UPCOMING: GRCC Civil Rights Compliance Review

The Michigan Department of Education Office of Career and Technical Education has selected GRCC for a Civil Rights Compliance Review later this month.

The compliance review is meant to assess the college’s policies, procedures, and accessibility to programs and services provided by GRCC. While the compliance review focuses on career, technical and vocational education, it also involves a wide-ranging evaluation of the college’s compliance with numerous legal mandates, including:  Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (as amended); Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act; and Michigan’s Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act.

It is important to note that this review wasn’t initiated by a specific complaint or concern, rather, that a similar review has not occurred at GRCC in a very long time, if ever!

Thank you to the many people across campus who assisted in providing the necessary documents required by MDE prior to the campus site visit, which is scheduled for Oct. 26 and 27.  More information regarding the site visit will be provided later this month. 

A final requirement prior to the site visit is for GRCC to make available an online survey, prepared by MDE, to gather feedback from employees and students regarding familiarity with campus representatives, programs and services.  As MDE also reviews K-12 districts, much of the language in the survey is focused more toward K-12 titles and services. We will be sending an email to all employees later this week with a link to the survey, which will be open until Oct. 24.  

Please watch for additional information on the site visit as we near that date.  Thank you! 

IIPD Applications: Due October 21

The GRCC Grants Department is accepting applications for the Instructional Improvement & Professional Development (IIPD) Program. 

The purpose of the award is to support faculty professional development to ensure continued growth, develop new avenues of instruction and curriculum, and to enhance the professional lives of faculty for increased student learning, achievement and success.

Awards are for amounts up to $5,000 and the deadline is October 21 at 5:00 pm. 

The IIPD application packet and guidelines are available on the Grants Department webpage at www.grcc.edu/iipdgrants. 

Please note that applications must include a signed Dean’s Approval Form and Department Head Approval Form, Budget Form, and budget documentation. 

If you have any questions about IIPD grants, please contact Lisa Dopke (ldopke@grcc.edu).

Good luck!

IT Notification: Multi-Factor Authentication coming soon for students

We hope your Fall semester has been a success so far and that you and your students are enjoying the beautiful changes the autumn season brings!

In the spirit of Cybersecurity Awareness Month (CAM) and to prepare and protect GRCC accounts from possible hacks, GRCC IT will be launching Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) on student MyGRCC accounts on Tuesday, November 1st

What does this mean?

You are likely already familiar with authenticating into the MyGRCC portal using your phone or email when logging in off campus via the Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).

At the beginning of November, students will be prompted to authenticate through MFA as well. Students signing into their MyGRCC account off campus or from a personal device using GRCC Wireless or Secure will be prompted for a one-time passcode sent to their email address or phone.

What can I expect in the next few weeks? 

We are working to make this change as easy as possible for everyone. Reminders will be sent out to students encouraging them to verify their MFA settings and ensure they have the correct phone number and email address through these steps.

Instructions on how to help our students can be found here or you can watch this quick video. For those of you working closely with students, it may be helpful to have this in mind when assisting students to ensure they have the correct information before November 1st. 

As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns at IT Support Portal or (616)234-4357.

Learn about health benefits at FSA & HSA informational lunch & learn session

Join the Benefits team on Tuesday, October 25 from 11:30am -1:00pm in Room 234 Student Center (MultiPurpose Room) for an informational overview of Flex Spending Accounts and Health Savings Accounts. 2023 Health plan options will also be reviewed.

Open Enrollment begins Monday, October 24 and runs through Friday November 4. 

Get your questions answered and learn about these benefits from various representatives in the health benefit field.

Lunch will be provided. Register for the session via your Online Center Professional Development tile.

For benefits questions, please contact mherrerabelmares@grcc.edu or debradavis1@grcc.edu.

Workforce Wednesday: Matthew Collins gains skills for a secure career through Machine Tool/CNC program

Matthew Collins paid his bills as an online poker player, and knew he needed something more secure.

“Now that I’m 25, I don’t want to get any older and have no degree, or certificate, and no job history. I was looking for something that was quick with not too much time investment. I did an online search, I found the GRCC Job Training program. It is only 18 weeks, affordable, with access to a lot of financial aid and grants; it seemed like a good opportunity.”

Collins originally wanted to enter the electrical program, but discovered there is a year-long waitlist.

“I talked with Michael Wemmer, one of the career coaches, and I landed in the Machine Tool/CNC program. Prior to this, I didn’t even know what that is!”

