GRCC, Kuyper College partner to create seamless pathway for students working toward business leadership degree

BA 256 Principles of Accounting professor Robert Groenleer teaching at Lakeshore Campus in Holland.

Grand Rapids Community College students will have a seamless path to Kuyper College’s bachelor’s degree programs through a new agreement between the two institutions.

The transfer partnership agreement ensures that GRCC students can transfer to Kuyper with minimal credit loss or duplicate coursework.

“GRCC is for many students the first step on their educational journey,” said Dr. Bill Pink, GRCC president. “It is rewarding to see students build on that solid academic foundation with additional degrees. Agreements with four-year institutions such as Kuyper College create outstanding opportunities for students and reflect the value our community places on education and collaboration.” 

GRCC has transfer program agreements with most higher education institutions in West Michigan. This agreement with Kuyper, the first between the two colleges, notes that GRCC students who are specifically seeking a bachelor’s degree in business leadership will be able to take their classes at Kuyper’s urban campus at the Center for Community Transformation, 1530 Madison Ave. SE.

“This new partnership agreement allows any GRCC student pursuing a bachelor’s degree at Kuyper, Michigan’s only federally recognized Work College, to transfer into low-cost bachelor’s degree programs with guaranteed jobs,” said Dr. Patricia Harris, Kuyper College president. “Transfer scholarships and grants are available, allowing students the opportunity to graduate with little or no debt.”

The articulation agreement idea got its start when professor Felix Pereiro, head of GRCC’s Business Department, and Marc Andreas, associate professor of Business Leadership and Business Leadership Program Director for Kuyper College, collaborated in discussions about how to help business students and our community.

“GRCC offers our students a high-quality education at an affordable price. We are at a pivotal time in our society where the cost of obtaining a college degree is beyond the reach of many, especially those in disenfranchised populations,” Pereiro said. 

“Kuyper’s campus at the Center for Community Transformation is a breakthrough moment for the community we serve. Students who earn their Associate of Business degree at GRCC now have a path to earn a baccalaureate degree and employment opportunities that are aligned with their coursework. The location of the building was critical. It is strategically located in a neighborhood to help those most in need.”

Pereiro said discussions with Andreas focused on how they could help students attain academic, career, and life goals.

“Many students begin their journey to obtain their goals at GRCC and then move onto one of our great transfer college and university partners. We challenged each other to develop programs that are truly exciting and innovative to offer our students,” Pereiro said.

Photo by Steve Jessmore.

GRCC baseball posts an eight-run lead, then holds off Davenport University rally to win 10-8

Grand Rapids Community College baseball player, in uniform, throwing the ball.

The Grand Rapids Community College baseball team built up an eight-run lead over Davenport University’s junior varsity squad, and almost watched it slip away

But GRCC held off to cling to a 10-8 victory in a nine-inning game, evening the season record at 20-20, and one tie.

GRCC scored five runs in the fifth inning to go up 8-0, with Xander Reisbig, Max Varon, and Caleb Engelsman all driving home runs.

Davenport chipped away at the lead, scoring two runs in the fifth, one in the sixth and other in the seventh before rallying for four runs in the bottom of the ninth.

Kellan Smith earned the win for GRCC, with the righty pitching three innings, allowing no runs on two hits, striking out two and walking one. Caden VanDeBurg recorded the last two outs to earn the save.

GRCC scattered 12 hits in the game. Reisbig, Varon, Dylan Chargo, Zacarias Salinas, and Jacob Gumieny all managed multiple hits.

GRCC has won five games in a row since a 3-3 tie against Calvin University a week ago at LMCU Ballpark. The team is back in action on Friday with a doubleheader on the road against Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

Photo by Steve Jessmore.

Powered by Narrative Science and GameChanger Media. Copyright 2022. All rights reserved.

Workforce Wednesday: Ben Mast finds success in an electrical apprenticeship program

Ben Mast smiling.

Four months ago, Ben Mast didn’t have any of the skills or knowledge required to be an electrician. Fast forward and next week he will begin his career as an electrical apprentice.

