Teaching, Learning, and Distance Education (TLDE) News

Please RSVP for Learning Day 2023!

In order for us to continue to plan for offering Learning Day 2023 in a HyFlex format (with both in person attendance in the Ford Fieldhouse and virtual attendance via Remo), please complete the Learning Day 2023 RSVP Form by Wednesday, December 14.  Please stay tuned for more details and the full schedule!

Tips and Tricks Session on 12/7!

Please join us for the final tips and tricks session this semester!  We’re here to help you!  This session will be held on Wednesday, December 7 from 9 -10 a.m. in a HyFlex format (you can attend virtually or in 315 RJF).

Featured Upcoming Workshops/Events and Reminders:

Reminder: The next Online Hybrid Certification Course (OHCC) begins on Monday, January 9.  This six-week online asynchronous training prepares faculty to teach online and/or hybrid courses at GRCC.  More details and registration information can be found in the link below.

Please visit CTE’s Calendar and Programming webpage for the current listing of all Professional Development opportunities being offered by TLDE!

My Story Started at GRCC: Jennifer Archambault says GRCC sparked an interest in wildlife, leading to a career in conservation

Jennifer Archambault’s favorite GRCC memory?

“Barbie in a shark!”

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.

Professor Greg Forbes secretly planted a Barbie leg into the dogfish shark Archambault and the other students would be working on in a dissection lab.

“That – and some excellent acting – shocked and thrilled students into attentive engagement into fish anatomy!” Archambault said.

That course remains in her memory for another reason: It sparked her interest in wildlife, leading to the rewarding career she has today.

Archambault, who earned her Associate in Science in 2002, works for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Raleigh, N.C., as a national recovery coordinator for several threatened and endangered freshwater species, including fish, mussels, a salamander and a snail.

She says she’s built her career “step by step,” with GRCC as a valuable launching pad.

“The small class sizes and responsive instructors helped me to be a successful and well-rounded scholar,” she said. “It was a good education, accessible in my own community, and I had an amazing advisor in Dr. Forbes, who really helped me carve out the path that has become my career.”

She has been able to explore different aspects of wildlife conservation while continuing her higher education journey.

“In the 20 years since graduating from GRCC, I went on to earn a bachelor’s degree, worked for several years in private industry at an environmental consulting firm, returned to college for a master’s degree, worked as research staff at a major U.S. university, and earned my Ph.D. while working in academia,” said Archambault of the degrees she earned at North Carolina State University.

“I’ve tried to balance enjoying what I’m doing while I’m doing it, with pursuing high achievement to ensure I’ve maximized my options for future opportunities. Along the way, I’ve benefited from supportive advisors, family, friends and community.”

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

Danyel Bibbs helps GRCC men’s basketball team remain undefeated, topping Glen Oaks

Danyel Bibbs’ double-double helped keep the Grand Rapids Community College men’s basketball team stay perfect on the year, improving to 8-0 after a dominating 21-point victory over Glen Oaks Community College on Saturday.

Bibbs, a two-time Northern Conference player of the week, led both schools with a 25-point, 10-assist performance to lead the team to a 94-73 win.

“Glen Oaks is a tough team,” coach Joe Fox said. “I thought we did a nice job pushing the pace today and keeping pressure on defensively. Myron Brewer and Rico Wade hit some very timely shots. Really pleased with how our sophomores resonded.”

Glen Oaks kept the game close in the first half, leading at the 10-minute mark, but the Raiders closed the half on a 22-9 run and never looked back.

GRCC shot 51 percent from the field in the second half including 8-of-17 from behind the arc while holding the Vikings to just 39 percent overall and 23 percent from behind the arc.

Eleven players scored in all for the Raiders, including 14 points from Myron Brewer and 10 from Jordan Houser, while every player had at least one rebound, including Herman Brown who led the team with six.

The team returns to the Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse for its next game vs. the junior varsity of Hope College on Dec. 8. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. 

School News Network feature: Innovative mentoring program connects GRCC student-athletes with peers for guidance and support

Grand Rapids Community College freshman Vanessa Hewitt has played softball since she was 4.

After deciding to continue playing in college, GRCC arranged for her to meet with someone who was a part of the mentoring program “just to make sure I stayed on track,” Hewitt said.

She was even more excited about the program when she found out her mentor, Izabella Regner, also plays softball.

“It’s great, and Izzy has been so helpful,” Hewitt said. “Along with helping me keep on track, it also helps us build a good relationship off the field.”

Meeting with her mentor every Thursday meant she established a good routine early on, she said.

“(Mentoring) has helped me balance school and my sport, and I would say the most positive thing is how it reflects on my grades,” Hewitt said.

