Teaching, Learning, and Distance Education (TLDE) News

Quality Matters (QM) Rubric Online Course Begins on September 13!

Known as the APPQMR for short, this is a three-week asynchronous online course beginning Tuesday, September 13 and ending Tuesday, October 4, 2022. The course is QM’s flagship workshop on the QM Rubric and its use in reviewing the design of online and blended courses and is intended for a broad audience, including but not limited to faculty, instructional designers, administrators, and adjunct instructors. The APPQMR is the prerequisite for the Peer Reviewer Course, which is the required course to become a QM Peer Reviewer.  Contact Ian Matthews for more information.

Join us for the first Tips & Tricks session on Thursday, September 22!

This discussion based session is an opportunity for instructors to share their teaching innovations. Participants should be prepared to share what is working and what is not, to offer and receive advice, and to connect with colleagues across the college. It’s a great way to catch up with colleagues and hone your teaching skills. Coffee and snacks will be provided. This session recurs monthly, beginning Thursday, September 22 at 11am, and is being offered in a hyflex format.

Featured Upcoming Workshops/Events and Reminders:

  1. Panopto Basics – Tuesday, 9/13, 10-11:30am, Hyflex
  2. Curriculog Training – Thursday, 9/15, 3-4pm, Hyflex
  3. Panopto Beyond Basics – Tuesday, 9/20, 1-2:30pm, Hyflex
  4. Reminder: ETOM Fall 2022 Conference Proposals due on October 4 and Conference @ GVSU on November 4.  See http://etom.org/event/fall2022conference for more information.
  5. Reminder: Community of Practice ImpACT Grant applications due on October 21. As previously announced during the latest Read to Act Collective, this opportunity is still available.  See the attached document for all of the details.

Please visit the Calendar and Programming website for the current listing of all Fall 2022 Professional Development opportunities being offered by TLDE!

Alec Alvarado says GRCC’s TRIO Educational Opportunities Center ‘changed my life,’ connecting him to programs for in-demand skills

Alec Alvarado doesn’t remember exactly where he heard about GRCC’s TRIO Educational Opportunities Center. He thinks he saw an ad on Facebook. But he knows with 100 percent certainty what TRIO has done for him and his future.

“It’s changed my life,” he said.

TRIO is a set of federally funded programs that support first-generation, low-income students throughout their college experience.

The Educational Opportunities Center connects people with programs and services that help with high school diploma or GED certificate completion, tutoring and mentoring, career exploration, financial assistance and completing college admissions and enrollment processes. The work covers a region of 13 counties.

GRCC was awarded a five-year, $1.16 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to create the center, where unemployed or low-wage workers, prospective first-generation college students, and other adult learners can work with campus specialists to explore higher education options and connect with on- and off-campus resources and programs to support their educational goals.

Alvarado can attest to that.

“After I saw that ad, I called them,” he said. “They literally walked me through the whole thing. I told them I was a bit intimidated about how to apply, what to expect, right. But they made it so easy.”

He noted, too, that GRCC got him reconnected to his tribe — he’s part of the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians — and that because of his heritage, he pays no tuition thanks to Michigan’s Indian Tuition waiver.

Alvarado is now approaching the finish line of the Construction Electrician Certificate program, which prepares graduates for placement in an Electrical Apprenticeship program. Once hired and registered as an Apprentice Electrician, students may request to have their certificate articulated into credit that applies to their state-required training.

The course runs for 18 weeks, with students in class from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Alvarado loves it.

“I really like working with my hands, and I really like being active,” he said. “I’m learning a lot, and the time just flies by.”

He’s also making his two kids proud, he said, especially his 6-year-old son.

“To have my kids be proud of me means a lot,” he said. “My son, he was really happy when he realized I go to school like he does. He sees me put on my backpack. It’s pretty great.”

Like a lot of students, Alvarado thought college was what he was supposed to do right after high school.

So, when he graduated from Northview in 2017, he applied and was accepted to GRCC, and that fall, five years ago now, he started taking classes on the downtown campus.

“I wasn’t ready,” he recalled recently. “I felt like I wasted my time. I had no idea what I wanted to do, really. I decided to go work for an automotive factory. I had a young son, and I needed to take care of him, too.”

