About ALEKS PPL, the new GRCC math assessment

This winter semester a new math placement policy will be in effect requiring students to take the Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces Placement, Preparation and Learning (ALEKS PPL) mathematics assessment prior to enrolling in a GRCC math course.

How it works

Current GRCC students who do not have a valid math prerequisite course and who scored 24 or lower on the SAT, 17 or lower on ACT, or had a high school cumulative grade point average below 2.0 will be required to take ALEKS PPL in a proctored environment. Students who do not have a valid math prerequisite course and scored higher than these levels may log into their Online Center and take ALEKS PPL on their own.

In addition to being a placement assessment, ALEKS PPL provides a free tutorial before the assessment begins, and free customized practice and learning modules to help students improve their math readiness levels if they choose to retest.

Once students take ALEKS PPL they will be provided an initial GRCC math course placement level and may enroll in that math course.

Retesting to place in a higher level course

From the time of the initial assessment, students have one year to improve their math readiness levels and change their placement – by working within the customized ALEKS PPL practice and learning modules and retaking the assessment (up to 4 additional times at no cost).

The exception

The only exception to this policy is if a student has already established a college level math course pre-requisite.  For example, if they have taken MA 131 – Precalculus as a dual enrollment student they are eligible to take MA 133 – Calculus with Analytical Geometry 1 without first taking ALEKS PPL.

The benefit

Although this is a significant change in our placement policy, we are excited to provide ALEKS PPL for our students because of the significantly improved math curriculum student success rates at GRCC that can be attributed to ALEKS PPL.

Successful students not only stay on track to graduation, but save money by bypassing lower level math courses, or avoiding retaking advanced math courses to earn a passing grade.

Prospective students to learn about programs, tour campus in spring open house

Prospective and their families will be on campus from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 14 for a spring open house. They will learn about the college, our academic programs and the admissions process, and they’ll have a chance to take a campus tour.

If you know someone who is heading to college this summer or fall, encourage them to sign up for the spring open house today! Click here to learn more.

GRCC In the News, 1-29-15

GRCC’s winter enrollment drops for fourth consecutive year

Jan. 28, 2015; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Grand Rapids Community College’s winter enrollment is down 6.4 percent from last year, a drop administrators attribute to an improving economy, a reduction in job training dollars and fewer high school graduates.

New goalie starts 2-0 for GVSU hockey club

Jan. 28, 2015; The Lanthorn (Grand Valley State University’s student newspaper)

All the way over in Baltimore, Md., and then again in East Lansing, Mich., Spencer Craig got his first college starts between the pipes for Grand Valley State’s Division II mens hockey club.

… So, putting hockey briefly on the back burner, Craig decided to play pick-up hockey here and there while he took classes and focused on his education at Grand Rapids Community College. Then he transferred to GVSU to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering.

Nominations sought for Outstanding Adult Learner awards

Attention GRCC Faculty and Staff

Please support our adult and non-traditional students at GRCC by nominating them for the annual Grand Rapids Area Higher Education (GRAHEN) annual Outstanding Adult Learner (OAL) award. The OAL Banquet, which will be held this year on Wednesday April 15, 2015, recognizes and honors the academic achievements and community contributions of adult students from local higher education institutions.

Information and nomination forms are available by contacting the Admissions office.

The deadline for nominations is February 27.

Please contact Angela Salinas at ext. 3420 or angelasalinas@grcc.edu with any questions, for further information and/or to submit nominations.

Thank you for your support and participation!

Grad students join Enrollment Center staff

The Admissions and Enrollment Center is pleased to welcome two new graduate students to assist in recruiting activities such as high school visits, college fairs, and events on campus. Additionally, they will be working extensively on numerous communication outreach initiatives to our new students. Natalie and Dmitri each wrote a quick bio about themselves so you can get to know them a little better. Please welcome Dmitri and Natalie to campus if you see them out and about!

