Raider Salute from Ann Isackson

Sincerest thanks to members of the GRCC CARES Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds Task Force.

With the Task Force’s thoughtful guidance and assistance, GRCC was able to get higher education emergency relief funds (HEERF) directly into the hands of thousands of students facing exceptional need and significant barriers to academic success during the pandemic.

Between May 2020 and April 2022, $19,863,657 was distributed to GRCC students. Final disbursements were made to students during the week of April 4th.   

Special thanks also to those from the HEERF implementation subteam, who lent their technical expertise and worked extra hours to make these efforts successful – Darcy Swope, Bryan Vliem, Jennifer Kowalski, Todd Hurley, and David DeBoer – as well as to everyone in Student Records, Student Financial Services, and Financial Aid who provided their support.  

Cultural Festival Wednesday, April 13

Come check out the Cultural Festival planned for Wednesday, April 13 at 3 PM to 7:00 PM in the Ford Fieldhouse Arena!

There will be dance performances, music, and games! We’re also featuring a World Market, where you can shop out snacks and cultural souvenirs.

Cultures that will be represented include:
South Korea

  • Study Away will be tabling so you can dream up your next International Travel!

Save the date and drop in at the event!!

Hosted by the International Language Club.

My Story Started at GRCC: Ben Gerlofs says GRCC’s flexibility allowed him to discover his passion, and a career in Hong Kong

Ben Gerlofs.

Ben Gerlofs was a man without a plan.

“It’s no exaggeration to say that GRCC offered me a life-changing opportunity,” he said. “As an underperforming high school student without a plan for college, I bounced around for a couple of years, through several part-time and full-time jobs before deciding to apply to GRCC. Despite my poor grades and lack of preparation, GRCC accepted me.”

Start at GRCC and go anywhere. Every former student has a story to tell about how GRCC gave them the education and opportunity to be successful.

GRCC offered Gerlofs what he needed: flexibility.

“The flexibility of my AA degree plan allowed me to explore a wide variety of classes, which was extremely important to me as I had no idea what to do with my life at that point and no clear interests or ambitions.

“I took courses in yoga, American history, composition, poetry, math and economics, among a few other subjects, and eventually found my way to geography, which – much to my surprise – became a lifelong pursuit.”

GRCC’s Geography program included training in the use of scientific equipment, development of skills in map reading and interpretation, field trips, and valuable mentoring.

Gerlofs also found help with his post-GRCC plans: “The attention and training I was given at GRCC prepared me to apply for scholarships and other support to continue my education, which allowed me to complete my BA degree at a highly reduced cost and to complete my MA and Ph.D degrees at no financial cost to me.”

After earning his associate degree in 2010, he completed a bachelor’s degree at Aquinas College, a master’s degree from Syracuse University and a doctorate from Rutgers University.

Gerlofs has worked as a lecturer, postdoctoral researcher and visiting professor at Queens College, Princeton University and Dartmouth College. He’s researched gentrification, urban politics, political revolution and urban change in Chicago, Mexico City, Hong Kong and Singapore. His first book is scheduled for publication next year.

He’s now a geography professor at the University of Hong Kong, specializing on urban geography in his teaching and research.

Gerlofs traces his purpose and success to his GRCC start.

“GRCC is the place that gave me a chance I hadn’t earned, convinced me that I had potential I hadn’t explored, and gave me the tools to build a future I couldn’t have imagined.”

Let GRCC help you start your story. The first chapter starts at

Reconnect with your future: Open houses planned to help potential students of all ages learn how a GRCC education can change their lives

Potential students of all ages can learn more about how Grand Rapids Community College can help change their lives during open houses at both the main and Lakeshore campuses.

The main campus event is planned for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 16, in the Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse, 111 Lyon St. NE in Grand Rapids. The lakeshore event is planned for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 23, at the GRCC Lakeshore Campus, 12335 James St. in Holland.

GRCC specialists and faculty can help open house participants navigate through admissions and financial aid processes and discuss eligibility for cost-saving programs such as Michigan Reconnect and the Grand Rapids Promise Zone. Campus tours also will be available.

Those attending the event and enrolling at GRCC can win one $500 scholarship.

“Open houses are great opportunities to learn more about GRCC, get all your questions answered, and meet the people who will be here to help you,” said Kristi Welling, GRCC’s associate director of Enrollment Center services.

“There are local, state and federal programs that can remove cost as an obstacle, and GRCC offers classes in a variety of formats and schedules so students can plan around home and work responsibilities. Come visit to find out what might work best for you.”

Open house topics include:

  • How to explore GRCC’s 12 Academic Pathways and more than 150 degrees.
  • Options to pay for college.
  • How to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as FAFSA.
  • The steps to apply to GRCC.
  • The benefits of earning an associate degree at GRCC and seamlessly transferring to a four-year college or university.
  • Academic programs and student services offered in Holland at the GRCC Lakeshore Campus.
  • Determining eligibility for the Grand Rapids Promise Zone Scholarship and Michigan Reconnect.
  • Connecting with campus resources – and finding lots of fun swag!

Students can reserve a spot by registering at

CTE encouraging call for proposals

The CTE is putting out a call to encourage all of you to announce to your areas that we are seeking submissions for the Summer Teaching and Learning Institute, which will be held August 10-12.

It is anticipated that the format will be a mix of in-person, virtual, and hyflex offerings.

This event is a great opportunity to provide professional development applicable to preparing for the fall semester but also to inform attendees about new initiatives or changes to process around the College.

The proposal form is open and accepting submission through April 29.

GRCC In the News 04/11/2022

GRCC’s brewing program paving way for lovers of the craft

4/8/22 Huron Daily Tribune (Bad Axe)

Want to jumpstart a career in beer? Formal education might be just the ticket, whether you are looking to open your own brewery, or would like to get to know the ins and outs of working at one. Lucky for us here in Michigan, we have a few excellent programs available, where you can actually study the art and science of this lovely liquid, with a professional and decidedly academic approach.

“As the industry as a whole is maturing, the desire for education and the demand is there,” said Allison Hoekstra, assistant professor in the brewing program at Grand Rapids Community College. “The days of being a homebrewer, where you could just walk in and get a job, those days are kind of over.”

New Ferris State president confronts declining enrollment, post-pandemic opportunities


A Q&A with Bill Pink, incoming president of Ferris State University

Commencement volunteers still needed

Dr. Bill Pink at 2021 Commencement.

Commencement is a not far away! Please show your support for our graduates by volunteering to help make this time memorable for our students.

Commencement will take place on Friday, April 29. Students in the School of Arts and Sciences will attend a 4:30 p.m. commencement, and students in the School of Workforce Development will be at a 7:30 p.m. service.

Most volunteer positions will require you to arrive approximately 1.5 – 2 hours prior to the start of commencement.

Complete this quick form to let us know your interest in volunteering. We will respond with additional information and your specific volunteer assignment at a later date.