GRCC President Lepper: Michigan Reconnect has provided access and opportunities for students across West Michigan

GRCC President Lepper standing with two roundtable members, smiling.

Grand Rapids Community College President Charles Lepper said the Michigan Reconnect program has provided access and opportunities for students across West Michigan, and encourages lawmakers to thoughtfully consider Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s call to expand the program.

Whitmer in her State of the State Address on Wednesday called for expanding the Michigan Reconnect program to include residents age 21 and older. The program, now for residents ages 25 and older, covers the cost of in-district tuition, helping remove financial obstacles for residents looking to start or restart their education.

“Reconnect has already helped more than 1,000 students at GRCC, and we find them on our campus gaining a quality education and in-demand career skills,” Lepper said. “Our mission as an open access college is to serve as many people in our community as possible. Our entire region grows stronger when more people have access to a life-changing education. We appreciate that our lawmakers have supported Reconnect in the past, and we encourage thoughtful consideration of this proposal in the months to come.”

Dr. Lepper on Monday heard about the successes of the Reconnect program from students Andre Broussard and Jodi Holland on Monday at a roundtable hosted by Lt. Governor Garland Gilchrist II at GRCC’s Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center.

Reconnect, launched in Feb. 2021, is aimed at students 25 and older who have not yet earned a degree. Frontliners was available in 2020 for residents who worked in essential fields during the state’s COVID-19 shutdown.

The two are part of Gov. Whitmer’s Sixth by 30 goal, hoping to have at least 60 percent of the state’s adults have a college degree or career certificate by 2030.

Lawmakers last year approved an additional $6 million to help pay for other expenses, such as daycare or transportation.

Andre Broussard said he used the Reconnect program to enroll in GRCC’s Computer Support Job Training program. He recently was awarded the first-ever MTEC Leadership Award, which recognizes a student who has gone above and beyond expectation.

Jodi Holland is a first-generation college student, who came to GRCC at age 58 to gain skills to follow her dreams of being a baker – and also to inspire her grandchildren.

As of September, 9.5 percent of all state Reconnect and Futures for Frontliners students were at GRCC.

Of the winter semester that started this month, 9, 2,584 students were accepted to GRCC through Reconnect, and 1,141 are enrolled for the winter semester. Others can start in the summer or in the fall.

About half of the enrolled Reconnect students — 556 – are taking classes for the first time. And 464 students are returning after more than two years away to complete their education.

Additional information is available at Michigan.gov/reconnect and grcc.edu/reconnect.

GRCC Communications wants to tell your story

We’re proud of the people who serve our students and community at GRCC. Telling your stories helps show potential students the experience and expertise we have, and makes them aware of the resources and opportunities available to them.

Will you help us share your story? 

Every week a new faculty or staff story is shared in GRCC Today, on the GRCC homepage, and on GRCC social media. Faculty are highlighted in “Learn From the Best” stories, and staff are featured in “Here to Help” stories. 

Please fill out this form. We will reach out if we need additional information.

Thank you for your help! 

February 6, 2023 Economic Club of Grand Rapids opportunity for GRCC students

The Economic Club of Grand Rapids has gifted us with the opportunity to have GRCC students participate in an upcoming luncheon FOR FREE.

The next event is with Governor Gretchen Whitmer (“Building a Brighter Future”) on February 6. 

Limited seats are available so please complete this google form and get more information here: https://forms.gle/1ujRb4fxGwT2ExFT6

GRCC In the News 01/27/2023

New executive director hopes to use business smarts to lead Festival of Arts

1/26/23 Grand Rapids Business Journal

As the Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts’ 2023 season approaches, its new executive director hopes to reinvigorate the event. 

… (Missy) Summers, a Grand Rapids Community College alum, has 10 years of experience in the banking and finance industry with Bank of America. She most recently served with JAMGL for over seven years as director of development and chief rural officer. 

Faculty cap, gown orders due by February 10

The GRCC Bookstore is taking orders for caps and gowns for staff and faculty through February 10.

If you are in need of any commencement regalia, please stop in the bookstore and fill out the form to order yours today! Please fill the form out entirely – we will need both your height and weight to submit the order for the correct size.

Due to turnaround time and production needs, all orders and prepayments must be in by February 10 to be ready in time for the April GRCC Commencement ceremony.

We are open Monday-Thursday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Friday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.  Payment is due at time of order. We accept cash and credit cards. 

Faculty gowns are solid black with black cap and black tassel. 

Hoods are custom to your school and degree. 

See the order form below for reference.