Dmitri Westbrook

Dmitri Westbrook

Dmitri Westbrook

Hometown: Chicago, IL

Dmitri is one of the admissions assistants at GRCC. He has also worked as one of the orientation assistants at GRCC in the summer of 2014. Dmitri is a second-year graduate student pursuing his master’s degree in higher education: student affairs at Grand Valley State University. Aside from being a full-time student and having a part-time job, Dmitri enjoys being a peer educator, giving presentations about maintaining healthy relationships and avoiding dating violence. Acting is one of his hobbies and he loves to dance and his favorite style of music is Electronic.

Natalie Nikitas

Natalie Nikitas

Natalie Nikitas

I attended Bluffton University in Ohio for my undergraduate work. There I majored in history/integrated social studies and communication. I was captain of the college’s softball team and was a member of the Honor Society (for those sports enthusiasts, I played 1st and 3rd base). I am originally from Louisville, Kentucky, and am a UK basketball fanatic.

An interesting tidbit: I have been fortunate enough to travel to 10 different countries located on 3 different continents and have lived in a remote village in Botswana, Africa.

GRCC In the News, 12-23-14

Colleges share grant for civic engagement

Dec. 22, 2014; Grand Rapids Business Journal

A trio of local colleges will share a grant from a foundation to help students and their schools partner with the community.

Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids Community College and Aquinas College said last week that each school will get a portion of the $65,000 grant from the Grand Rapids Community Foundation.

Student Leaders: Linh Le Works Hard, Shares Talents

Dec. 22, 2014; schoolnewsnetwork.org (Kent Intermediate School District newsletter)

Kelloggsville Public Schools, MI — A defining moment for Linh Le, who spoke no English when she started eighth grade at Kelloggsville Middle School, was her mastery of the math constant Pi.

… She now takes four virtual Advanced Placement classes including chemistry, physics, calculus and statistics. She is also taking a college level English Language Arts class through Grand Rapids Community College.

After 40 Years in Schools, Paskewicz Says Time is Right to Retire

Dec. 22, 2014; schoolnewsnetwork.org

Northview Public Schools, MI — As he completes his 40th year in public education, Northview Public Schools Superintendent Mike Paskewicz says he is ready to move on.

… Paskewicz said he has no other job prospects lined up, but wants to explore community engagement possibilities and do some traveling with his wife, Ruth. His decision was not related to his unsuccessful bid this fall for a Grand Rapids Community College trustee seat, he said, but added the loss “did make me evaluate what I want to be doing over the next 10 years.”

GRCC In the News, 11-20-14

5 charts show how GRCC’s enrollment has changed over past decade

Nov. 19, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – From more minorities to a growing number of part-time students, Grand Rapids Community College’s student body continues to change, the school’s latest enrollment report shows.

Citing financial concerns, GRCC opts out of West Side tax district

Nov. 19, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Grand Rapids Community College has opted out of an economic development initiative in which about $478,000 of the college’s property taxes over a 30 year period would have contributed to a corridor improvement authority on Grand Rapids’ West Side.

Cedar Springs officials ‘ecstatic’ about new college program

Nov. 17, 2014; MLive

CEDAR SPRINGS – A small group of Cedar Springs students will start their college careers while still in high school, thanks to a new collaborative effort between the school district and Grand Rapids Community College.

Public invited to watch party as local chef competes on Food Network’s ‘Guy’s Grocery Games’

Nov. 14, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — The next episode of “Guy’s Grocery Games” on the Food Network will feature Steven Couch a local banquet cook from Grand Rapids. Couch will appear on the show on Sunday, Nov. 16 at 8 p.m. and the public is invited to a watch party in downtown Grand Rapids.

(Articles doesn’t mention it, but Steven Couch is a GRCC alumnus.)

GRCC In the News, 11-10-14

GRCC to showcase new manufacturing equipment during event for local employers

Nov. 7, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Grand Rapids Community College will show local employers its new mechatronics equipment during a Nov. 13 event.