“I had been going to Grand Valley for a couple of years and was studying business. Then classes moved to all online because of COVID,” he said. “At that time, I was working full time and I just liked working more than school. I heard from a friend who went through this program and it sounded like a sweet gig. Less school sounded like a sweet idea for me just because I wasn’t having a whole lot of fun. I signed up for the waitlist and started just before Christmas. It’s been a blast!”

GRCC Workforce Training programs provide in-demand skills leading to rewarding careers. We are introducing students who are heading down an educational pathway and changing their lives by earning occupational certificates

The GRCC Construction Electrical Job Training program provides the basic knowledge and skills required to be placed in an Electrical Apprenticeship program in just 18 weeks of training.

Mast started the program with no experience in this field.

“I feel like most of the students don’t have any experience when they started. I’m super grateful to have Doug (Wiersma) as my instructor. He is super knowledgeable. He’s got an answer for everything and he also makes it super fun!”

Students participate in job site, lab area, field trip and classroom settings. Learning is hands-on in all areas of electrical installation including employability skills, construction and electrical safety, hand and power tool safety, electrical math, electrical history, electrical theory, the National Electrical Code, electrical material identification, blue print reading, underground installations and residential/commercial wiring.

Mast came into the program at the same time as five other students.

“Because we all started at the same time, there is a competitive aspect to it,” he said. “It’s always a challenge to see who is doing it faster, better, getting stuff to work the first time. We’ve grown pretty close in the past four months. It’s been really fun to be doing it with your buddies.”

An electrical apprenticeship with Windemuller Electric is next for Mast. Once graduates of this program are hired, they may register with the State of Michigan as an Apprentice Electrician. The 18-week Job Training program covers the first year of training in the four-year apprenticeship.

“The work is satisfying and fulfilling. I feel like this program is preparing me and making me feel a little bit better about going into a field I’ve never worked in before. It’s been my favorite school I’ve ever gone to.”

According to the Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, there will be 16 percent job growth annually in this field from 2012 to 2022. Average wage per hour is $23.78.

New sessions of GRCC Job Training programs begin throughout the year. The next session begins June 6, 2022. For more information go to

GRCC In the News 04/27/2022

Local artist to paint mural for nonprofit

4/26/22 Grand Rapids Magazine

A local Latina artist is painting the next installation for the 49507 Project.

… (Wanda) Moreno studied fine arts at Grand Rapids Community College and currently is in her senior year of a bachelor’s degree in illustration from Kendall College of Art and Design. 

STUDY: 98% of MI students attend a university that does not respect free speech

4/26/22 Campus Reform

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) recently conducted a study on the state of free speech across 26 colleges and universities in the state of Michigan.

… The universities that received a Red Light rating include Aquinas College, Davenport University, Grand Rapids Community College, Lake Superior State University, Muskegon Community College, Oakland University, and Western Michigan University.

Parking garage, mixed-use concept at Grand Rapids downtown library draws questions at city commission meeting

4/26/22 MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — A concept of building an up to 500-space parking garage with mixed-use space, potentially housing apartments, businesses or community space, drew pushback from Grand Rapids City Commissioners Tuesday.

… The feedback was gathered from neighborhood residents, as well as nearby institutions such as the library, Grand Rapids Community College, the Civic Theater, the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, and others. Input from developers was also gathered.

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.

2022 Walking & Wellness Challenge registration is open

Lace up your shoes, it’s time to hit the pavement! The annual GRCC employee Walking & Wellness Challenge is back!

We begin on Monday May 9 and go all summer until August 21. Fifteen weeks of wellness and fun!

This year we’re bringing back team participation and meet ups!

Getting started is simple!

Get your team together, come up with a name  [teams are 4-6 people]

Each participant completes a registration form.

Join the WWC Google Currents page if you haven’t already.

This year we will have a Kick Off, monthly meet ups around downtown (with swag giveaways), weekly West Michigan trail excursion recommendations, and much more! Of course, posting to the Currents page is strongly encouraged as it creates community and enhances the fun factor!

Those who sign up will receive detailed information about this year’s challenge very soon.

For questions or more information, please email