More Offices on the Move – Foundation, IRP, Legal and Communications

The Advancement office (GRCC Foundation) has temporarily moved to the first floor of the Admin Building on the DeVos campus.

Next week, Institutional Research, Legal Counsel and Communications will move to their new spaces. IRP and Legal Counsel will be moving to Mable Engle and Communications will move to the first floor of the Admin Building. Contractors will take over College Park Plaza on October 15th to begin the work!

Company is Coming – MQA Site Visit 9/10/12-9/12/12

GRCC will be hosting a Site Visit Team from the Michigan Quality Council for three days next week, Sept 10 to Sept 12. During their visit they will “verify and clarify” the information we cited in our Michigan Quality Leadership Award application last spring. The application process is a requirement of our accreditation process for the North Central Association/Higher Learning Commission.

We have scheduled an Opening Session on Monday, Sept 10 at 8:00am in the ATC Auditorium. All faculty and staff are invited to attend.

In addition, the Site Visit Team will be doing “walk around” interviews of faculty and staff during their visit. If you see someone from the Team, please welcome them to GRCC and tell them about the great work you do to promote learning and student success!

Delayed Enrollment and What it Means for GRCC

Integral to improving student success rates is a careful study of the causes behind the data on student success. That’s at the heart of a recent article on “delayed enrollment” published in the most recent issue of Data Notes, a publication of Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count.

“Delayed Enrollment” refers to the reality that nearly half of community college students do not enroll immediately following high school, and the amount of time that elapses before they apply for college seems to affect not only students’ career path but how and when they succeed. [Note: At GRCC, 78% in the AtD cohorts enroll right after high school, so we can’t say “our students”]

This isn’t a new subject for research – but the latest statistics collected by ATD buck historic trends (GRCC is one of the 150 colleges that are contributing data to the study). In the past, the longer a student delayed enrolling in college after high school put them at a higher risk for not earning a degree than traditional students. What ATD has found is that this disparity only seems to exist for the first two years of college; by the third there is no significant difference in success rates.

Who are these students? Research shows that they’re more likely to be female, part-time students and that they’re less likely to transfer to four-year schools. The longer a student waits to enroll, the more likely they are to need developmental education.

Another interesting contrast is that where immediate enrollees were more likely to be successful if they did not receive Pell Grants, delayed enrollees were more successful if they were Pell Grant awardees.

GRCC data show that 85% of students who enroll immediately after high school are still enrolled at GRCC the following term. Term-to-term retention rates are lower for students who delay enrollment by 1 to 2 years (79% retention); 3 to 4 years (71% retention); and 5 years or more (71% retention). Mirroring national data, GRCC students who delay enrollment are more likely to be female and part-time; however, at GRCC, those who delay enrollment are no more likely to be placed in developmental courses than those who do not delay enrollment.

Though it’s early, ATD researchers have been able to draw some conclusions from the data:

  • Delaying enrollment reduces student success, however it does not guarantee completion or a successful transfer.
  • Students who delay enrollment have considerably different motivations for attending school , as well as different needs than immediate enrollees.
  • Understanding the goals and needs of delayed enrollees will be helpful in structuring a successful college experience for them, and this extra attention to detail will pay dividends as they represent half of incoming students.

Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count is a national non-profit organization committed to helping more community college students succeed, with a special focus on students of color and students with low-income. GRCC is one of the 150 colleges currently participating in the organization.

Source: Achieving the Dream, Data Notes, p. 1

PACE and SOS Survey Results Available

Staff Opinion Survey (SOS) and Personal Assessment of the College Environment (PACE) survey results for 2011 are now available to employees.  Two different PACE reports are available – the first is a breakdown of the results by Personnel Classification (Report 1) and the second breaks down the results by Division, Employee Group, and Ethnicity (Report 2).  There is also an Executive Summary that highlights the key areas of each survey.

Human Resources will offer focus group opportunities for employees to come and review the data and offer input around ‘what improvement looks like’. This year, we plan to hold combined sessions including both PACE and Staff Opinion Survey results. The results from these sessions will be shared with cabinet and all BCO’s so that specific department action plans can be developed to address opportunities for improvement.

Four sessions, “Putting Input Into Action”, have been scheduled for March:

  • Tuesday,March 6 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
  • Thursday, March 15 from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday, March 21 from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
  • Monday, March 26 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

If you are interested in learning more about the SOS and PACE survey results and/or providing suggestions for improvement opportunities, please go to Staff Development’s web page to register for one of these focus group sessions.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Jessica Berens X3179 or Cathy Wilson X3971.