How welcoming is GRCC? College to share results of campus climate survey at town hall forum

Nov. 8, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Grand Rapids Community College will discuss the results of a campus climate survey Tuesday at two on-campus forums.

Ionia students participate in College Application Week

Nov. 7, 2014; The Ionia Sentinel Standard

Ionia, Mich. — Ionia High School staff and students participated in a week-long national initiative aimed at increasing opportunities for students to apply for college known as College Application Week.

… The final event of the week provided students with an opportunity to fill out college applications and meet with college representatives from Grand Rapids Community College, Montcalm Community College and Lansing Community College.

Skippers open season with blowout win

Nov. 8, 2014; The Port Huron Times Herald

It wasn’t always pretty. But a new era of basketball began Saturday for the St. Clair County Community College women’s basketball team.

The Skippers jumped out to an early advantage against Grand Rapids Community College and never trailed in the 91-76 victory at SC4 gym.

Admissions Office hosts open house

The Admissions Office hosted its Annual Fall Open House this past Saturday. The event took place in the ATC and was a huge success. Prospective students were invited to campus to learn more about GRCC. Presentations were offered by Admissions, Financial Aid and Academic Advising staff. Campus tours were given. Accuplacer testing and online applications were available. Plus, there was a Resource Fair where almost 30 of our departments/programs were represented. Throughout the course of the day we saw about 400 people. If your department was not able to make it, don’t worry. We have another Open House planned for the spring on Saturday March 14th. An invitation to participate will be sent to all Department Heads and Program Directors. If you would like to be included, please contact your Department Head or Program Director.

Thank you to all staff who attended. We heard many positive comments from the students who were here. A special thank you also goes out to Bayard Brooks for his help with all the set up and prep work and Luba Petrash for keeping everyone fed!

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Winter 2015 registration and new mobile stations

Open enrollment for Winter 2015 begins today!

New this year are mobile stations around campus to provide students with quick walk-up access to counselors and enrollment center staff. Look them up today and get your questions answered!

10 a.m. ­ ‐1 p.m. Main Campus, Raider Grille
10 a.m.­ ‐ 1 p.m. Main Campus, Ford Fieldhouse Lobby
5­‐ 7 p.m. Lakeshore Campus, Careerline Tech

10 a.m. ­‐ 1 p.m. Main Campus, Winchester Alley
10 a.m. ‐ 1 p.m. Lakeshore Campus, GVSU Meijer
4 ­‐ 6 p.m. Main Campus, 4th Floor Main Bldg.

10 a.m. ­ ‐ 1 p.m. Main Campus, Sneden Lobby
10 a.m. ­ ‐ 1 p.m. Main Campus, Raider Grille
4 ‐ 6 p.m. Lakeshore Campus, Midtown Center

Winter 2015 registration and new mobile stations

Do you have 30 or more credits – registration for Winter 2015 begins today!  Check out the registration schedule to see when you can get your classes: http://www.grcc.edu/admissionsenrollment/registrationdates

New this year are mobile stations around campus to provide students with quick walk-up access to counselors and enrollment center staff. Look for them on Main Campus and the Lakeshore Campus throughout October.


  • 10 a.m. ­‐ 1 p.m. Main Campus, Winchester Alley
  • 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Lakeshore Campus, Thompson MTEC


  • 10 a.m.­ ‐p.m. Main Campus, CSC Lobby
  • 10 a.m.­ ‐ 1 p.m.  Lakeshore Campus, Midtown Center
  • 4 ­ ‐6 p.m.  Main Campus, ATC entry (near Art & Bev’s)
  • 4­ ‐ 6 p.m.  Lakeshore Midtown Center

GRCC In the News, 9-16-14

With fall enrollment down 5.4 percent, GRCC must cut budget by $1 million

Sept. 15, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Fall enrollment is down 5.4 percent at Grand Rapids Community College, the steepest drop in the schools fall headcount since a downward slide that began in 2011.