The money was decent, but something was missing.

“I was figuring it out as I went along,” Alvarado said. “But I also wondered if there was more.”

Alvarado had heard about electricians and the electrical field as a high school student but didn’t know a lot about the profession. Now, he said, the sky is the limit.

“Before this (program at GRCC), I didn’t know this kind of stuff or if I was going to be any good at it,” he said. “And I fell in love with it. Now this is what I feel like I’m going to do for the rest of my career. I give a lot of credit to the TRIO program for helping me see a future I’m excited about.”

Additional information about the TRIO Educational Opportunity Center is available by email at eoc@grcc.edu, by phone at (616) 234-3399 and on the web here.

This story was reported by Phil de Haan.

My Story Started at GRCC: Head Start’s Caitlin Owens said GRCC helped her balance studies and motherhood

When it’s time to get serious about your future, GRCC is there for you.

“GRCC afforded me the opportunity to follow through on my dreams without sacrificing life outside of school. While it was an incredibly busy time in my life, I still had a balance – able to work and spend time with my children,” Caitlin Owens said.

“In 2016, I was a single mother of two, and while I had some years of experience and some college credits under my belt, I really didn’t have anything to show for it.”

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.

Owens decided to enroll in GRCC’s Education program, partly to show her children how hard work pays off.

“The instructors at GRCC are second to none,” Owens said. “While I had years of experience in early childhood education before, GRCC is really what cemented my passion for education, families and developmentally appropriate practices.”

She quickly found work in her chosen field after earning her associate degree in 2018.

“I started at Head Start (for Kent County) right after graduating from GRCC with my associate degree,” she said. “I began as an associate teacher. The following year, I became a teacher, obtained my bachelor’s degree in child and family development, then was promoted to early learning coach specialist and associate supervisor, and became a site supervisor in February of this year. It’s definitely been a whirlwind!”

Owens’ home life was also becoming busier during this time.

“By 2018, I was married and finished my last course at GRCC two weeks after having baby No. 3,” she said. “Baby No. 4 came one week after graduating with my bachelor’s degree. The baby-degree correlation is not something that will continue with subsequent achievements!”

Owens, who will begin work on a master’s degree in educational leadership at Central Michigan University in the spring, says GRCC provided her with the support she needed when she returned to the classroom.

“Instructors were understanding but also pushed me and challenged me in ways that were meaningful,” she said.

“GRCC afforded me the opportunity to follow through on my dreams without sacrificing life outside of school. While it was an incredibly busy time in my life, I still had a balance – able to work and spend time with my children.”

Let GRCC help you start your story. The first chapter starts at grcc.edu/apply

Freshman Mason Kolhoff is off to an impressive start, as GRCC cross country teams top some four-year programs at Calvin meet

Freshman Mason Kolhoff is off to an impressive start, helping the Grand Rapids Community College men’s cross country team finish in sixth place out of 10 teams at the annual Calvin Knight Invitational at Calvin University’s Gainey Complex.

For the second consecutive meet, GRCC was the only community college team competing. The men’s team finished ahead of four four-year institutions Alma College, Kalamazoo College, Cleary University and Albion College.

The women’s team also fared well against nine four-year schools in the 6K run, defeating Alma and Adrian College. 

Men’s team coach Rob Hyde was impressed by his team’s performance, even though 2021 All-American Coleman Clark was again unable to run.

“Most guys ran faster through their 5K during the 8K run today,” Hyde said. “Mason had a very positive run race setting him up for what could be a very special freshman season while Andrew (Periard) and Dan (Kehoe) pushed each other to good performances. Overall, we’re moving in the right direction and I’m very proud of our men today.”

Kolhoff finished with a time of 27:28 good enough for 34th place out of 123 total runners.

Freshman Kehoe and sophomore Periard had fine performances as well, both finishing in under 29 minutes with times of 28:46 and 28:52.

Other GRCC finishers included sophomore Lucas Schneider in 29:37, 76th place; sophomore Derek Hopkins in 30:04, 88th place; freshman Craig Fuller in 30:47, 96th place; and sophomore Zachary Richards in 32:28, 110th place.

All-American Kaylee Scott again led the women’s team in a field of 108 runners, finishing in 37th place with a time of 24:56.