Achieving the Dream Consultants at GRCC – Photos

Achieving the Dream Consultants at GRCC

On Sept. 29 and 30th, GRCC’s Achieving the Dream (AtD) consultants came for a site visit. They offered valuable insights regarding data collection, assessment, and program development as the College moves forward with its AtD student success projects. They were able to see one of GRCC’s AtD projects, Reading Apprenticeship, in action when they sat in on a Reading Apprenticeship training which was held during their visit. Thirty-two faculty spent three days learning how to model the usually invisible thinking strategies that students need to use in order to read their textbooks successfully.

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Achieving the Dream: Who is Targeted?

This is the second in a series of articles about GRCC’s role as an ATD college.

GRCC has been an ATD community college for two years, but many employees may only have a tangential understanding of the program, or may not be familiar with it at all. So let’s fill in some background:

Achieving the Dream is a nation-wide initiative aimed at helping community college students succeed in completing coursework and earning certificates and/or degrees. It is an initiative that uses student achievement data to effect broad institutional change. Now in its seventh year, ATD participants include over 160 colleges in 30 states.

Like all the other Achieving the Dream colleges, we place special emphasis on student groups that have traditionally faced significant barriers to success, including students of color and low-income students. Because so many students leave community colleges without earning a certificate or degree, or without transferring to continue their studies, ATD colleges like GRCC make specific commitments to improve student achievement and to keep our doors open to students who:

  • Complete developmental courses and move on to college-level courses
  • Enroll in and complete gatekeeper courses, such as English Composition I and Statistics
  • Complete the courses they take, earning a grade of C or higher
  • Successfully satisfy their academic goals while here

Fall 2010 Enrollment Report

GRCC’s Institutional Research and Planning Dept. has published the Fall 2010 enrollment report (available here).  One amazing fact from the report that attests to the explosive growth GRCC has experienced recently: a total of 32,010 students/clients were served at GRCC during 2009-2010 in credit classes, Training Solutions, Job Training, Non-Credit Apprenticeships, GED, and ESL.  For more information in IRP’s treasure trove of data – visit their site:

Total Number of Students/Clients Served 2009-2010

GRCC Part of “Achieving the Dream” Research

Dr. Terri Manning,  associate vice president of institutional research, from Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, NC and Dr. Alice Villadsen, retired President of Brookhaven College in the Dallas Community College System have spent the past two days meeting with a variety of GRCC faculty groups as part of GRCC’s participation in the Achieving the Dream initiative. More information about AtD at GRCC can be found at

(Left to Right) Dr. Terri Manning and Dr. Alice Villadsen.

(Left to Right) Dr. Terri Manning and Dr. Alice Villadsen.

Winter 2010 Enrollment Report

Winter 2010 Enrollment Charts

The Board of Trustees Winteer 2010 semester Enrollment Report is now available:

From the report:  “Enrollment at GRCC remained strong in winter 2010, with a headcount of 17,258 students, the largest term count ever. Contact hours increased 15.5 percent, credit hours by 15.4 percent, and the average number of credits per student is 9.3 percent.  6,247 of our students are age 25 or older, a gain of over 1,000 in one year.  Full-time students number 7,294, and part-time students total 9,964.  Finally, 13,325 students from the KISD service region are enrolled, a 50% increase from the 8,881 ten years ago.”

For more information, visit

Community College Survey of Student Engagement: Active and Collaborative Learning

This illustration of Active and Collaborative Learning also comes from the Institutional Research and Planning:

Felix  Pereiro worked with students over several semesters to develop and Innovations Skills curriculum. The materials for the course were integrated with social networking technology, requiring active and collaborative work by the students. The students participated in the modules and then evaluated them. Their responses helped the developers improve the modules. The students loved the highly interactive learning and particularly loved having such a direct impact on curriculum. Continue reading

Results of Community College Survey of Student Engagement: Using Technology to Engage Students

From the Institutional Research and Planning Department comes this example of using technology to engage students:

Just as technology opens doors for careers, it broadens avenues for engaging students. There are so many competing demands for students’ time — work, child care, commuting, and other responsibilities — that our opportunities for engaging students are limited. Finding new ways to engage students is critical.

We all are accustomed to using technology more to conduct day-to-day business, and GRCC  is no exception. We are taking advantage of technological advances to better engage our students by extending our interaction with them. Continue reading

Results of Community College Survey of Student Engagement: Importance of Developmental Education

This story about the importance of Developmental Education comes from the Institutional Research and Planning department:

Ensuring that students are academically prepared for college upon leaving high school is a difficult task. At GRCC, we know the consequences of being under-prepared for college. National research indicates that less than half of high school students graduate with the skills they need to be successful in college. Community colleges like ours, moreover, serve large numbers of older students who may need refresher courses (or additional training) and immigrant students who may need English language instruction or other types of special support. Therefore, it isn’t surprising that significant numbers of our students may need some level of developmental education. However, with strong developmental education programs, incoming college students can quickly be put on the path to academic success. Continue reading