24 years of tradition: Rockford to induct hall of fame athletes

Sept. 15, 2014; MLive

ROCKFORD, MI — Two athletes and two coaches are to be inducted into the Rockford High School Athletic Hall of Fame this fall.

… In 1994 she (Shannon Fletcher) and her high school sweet heart, Mike Mengyan, were married and over the next four years had three daughters, Ashley, Taylor and Jessica. In 2000 Shannon enrolled in a nursing program at Grand Rapids Community College graduating in the top five percent of her class with a 3.9 GPA.

Muskegon Community College sports recap: Deanna Near’s record-breaking Spartan Invitational earns MCC athlete of week honors

Sept. 15, 2014; MLive

MUSKEGON, MI — A record-breaking weekend in East Lansing has earned Deanna Near Muskegon Community College Athlete of the Week honors.

… VOLLEYBALL: The Jayhawks volleyball program is doing considerably better than either of the soccer programs, despite dropping a Thursday, Sept. 11 match to Grand Rapids Community College.

GRCC In the News, 9-5-14

Enrollment falling at community colleges

Sept. 4, 2014; WOOD TV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) Several four-year Michigan universities have seen slow and steady enrollment increases, while community colleges have seen a steady decline in recent years.

… “We anticipated a decline,” said Tina Hoxie, Grand Rapids Community College assistant provost and dean for student affairs. “We’ve had record years for almost ten years where we’ve had record enrollment at the community college. Our enrollment can be very tied to the economy.”

Labor Day: Skills for a Lifetime

Sept. 4, 2014; USA Today

As the Secretary of Labor, I have a unique opportunity to meet with employers around the country of all sizes and from an array of industries. So many of them tell me the same thing: they’re ready to grow their businesses and to hire more people.

… In November 2013, Michigan received about $26.4 million in Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant program funding to support skills training in advanced manufacturing skills at community colleges and other public institutions across the state. Among the colleges receiving this funding are Macomb Community College, Bay College, Grand Rapids Community College, Kellogg Community College, Lake Michigan College, Lansing Community College, Mott Community College, Schoolcraft College and Baker College.

(Guest column by U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez.)

September projects for 100 Ways to Give


Here are some of the 100 Ways to Give projects that have been organized for September:

  • The Admissions and Enrollment Center is collecting 100 bottles of HE (high-efficiency) laundry detergent for Ronald McDonald House.
  • The English Department wants to provide 100 books for the laboratory preschool.
  • The library and the Criminal Justice Department are teaming up to collect 200 paperbacks — new or used — for Kent County Jail inmates.

Our drop boxes are being set up this week! You can drop off items being collected for 100 Ways to Give projects — to drop boxes at:

  • the Enrollment Center.
  • the Student Success Center in Sneden Hall.
  • at Tassell M-TEC.
  • in the Student Life office at the Student Center.
  • the first-floor circulation desk at the library.

GRCC’s Finance & Administration management staff plans to provide 100 hours of job shadowing this October. If you know students who might be interested, have them e-mail the Purchasing Department by September 19 at purchasing@grcc.edu to find out more.

To see the full list of projects, click here. When getting involved don’t forget to share it on social media by using #GRCC100years and #100waystogive on Twitter and Instagram, and “Grand Rapids Community College” on Facebook.



GRCC In the News, 8-25-14

Tom Rademacher: Happy 100th birthday to GRCC, the ‘Little College That Could’

Aug. 24, 2014; MLive

Happy 100th Birthday to Grand Rapids Community College, which I have reason to celebrate in the name of Foosball, T.S. Eliot, Dave Clark, back handsprings, Emerson & Thoreau, countless laps in the pool, nictitating membranes, the people at 7-Up, and a certain girl named Nicki with whom I spent quality time on the roof of the Main Building.