A machinist or CNC technician shapes metal and various materials to precise dimensions for parts by using machine tools. MT/CNC technicians plan and set up the sequence of machine operations in accordance with blueprints, layouts or other instructions to write both manual and computer-generated machine programs.

One of the hurdles to attracting students to the Machine Tool/CNC program is that most people are not aware of what it entails. 

“I’ve had to explain it a lot since I started this program. I just tell people – it is using manual or automated machines to cut metal, or other materials, to create tools or parts that we use in everyday life,” Collins said. “Once I learned what it is, I see everything differently.”

Collins qualified for Michigan Reconnect – the state program that covers the cost of in-district tuition for people age 25 and older — as well as federal Pell Grants. He also received funding from the One Workforce Grant, which assists students in any of GRCC’s manufacturing programs.

“Everyone was really helpful! I started the whole enrollment process only two weeks before the start date. Michael Wemmer has been great and also Juan Cisneros. I think they had to jump through some hoops to get me in so quickly. I really appreciate their help.”

The GRCC Job Training CNC Machine Tool program meets 18 weeks for 34 hours per week. The program offers small class sizes, hands-on learning and job placement assistance. The Machine Tool/CNC program has recently been updated to better meet the industry needs.

“I’ve always had flexible schedule types of job so this is different, more structured,” Collins said. “The instructor, Jonathan Wyckoff, has been super. It’s a very comfortable environment. The lab is great. He really focuses on the hands-on skills. The day goes really fast because we are always working on parts and you have to really pay attention to what you are doing.”

Skills taught in the program include blueprint reading, basic shop math, read measurement tools and how to communicate effectively with others using today’s Machine Tool/CNC terminology. “I’m really enjoying learning about the metals, all the different tools and coding the machines. I’m finding it all really interesting.”

Collins isn’t sure what he’s going to do after he completes the program in December. He’s considering continuing his education.

The next section of Job Training programs begins Nov. 7.

GRCC volleyball team clinches at least a share of conference title with sweep of Delta College

The Grand Rapids Community College volleyball clinched at least a share of the conference title after a three-set sweep of Delta College on Tuesday, extending the team’s win streak to 17 matches.

The golf team also was in action, finishing ninth of 11 teams at the Taylor University Invitational.

The volleyball team, ranked No. 17 in the latest National Junior College Athletic Association D2 poll, defeated the Pioneers, 25-10, 25-11, 25-15, improving its record to 17-2 overall and 9-0 in conference play.

“We’re happy to clinch a share of the title, but we’re not done yet,” assistant coach Amanda Glaza said. “We still have Muskegon at home next week and if we’re going to beat that team for the outright title, we are going to have to play a lot better than we did tonight.”

GRCC hit just .177 for the match, its fourth lowest in 19 matches this season, but still managed 39 kills.

Sophomores Audrey Torres and Eliza Thelen combined for 23 kills and Kara Hecht finished with five.

Shannon Russell led the team with four aces and Alena Visnovksy – who is fourth in the nation in blocks per set with 1.44 blocks per set — had a game-high five blocks.

GRCC has now won 12 conference championships, and 11 during head coach Chip Will’s tenure.

GRCC’s next match will be at Calvin University on Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. against former Western Conference foe Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

The golf team was the lone two-year institution in the field of 11 teams at the Egypt Valley Golf Course in Ada.

After a rough start in round one, shooting 341, GRCC finished shooting 316 in round two and 334 in the final round.

Taylor University earned a seven-stroke victory over Northwestern Ohio.

Four players finished in the top 50, including Mason Anderson who was tied for seventh at 16 over par.  Drew Harrington was tied for 35th, shooting 33 over par; Jayson Bultman was 44th with a score of 37 over par; and Conner Oman was tied for 47th, shooting 41over par.  

College Affordability Training for GEAR UP Wyoming staff

It’s October and that means the start of FAFSA season.

Counselors and support staff from the GEAR UP Wyoming partner districts of Kelloggsville, Godfrey Lee, and Godwin Heights convened at Sneden Hall yesterday for a breakfast workshop on college affordability.

GRCC’s Kristi Welling guided attendees through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and discussed some pitfalls to avoid when students and parents complete the form.

Counselors shared how schools have FAFSA drop-in days or evening events with food, computer access, and language support to facilitate FAFSA completion. 

From Ferris State University, Financial Aid Director Melanie Mulder compared financial aid award letters from local colleges and universities. How various financial aid offers build in work study money or loans often prompts calls to financial aid offices for clarification, noted Mulder.

Todd Mora, program manager at Western Michigan University’s Sanford Center for Financial Planning and Wellness, opened his presentation with the question of the moment: Is a college worth it?

