

Angela gets steps with supportive colleague Katie Pena, support professional for a number of Workforce Development programs.  

You can get some serious steps in the arena without worrying about ice and snow. Ten laps are equal to a mile.

Plus, every time you show up for a Get on Track walk, your name gets entered into a monthly drawing for a fun prize. 

Winter Semester Information Stations – volunteers still needed

Looking ahead, we’re excited to welcome our students back to campus for Winter 2022 and want to alleviate any challenges our students may be facing. At this time, we’re looking for volunteers to help with the Information Stations that will be set up for the first three days of the new semester (January 10, 11, 12). Sharing in the excitement of new opportunities, easing nerves, and helping students find their way is a great way to start the semester and show our students that we support them! 

A few things about info stations if you’re not familiar: 

1. There will be multiple stations: Sneden, ATC and RJF. 
2. Shifts are 2 hours long and there will be a table and chairs to accommodate 2 volunteers/station.

3. A Google document has been prepared for the occasion and has relevant information to campus services, hours, locations, even classroom schedules to help students find their way. 

If you see information from your area that is outdated, you are welcome to make changes to the document.

4. Please plan on using your GRCC-issued laptop or tablet to access the Google doc of information.

5. Hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes will be available at each station. Please wipe the table down in between volunteer shifts to keep our campus community .
Sign Up Here 

Thanks for considering, we couldn’t do this without you! 

Technology Notification: TechSmith Knowmia migration to Panopto

As we mentioned last year, GRCC is switching from using TechSmith Knowmia to Panopto for our video hosting. Part of the transition was the migration of TechSmith Knowmia videos to Panopto as well as updating the Blackboard links to point to the migrated videos on Panopto. GRCC partnered with K16 Solutions, a company who was tasked with updating Knowmia video links in Blackboard to the migrated videos in Panopto (only for Knowmia videos uploaded before 8/14/2021). This work was performed at the end of December and K16 Solutions was able to update most of the links with some exceptions (see bullet points below). 

Since K16 Solutions was unable to update all links and some links will need to be updated manually, TechSmith Knowmia will still be accessible through 2/28/2022However, on 3/1/2022, videos that are hosted on Knowmia will not be accessible and any Blackboard links still pointing to those videos will no longer work.

We recommend refraining from uploading any new videos to TechSmith Knowmia or adding any additional links in Blackboard that point to TechSmith Knowmia videos, since they will no longer be available on 3/01/2022. Going forward, new videos should be uploaded to Panopto and new video links in Blackboard should only be linked to videos in Panopto.

We are asking you to review all your courses/organizations to ensure all links are updated accordingly prior to 3/1/2022. In addition to reviewing your courses/organizations, you may need to adjust the sharing privileges on your Panopto videos and/or folders, to ensure they can be accessed from Blackboard.  For any assistance or questions on how to manually update your links in Blackboard or how to adjust the Panopto folder/video sharing, please contact DLIT via email at or via phone at (616) 234-3205.

TechSmith Knowmia video links that were not updated in Blackboard:

  • Any link that is to a TechSmith Knowmia Collection.  The concept of Collections doesn’t exist in Panopto, however you can link to a Panopto folder, which can contain multiple videos.
  • Any link that is utilizing the TechSmith Knowmia Quizzing feature with Blackboard grade integration.  Links to videos containing quizzes could be updated, but there isn’t a way to update the quizzing/grading integration automatically.  If you want to continue using quizzing in your videos, you can utilize Panopto Quiz.
  • Any link to TechSmith Knowmia content that returns a “Media Missing” or “Page Not Found” error.  These errors are most likely because the video was deleted in TechSmith Knowmia, but not the reference in Blackboard.  If the video no longer exists in TechSmith Knowmia, then the video will not exist in Panopto.  The link will need to be updated to an alternative video or removed, since it’s currently broken.
  • Any link to a TechSmith Knowmia video that was created by importing from YouTube.  These links will need to be updated to point directly to the video in YouTube.  An alternative option would be to download the YouTube video, upload it to Panopto, and then update your Blackboard link to point to the video now in Panopto.
  • Any link to a video that was uploaded to TechSmith Knowmia on August 14th or after.  These videos were not migrated to Panopto and will need to be manually moved to Panopto (or another video hosting solution) and the Blackboard links to the videos updated accordingly.
  • Any link to TechSmith Knowmia that is part of a course restored after 1/1/2022.  The TechSmith Knowmia links in the restored course will need to be manually updated to point to Panopto.

If you haven’t started using Panopto, we highly recommend attending a training session, watching a webinar, or reviewing resources on Panopto as soon as you can. We have listed some available training sessions, webinars, and resources on Panopto below. You can also sign into Panopto directly at any time at, where you will find some getting started videos. Panopto also provides direct support to all employees and students via Panopto’s Support Portal.

Panopto Getting Started Resources:

Panopto Basic Training Recorded Webinars:

Panopto Weekly Q&A Virtual Office Hours:

Panopto Support:

  • Talk to Panopto Support via phone or chat, submit a ticket, search knowledgebase, and access Panopto resources.  
  • A Panopto support user account is needed to access all of Panopto Support.  Just click on the “New User” link, enter your GRCC email in the email field and for the Panopto Site URL, and click the Sign Up button.