Community Created

The new athlete mentoring program grew from 2021 study table requirements for student athletes. Brianna Greenough, an Athletic Department support team member, matches new students with volunteer mentors and makes sure pairs get time scheduled and a space to meet if needed.

“I think it’s really important that this program connects students with resources,” Greenough said. “We now have 10 mentors who service all 117 freshman athletes.”

Greenough meets with incoming freshmen individually to discuss their hopes and concerns. She also looks back at their senior year grade point average to determine if the student needs to meet weekly or monthly for tutoring.

After week six of classes, freshman athletes’ progress reports are also reviewed.

“It’s been really interesting to learn and see how people benefit from the program,” Greenough said. “We’re seeing less of the usual cliques within teams and more students going to different sporting events and cheering each other on.”

The mentor roster includes at least one student from each sport offered at GRCC.

Being mentored by a peer or teammate is easier for some than working with an adult or professor, Greenough has observed.

“It’s really heartwarming to see the community that’s been created. If athletes have similar majors, they help each other through things,” she said.

 ‘They’ve got your back’

Some mentors returned from last year, while others responded to a post on the student employment website or were recommended by their coaches.

In his third year at GRCC, Blake Waibel is a left-handed pitcher on the baseball team and a mentor to 10 freshman athletes, on average.

“Last year I worked for the school and wanted to work again, so (the athletic department) thought I would be a good fit for mentoring,” Waibel said.

Having coached his younger brother’s baseball team, Waibel knew he enjoyed working with people. 

“I love (mentoring), and can see how much they benefit from it,” he said. “A lot of it is brand new to them and they’re overwhelmed going into school. It’s nice to have someone who’s been there and done that, and will hold them accountable to use their resources.” 

Waibel said he has learned that not every student is the same, and helping some students may require a more unique approach than others.

“My job is to figure out what they need and how to help,” he said. For example, “some people just need help mapping organizational skills.”

Waibel recognizes the benefits of getting good grades and reducing stress.

“If you’re doing well in school, you’re not worried too much about making grades or being eligible for your sport,” he said. “When you’re with your mentor, you know that person has your back and will help make sure you’re doing the right things.”

This story was reported by Alexis Stark of the School News Network.

HR Notification: Check your vacation hours

Make sure you are not at risk of losing any vacation hours as of December 31, 2022 with the Vacation Bank Calculator

Reminder, as of December 31 employees are allowed to have their current fiscal vacation accrual plus an automatic 10 day carry over.

Employees can request to have these 10 days transferred to their sick bank by sending an email to the Director of Payroll.

Any vacation hours above the limits allowed by your employee contract/handbook will be forfeited.

HR Notification: Important 2023 year end Payroll information

2022 W-2 Availability

  • Electronic W-2’s will be made available to employees who have given consent by January 13, 2023.
    • If you want to receive your W-2 electronically and have not elected to do so yet, you can do so at http://www.grcc.edu/payrollandbenefits/forms/yearend. Employees that have already elected to have electronic W-2’s will continue to get theirs electronically and do not need to elect again.
  • Paper W-2’s will be mailed to employees who have not given consent to receive them electronically on January 31, 2023. Paper W-2’s will not be available for pick up.

Verify Your Personal Information

  • Verify and update your personal information through the Online Center by following the instructions found at http://www.grcc.edu/payrollandbenefits/forms/yearend. For assistance with personal information changes, please email Human Resources at hr@grcc.edu no later than January 6, 2023 to have the changes on your W-2.

Update your Tax Withholding Forms

  • NEW 2023 tax forms will be available in January on the payroll web page at https://www.grcc.edu/humanresources/forms/payrollforms. New tax forms should be completed if:
    • You moved in or out of the cities of Grand Rapids or Walker.
    • Your work location has changed in or out of the city of Grand Rapids (i.e. lakeshore, remote work).
    • Your filing status has changed.
    • You are currently claiming exempt, to not have any withholding for Federal or State taxes, you are required to complete a new 2023 W-4 no later than February 3, 2023.

1095-C Tax Form

  • All benefited employees will have a tax form 1095-C mailed to them on January 31st from PlanSource. You do not need this form to file your tax return, but you should keep this form with your tax records. 

For Informational Purposes Only

  • The 2023 Social Security tax rate is schedule to remain 6.2%, and the Medicare tax rate remains 1.45%.
  • The 2023 social security wage base will increase to $160,200.00.
  • The 2023 limitation for elective deferrals under a 403(b) or 457(b) will increase to $22,500.00 and the additional catch up provision for individuals age 50 and over will increase to $7000.00, for a total of $29,500.00