It depends. Mora shared a list of salaries for occupations not requiring college degrees adding that his son was not interested in higher education and moved into the working world. By contrast, his daughter finished college in four years.

By planning, leveraging free options, managing living expenses, completing maximum credit hours, Mora claimed students could manage college costs.

Mora shared with the GEAR UP Wyoming counselors a Consumer Protection Financial Protection online tool to help families convert financial aid award letters into plans to pay for college.

GRCC In the News 10/12/2022

3 college leaders are finalists in GRCC presidential search

10/11/22 secondwavemedia.com

College leaders from Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Utah have been selected as finalists to become the next president at Grand Rapids Community College.

Resurrected CMU Men’s Golf Team Completes Fall Portion Of Schedule

10/11/22 cmuchippewas.com (Central Michigan University athletics site)

GLADEWATER, Texas – Central Michigan’s Arie Jackman closed with a 6-over par 78 on Tuesday to finish in a tie for 34th place at the Tempest Collegiate at Tempest Golf Club.

… Jackman, a junior and a transfer from Grand Rapids Community College, is the lone non-freshman on the Chippewa roster.

Annual ‘Restaurant Week’ returns November 4

10/11/22 Grand Rapids Magazine

Restaurant Week Grand Rapids is cooking up what may prove to be one of the most popular culinary events of the year, Nov. 4-12.

… Throughout the event, diners can check-in at three participating locations to receive a free gift. Each check-in also results in a digital coupon for a future visit. A dollar from every check-in will be contributed to an endowed scholarship at the GRCC Secchia Institute for Culinary Education, which has raised more than $185,000 from RWGR since 2010.

GRCC hosting MACRAO College and Transfer Fair October 13

Faculty and Staff: Please pass this information on to your students.

Grand Rapids Community College will host West Michigan’s biggest college and transfer fair Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022 in the Ford Fieldhouse!

Explore your options and connect with more than 50 colleges and universities nationwide.

Morning: 9 a.m. -11 a.m.
College Fair
High schools will be bused in to see our campus and visit with reps

Afternoon: 1 p.m. -3 p.m.
Transfer fair
Open to GRCC students looking to transfer

Night: 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
College Fair
High school students and families but open to anyone. If GRCC students cannot make the afternoon fair we encourage them to attend the evening

For further details and a list of colleges attending, go to our MACRAO College and Transfer Fair at GRCC webpage.

Hip-hop artist Bun B to share his evolution from performer to activist, entrepreneur and educator through GRCC, Muse GR partnership

Hip-hop artist Bun B will talk about his evolution as a performer, entrepreneur, activist and Rice University faculty member at an event that is a partnership between Grand Rapids Community College and Muse GR.

GRCC’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is collaborating with Muse GR on two events on Oct. 13, celebrating the launch of Muse Southeast, 501 Eastern Ave. SE.

“Trill Talk: Small City, Big Dreams” will feature an in-depth discussion about Bun B’s journey from rapper to entrepreneur, hosted by Bakari Kitwana, an internationally known cultural critic, journalist and activist. 

The second event, “Trill Certified,” offers a showcase of artists and creatives from Grand Rapids and a friendly cook-off to determine Grand Rapids’ best burger.

The Bun B discussion starts at 7 p.m., with “Trill Certified” at 8:30 p.m.

Bun B, born Bernard Freeman in Port Arthur, Texas, rose to fame as one half of the Southern rap duo UGK. Along with the late Pimp C, the pair released several albums, including the self-titled “UnderGround Kingz,” which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Bun B later went on to pursue a solo career.

“ODEI remains steadfast in supporting initiatives demonstrating the synergy between art and education,” said Dr. B. Afeni McNeely Cobham, GRCC’s chief equity and inclusion officer. “Our longstanding partnership with Muse GR affords us the privilege of illuminating the contributions and influence of Grand Rapids culture.”

Muse GR is an interactive art gallery that offers transformational space for creatives to gather, teach, and learn. Co-owners Stephen and Taylor Smith said it was essential for them to have a presence on the city’s Southeast Side.

“Although there are many creatives throughout the Grand Rapids community, creatives from the southeast side have limited options of places that cultivate their gifts and talents,” the pair said in a statement. “We are happy to be one of the places that pour into people and even more delighted when institutions like GRCC align with our efforts through partnership. The GRCC Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion has been instrumental in helping us strengthen our impact on the communities we serve.”

The events are free and open to the public, but reservations are required for each event. Additional information is available at tinyurl.com/trillvibe