GRCC middle college programs and district partnerships gain national recognition

Grand Rapids Community College’s middle college programs have been recognized by a national accreditation organization, becoming one of the first community colleges using their own faculty in the programs to earn the distinction. 

The National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships Accreditation Commission granted accreditation to 25 concurrent enrollment programs at colleges and universities nationwide, bringing the total number of NACEP-accredited programs across the country to 134. GRCC was one of three to be recognized using a new standard.

“Middle college programs are one way that GRCC is providing access to higher education while removing cost as a barrier as a result of school district partnerships,” said Dan Clark, dean of Academic Outreach and the GRCC Lakeshore Campus. “We’re proud to earn recognition for the program, but even prouder to support our students and communities and see the difference middle college can make in a person’s life.”

As the nation’s only accrediting body for such educational partnerships, NACEP’s standards serve as the model criteria for ensuring parity in faculty, course content, student outcomes and support. Receiving NACEP accreditation means an institution has met the nation’s most rigorous standard in concurrent enrollment program development, management, and evaluation across multiple, multifaceted program areas.

In 2019, NACEP membership added a new set of standards for a College Provided Faculty endorsement, a model defined as college courses taught to high school students by faculty provided by the college, regardless of location or delivery method.

“NACEP is excited to award accreditation under the CPF endorsement to three institutions: Grand Rapids Community College, Snow College, and Idaho State University,” said Diana Johnson, NACEP Accreditation Commission vice chair.

GRCC has partnerships for programs at high schools in the Wyoming, Cedar Springs, Kentwood and Kenowa Hills, at Grand Rapids Public Schools’ Ottawa Hills High School, and at the Kent Intermediate School District through the Launch U program.

Students in the programs take tuition-free GRCC classes while at high school, attend for a 13th year and graduate with a diploma and up to 60 transferable credits for an associate degree or technical certificate.

“On behalf of the Accreditation Commission, I want to congratulate all of the newly accredited and re-accredited programs,” Accreditation Commission Chair Michael Beam said. “These programs have successfully demonstrated they meet the NACEP standards for high-quality programming for concurrent enrollment, and college-provided faculty models.”

Arie Jackman leads GRCC golf team to fifth consecutive national tournament appearance

Golf team holding their awards.

Arie Jackman bested all competitors and Sam Foss sank his first collegiate hole-in-one to drive the Grand Rapids Community College golf team to the national championship tournament for the fifth season in a row.

GRCC finished in second place at the MCCAA/Region XII Championship on Tuesday, and is now headed to the NJCAA DII National Championships in Joplin, Mo. starting on May 17.

“The Raiders once again proved that hard work pays off,” coach John Forton said. “The team is on its way to its fifth straight appearance in the NJCAA National Championship. I can’t be more proud of the team’s effort this year.”

Jackman led the field of 40 golfers after shooting a plus-two over the first two rounds on Monday and finished eight strokes over par, seven shots better than the runner-up from Oakland Community College.

GRCC saved its best round for last, shooting a 316 on Tuesday, which moved the team up from third place on day one to second place overall, five strokes ahead of Muskegon Community College.

Oakland won both championships, finishing 13 strokes better than the GRCC.

Matthew Denhartigh finished in fourth place overall and shot a 234 while teammate Conner Oman came in at 10th overall with a score of 243.

Foss, a freshman who had his first collegiate hole-in-one on Monday, finished in 20th place, shooting a 260.

Brad VandenHout was 25th with a score of 269.

GRCC totaled 18 birdies in the tournament, led by Jackman with seven. Denhartigh had five, Oman three, Foss two and VandenHout had one.  

Workforce Wednesday: Sophia Lonnee finds being an automotive technician rewarding, fun

Sophia Lonnee working on a car engine and smiling.

When Sophia Lonnee graduated from Grand Haven High School in 2021, she had a plan. She was enrolled at two different universities and was due to begin that fall.

“About halfway through summer, I decided not to go,” she said. “Part of me was just overwhelmed. I was a decent student but I really hated high school and I didn’t know what I wanted to do so I decided to work a lot and think about it. I started asking myself, what could I do, that I enjoy, that could make me some decent money? I have always enjoyed working on my own car so I started looking into training programs.”

Lonnee found the GRCC Automotive Tech Job Training Program and feels like she made the right move.

“I like the hands-on experience and all the of tools! I love having access to all the tools and the shop to do the work. It’s been fun to work on my car, and my family’s cars. I’ve done a lot of brakes and saved them a lot of money. I like that a lot!”

To become an automotive technician, people are required to be certified and licensed in the state of Michigan. Licensed technicians use precision diagnostic equipment, service manuals and hands-on power tools to diagnose and repair customer vehicles.

GRCC Job Training programs offer many scholarships, grants and financial aid.