Sophomore Rose Meyer was impressive, defeating teammate Audrey Meyering for the first time with a time of 25:32. Meyering, a two-time All-American, finished seven seconds back taking 45th place.

Freshmen Mariana Zaragoza, Chloe Jones, Samantha Sixberry and Zoe Zawacki rounded out the Raider women with times of 27:09, 27:50, 28:47 and 31:27.

GRCC is next scheduled to compete in their first home meet of the season which will be a 5K run for the women and 8K for the men.  That event is scheduled for Sept. 17, and it will again be held at the Gainey Athletic Complex.   

Learn From the Best: Mary Fournier empowers others to be true to themselves

Anyone interested in competing in a triathlon should talk to Grand Rapids Community College biology adjunct faculty member Mary Fournier – she’s run, swam and pedaled her way through 40 of them. 

Fournier has also taken six trips to Africa. After a 2009 trip, while she worked as a chemistry and biology teacher at Cedar Springs High School, she was inspired to take action.

Fournier founded the nonprofit “To Africa: From U.S.,” to benefit infrastructure projects in Southern Uganda. She has raised 80,000 over the last 12 years through community fundraisers and donations for projects like digging a well and expanding a school. 

Fournier, who also teaches at Grand Valley State University,is pursuing a second master’s degree in Biomedical Science. Teaching while she attends college provides Fournier with a unique perspective of her work – and the benefits of a community college degree.

“At GRCC, I enjoy the rich diversity in every aspect of the college and as I get to know the students I teach,” Fournier said. “The GRCC Biological Sciences department offers so many ways for students to get a solid start in the career pathways they want to pursue.”  

Fournier admires students who follow their passion to a career, and who dare to be themselves. 

“We can all be inspiring during our lives,” Fournier said. “We are all heroes at one point and we all need rescuing at other points. By being our true-selves we empower others around us to be true to themselves and live out their authentic lives. Be brave. Be kind. Be you.”

Over her 20 years in biology and education, Fournier learned education is an art.

“Each individual teaches differently,” Fournier said. “Some teaching strategies work well for me, when they would work terribly for another teacher. The converse is true as well. Educational research has a limited reach and can only tell us a few hardcore proven truths about education. The rest is art.”

Fournier has earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from Aquinas College, and a Master of Secondary Education with Biology concentration from GVSU. 

You can join her at GRCC in BI 101 General Biology Lab, BI 118 Environmental Science, BI 121 Human Anatomy and Physiology, and BI 122 Human Anatomy and Physiology II Lecture and Lab.

Pickleball is on at GRCC

According to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association, Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in America. For those unfamiliar, the game is a cross between ping-pong, tennis, and badminton. Pickleball is played with a paddle and perforated plastic ball.

Beginning Friday September 16, every Friday between 11:30am-1:00pm — GRCC employees and students can play Pickleball in the GRCC Ford Fieldhouse (north side of the arena).

Simply provide your RaiderCard to FFH staff to borrow Pickleball equipment. You can also bring your own (paddles, balls) too. Nets are provided by the facility.

Have some fun and get some exercise too! If you’re curious and want to learn more about the sport, the rules, and how to play — watch GRCC Today for details on an upcoming Wellness learning opportunity “Pickleball 101”.

Questions or more information, please contact angelasalinas@grcc.edu or whitneymarsh@grcc.edu.

GRCC In the News 09/12/2022

GRCC provides Water to Work training program

9/9/22 eightWest

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – Water is around us everyday, especially in the Great Lakes state! Today we’re talking about water, specifically the safety of the natural resource and the workface behind it. Grand Rapids Community College has developed a partnership to provide training for the next generation.

Women break the craft beer industry’s glass ceiling in West Michigan

9/11/22 mibiz.com

The substantial craft brewing industry in Grand Rapids seemingly has something to offer for every beer drinker. Yet despite ranking 13th in the nation for breweries per capita, the local industry has one glaring omission: gender representation. 

… (Abbie) Groff-Blaszak is a recent addition to the city’s brewing scene. She earned a craft brewing, packaging and service operations certificate from Grand Rapids Community College in 2021. She says she was excited to be taught by women, including certified cicerone Allison Hoekstra, an assistant professor, and Railtown Brewing Co.’s Molly Daniels, an adjunct professor.  