GRCC toasts area’s philanthropic spirit as it turns 100

Aug. 22, 2014; Grand Rapids Business Journal

As Grand Rapids Community College celebrates its 100th birthday, staff and students are participating in service projects to give back to the community.

College & charter school students head back to class

Aug. 25, 2014; FOX 17

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — While the majority of public school students have one more week of summer vacation to savor, most colleges and charter school students will be heading to class Monday.

… Grand Rapids Community College is celebrating 100 years with a new partnership and new sports teams.

Declining demographic, better economy impact enrollment

Aug. 22, 2014; Grand Rapids Business Journal

Students are beginning to take their seats as college classes kick off for the fall semester, but enrollment may face challenges in the future.

… Tina Hoxie, dean of student affairs at Grand Rapids Community College, noting that Kent County’s unemployment rate is lower than the state average, said declining enrollment also can be blamed on the improving economy.

5 tips to relieve back-to-school stress from Grand Rapids native, magazine publisher

Aug. 25, 2014; MLive

WEST MICHIGAN — As parents and children prepare for the upcoming school year, magazine publisher and Grand Rapids native Debra Gano shared five tips to help relieve back-to-school anxiety.

… Gano, a Forest Hills Northern High School graduate, is the publisher and founding editor of the international self-esteem magazine, Be Your Own You, for young girls. Before joining BYOU magazine, the former actress and model taught in the fashion merchandise department at Grand Rapids Community College and was a former freelancer for The Grand Rapids Press. She now lives in Denver, Co.

Tinkerers gathering in Grand Rapids

Aug. 22, 2014; Grand Rapids Business Journal

A collection of creative thinkers, tinkerers and makers will come together Saturday and Sunday at the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

… Grand Rapids Mini Maker Faire was organized by GR Makers, The Geek Group, Grand Rapids Community College, Genesis Inc. and the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

Greenwich Village Art Fair Scheduled for September

Aug. 25, 2014; WIFR

ROCKFORD (WIFR) — The 66th Greenwich Village Art Fair takes place Sept. 1314, rain or shine, on the grounds of Rockford Art Museum at Riverfront Museum Park, 711 North Main Street in downtown Rockford, Illinois. Gates are open 10 a.m.6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.5 p.m. Sunday. Admission at the gate is $5 for adults, free for children 12 and younger. Advance tickets are $3 and are available at Alpine Bank location and RAM Store. All proceeds support Rockford Art Museum programs throughout the year.

… More than 150 artists from across the nation will exhibit at this year’s fair. Types of artwork represented include paintings, jewelry, sculpture, glass, ceramics, textiles, photography, wood, mixed media and more. Artists compete for awards on the first day of the fair, where their work will be viewed by 2014 Judge Juan Fernandez, a working artist based in the Chicago suburbs and photography professor at Grand Rapids Community College in Michigan who previously taught at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb.

Striking gold with Silver Line? Grand Rapids bets $40 million on state’s first bus rapid transit system

Aug. 24, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — From the second-floor of The Rapid’s headquarters in downtown Grand Rapids, Conrad Venema looks out at U.S. 131 cutting through the heart of the city.

… The Silver Line equates to roughly $3.5 million to $4 million per mile of investment, Venema said. Grand Rapids’ Downtown Market, Van Andel Arena, DeVos Place, Grand Rapids Community College and many more housing developments and eateries lie on the route’s northern end and the hope is that the growth spreads southward.

One-time Ohio State redshirts look for big role on offense

Aug. 24, 2014; The Lantern (Ohio State University’s student newspaper)

A typical highly-touted college football recruit hopes to see the field as soon as they arrive on campus, but that doesn’t always happen.

… While Wilson is entering his true sophomore season, the other three players Meyer singled out all redshirted last year. Marshall is a redshirt-freshman, (Corey) Smith is a redshirt-junior after transferring from Grand Rapids Community College in Michigan before last season and Thomas is a redshirt-sophomore who played as a true freshman in 2012 before sitting out last year.