“I am getting my program completely paid for, so really all it’s costing me is my time,” she said.

The Automotive Technician program is scheduled like a job. Class meets Monday to Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lonnee also works in the evening as well. “It’s kind of exhausting but it’s 100% worth it. Just to have this experience. It does take commitment but once you get all these certifications you have them forever.”

The Automotive Technician program is taught by instructor Gayl Beals, who has more than 25 years’ experience in the industry. Beals holds an Education Specialist degree, holds MOPAR level one certification and is accredited by Snap-on Tools.

“Mr. B is a very smart guy,” Lonnee said. “I like how he pushes us to figure things out on our own.  He’s a really good instructor. This doesn’t seem like school at all.” 

Students learn braking systems, suspension, electrical, heating and cooling, and computer operations. GRCC holds a partnership with both Ford and Chrysler Fiat to provide additional certifications giving students the opportunity to acquire value credentials leading to more than 37 certifications.

When Lonnee finishes the program in July, she knows that she will have many opportunities.

“Even if I don’t stay in automotive forever, I will always have these skills. With the connections that Mr. B has plus the demand, I’m sure I’ll land somewhere.”

The next section of Job Training programs begins, Aug. 8, 2022. For more information: or 616-234-3800.

Aging Gracefully session on May 18 has open seats

Are you curious, or concerned, about the aging process, would you like to become familiar with resources in Grand Rapids designed to assist us and those we love as we age, and/or have opportunities to share the challenges of managing this phase of life?

Join us for a learning opportunity focused on understanding aging and approaching it with grace.

“Aging Gracefully” is a GRCC employee learning opportunity presented by area aging expert Pat Latus-Kennedy. The seminar will be geared toward GRCC employees & retirees and provide a holistic view of aging.  Physiological, neurological, and mental-emotional aspects of the aging process will be explored and discussed.  Participants will learn about current brain research as well as the impact of aging on the brain. Cognitive strategies that reduce the impact of aging on the brain will be discussed. 

Pat will share resources and help attendees navigate age related services in the Grand Rapids community.  Attendees will be given an opportunity to discuss challenges and successes associated with managing their aging, as well as the aging of loved ones.  We hope you will take advantage of this interesting learning opportunity.

The session will be on Wednesday May 18 from 1:30 to 4:00pm in person in Room 108 Sneden Hall (GRCC DeVos Campus).

This event is cosponsored by the Gold Team and GRCC Human Resources.

Register via your Online Center account.

Continuation of Building Blocks to Social Equity series

Sophia Brewer’s popular Social Equity seminar series has added an additional session for this year: Growth Mindset and Allyship.

Join the discussion on social equity advocacy and allyship – learn more about “how to support social justice from where you are and where you wish to be.” 

Tuesday May 24 from 10:30am-12:00pm in the GRCC Library.

Register via your Online Center account.

Tech Tip: View your submitted IT requests

Have you ever submitted a request to the IT department and have the same issue come up later and want to know how it was resolved?

You can view all of your previously submitted requests (or tickets) within our IT Service Portal. To find all of your tickets follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the IT Self-Service Portal
  2. Sign in with your MyGRCC credentials in the top right corner
  3. Select the Services tab
  4. Select Ticket Requests 
  5. View all of your open tickets or update search parameters to view specific tickets

By default, you will see all of your tickets that are currently open. Change the Status Class to include completed requests to see past tickets.

Clicking on the title of a ticket will show you all details of the request including any notes from the technicians that assisted and a Knowledge Base article detailing the resolution.

This way, if it is something that could be resolved without IT intervention you have the resources at your fingertips.

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

GRCC In the News 05/11/2022

See inside elegant, historic Grand Rapids homes during upcoming tour

5/10/22 MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Tickets are on sale now for the The Annual Heritage Hill Weekend Tour of Homes.

… “Seven families have graciously offered to open the doors of their lovely and well-loved homes in this historically significant and vibrant neighborhood,” according to a description of the event. “Two public buildings — the historic Calkins Law Office and the Custer Alumni House, recently restored by Grand Rapids Community College — are also included in the tour.”

How to get your department webpages ready for Summer 

As we’re wrapping up our winter 2022 semester, take a look at your department’s webpages to make sure everything is up-to-date for our start of summer 2022.

  • Are there any deadlines or date-oriented information on your webpages that have passed or need to be updated?
  • Is your bio/contact information still correct? If you want to make changes to your bio, simply log in at, navigate to your bio and submit the form for changes.
  • Are there any outdated events that need to be hidden or new events that need to be promoted?
  • Are your department’s office hours and contact information updated for holiday break and beyond?

Need help making these updates? If you’re a web editor, visit our Drupal User Manual or email and we’ll be happy to assist you.

Thank you for helping us keep up to date for students and our community!