The groups behind southeast Grand Rapids’ business boom

9/12/22 Crain’s Detroit Business

GRAND RAPIDS — For decades, Grand Rapids’ southeast side was awash in business activity. In the 49507 ZIP code and Third Ward, districts including Boston Square, Madison Square, Eastern and Franklin and Seymour Square were hubs for business, especially among Black and brown residents.

… Arlene Campbell is director of SpringGR, a separate group funded by the DeVos Family Foundation and the programatic partner for the kitchen. She plans to work with organizations like Grand Rapids Community College and the MSU Product Center to provide training for Kzoo Station chefs.

Blackboard Instructor Mobile App- ACTION REQUIRED

In early August, Blackboard consolidated the Blackboard Instructor and Blackboard Student apps into a singular mobile app. 

Beginning September 30, the Blackboard Instructor app will no longer be available for download through the App Store or Google Play Store.

Additionally, critical security updates will no longer be applied to the existing app that may have been downloaded previously. 

It is strongly recommended that instructors download the newly consolidated Blackboard app from the App Store (iOS) or the Google Play Store (Android) before September 30, 2022 to avoid any disruptions or security threats to your device. 

Downloading the New Blackboard App 

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 techtips@grcc.edu

Versiti Blood Drive on Wednesday, September 14

The Office of Student Life and Conduct will be hosting a Versiti Blood Drive on Wednesday, September 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in ATC Room 122 & 124.  

Donate blood and save lives! Sign up today.  Drop-ins are also welcome.

All donors will receive a $10 e-gift card.

Donors: it is important to get a good night’s sleep, eat a healthy meal and stay hydrated before, during and after your appointment.

Your EAP is available 24/7, 365 days a year

Did you know? Your Employee Assistance Program is available 24/7, is CONFIDENTIAL and available to all employees (except student employees), their spouses and children living in their household.

We encourage all employees to take advantage of these services offered. EAPs deal with a variety of issues such as depression, anger management, anxiety and physical illness.

All EAP consultations and referrals are CONFIDENTIAL and the services are provided at no cost. You can access EAP services 24-hours, 7 day-a-week the hotline number is (800) 442-0809 or (616) 455-6210.

EAP – A Guide to Your Benefits

LEAP cohort begins in September

Lead. Engage. Apply. Perform — A supervisory cohort experience is returning for Fall 2022.

This an exciting professional development opportunity for those who hold leadership and/or supervisory roles at GRCC.

The cohort will meet every 3 weeks beginning in late September 2022 and concluding in early November 2022.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please review the flier below for more details. 

Email Laura Caulk at lcaulk@grcc.edu to indicate your interest by answering the following question: How do you think this program would benefit your current role?

LEAP A Supervisor Cohort Experience. Lead Engage Apply Perform GRCC Human Resources is partnering with Though Design on an exciting opportunity for those who hold leadership and/or supervisory roles. We will be offering the LEAP Program again this fiscal year! We will focus on creating relationships, accountability and consistency across the college. The program will provide a foundational learning experience that prepares participants for the challenges of everyday management and supervision. Participants will take deeper responsibility for their own learning, development and performance. The program will include a cohort model where participants will meet once a month. Specific details to follow. LEAP topics may include: Foundations for leading/supervising, including leading self and others. Creating healthy culture. Practices for feedback and communicating with candor. Creating healthy agreements and accountability. Inclusion and connection. Managing change. The leader’s toolbox – skills and strategies for emotional intelligence, problem solving, decision making and other leadership tools. If you are interested in this opportunity, please email Laura Caulk at lcaulk@grcc.edu. Indicate your interest by answering the following question: How do you think this program would benefit your current role? GRCC. Thought Design. LEAP will be led by Denise VanEck, a veteran in the design and delivery of learning. Currently the owner of Thought Design in Rockford, Michigan, Denise has developed learning experiences for teams and individuals around the world for more than 25 years. Denise’s background includes a role as Chief Learning Officer in the financial services industry, 15 years as an executive coach, and author of the bestselling Leadership 101. Denise has four adult children, four grandchildren, and she lives in Rockford, Michigan.