GRCC In the News, 2-11-15

College Visits Show Students Opportunities

Feb. 6, 2015; (Kent Intermediate School District newsletter)

Kent City Community Schools, MI — LeKae Scarlavai is finding it just a bit easier to decide what to do with the rest of her life.

… “I was expecting to find the stereotypical community college, but instead I found they basically have everything,” said Matt, a 15-year-old sophomore of his visit to Grand Rapids Community College. “I always thought GRCC was just a typical community college but I was amazed to see all the programs they offer.”

… To that end, freshman visited Grand Valley State University, sophomores Grand Rapids Community College, juniors Ferris State University and seniors are given a choice of the three institutions.

Students offer free tax assistance for low-income families

Feb. 6, 2015; WOOD TV

Accounting students from Davenport University, Aquinas College, Cornerstone University, and Grand Rapids Community College as well as members of the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants (MACPA) are participating.

Senior Wellness: Long term care

Feb. 10, 2015; WZZM

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) — Mike Faber from the Older Learner Center at Grand Rapids Community College explains when it’s time to receive long-term care and how to choose the right options.

Allegan County launches program for students to earn associate’s during 5th year of high school

Feb. 9, 2015; MLive

ALLEGAN, MI — Students in the seven Allegan County school districts served by the Allegan Area Educational Service Agency can now earn an associate’s degree at no cost if they commit to a fifth year of high school, county educators announced Monday.

… Allegan County young adults face a stiffer barrier to post-secondary education compared to residents of many surrounding counties because the county does not have a community college. That means students have to pay higher, out-of-district tuition at institutions such as Kalamazoo Valley and Grand Rapids community college, and they also face a longer, more expensive commute.

Giant Among Giants honoree maintains passion for outreach after decades of leading Grand Rapids church

Feb. 8, 2015; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Sitting among those honored as part of Grand Rapids Community College’s Giants Awards, the Rev. Clifton Rhodes Jr. likely had no idea he, too, was slated for adulation.

As Autocam entrepreneur, Obamacare foe or bicyclist, John Kennedy takes his own route

Feb. 8, 2015; Crain’s Detroit Business

Plunging down a twisting French mountain road on a hot afternoon in 2006, John Kennedy was determined to catch the cyclist just ahead of him.

… In 2012, Autocam established the Advanced Manufacturing Program in collaboration with Grand Rapids Community College and other manufacturers to maintain a better pipeline of manufacturing talent. Applicants accepted into the program start at $13 an hour while they attend classes for a two-year program paid in full by the company, now called the Autocam Precision Components Group of NN.

… Kent County resident Madalyn Bueche, 21, hired in at Autocam in 2012 and simultaneously enrolled in the GRCC Advanced Manufacturing Program. She graduated in 2014 and is now enrolled at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, intent on earning a four-year degree in engineering in three years while working as a machinist full time at Autocam Precision Components. The company pays for her education.

Sophomores killed during winter break memorialized at the rock on Farm Lane

Feb. 9, 2015; State News (Michigan State University student newspaper)

“They were definitely one of a kind,” Diana Nicoletti, an advertising and professional writing sophomore, said of her friends Maura Brandi and Carolena Elowsky at their memorial at the Rock on Farm Lane Sunday night.

… Hannah Herboldsheimer, another hometown friend and student at Grand Rapids Community College, said even at their small high school, Brandi and Elowsky expressed school spirit and love for the people around them.

Hall of Fame guard already part of great fraternity

Feb. 11, 2015; Mansfield News Journal (Mansfield, Ohio)

Don Williams witnessed many a statement game from his running mate, but he knew putting a microphone in front of Melvin Selmon instead of a basketball hoop would be like hitting the mute button.

… David and Melvin would start together in Malabar’s backcourt for one year, when David was a senior and Melvin a sophomore. Both of them are now coaches in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where David has won nearly 500 games at Grand Rapids Community College and Melvin is in his third year of heading a practically unbeatable freshman team at Ottawa Hills High School.

Muskegon Community College sports recap: Women’s basketball surging, men’s basketball hits ‘freshman wall’

Feb. 9, 2015; MLive

MUSKEGON, MI – Following the team’s six-game winning streak earlier this year, the Muskegon Community College men’s basketball team now has dropped three of its past four games.

The Jayhawks’ (17-6 overall, 7-4 Western Conference) most recent defeat came at the hands of Grand Rapids Community College on Friday, Feb. 6. MCC got off to a poor start offensively by missing layups and not converting scoring opportunities, ultimately falling to GRCC, 82-63.

GRCC In the News, 1-14-15

Agreement with GRCC Gives Students a Head Start on College

Jan. 13, 2015; (Kent Intermediate School District newsletter)

Cedar Springs Public Schools, MI — Kevin Galloway has every intention of going to college. So he figured, why not start now?

The Cedar Springs High School sophomore is one of 25 students enrolled in Cedar Springs Public Schools Middle College, a collaboration with Grand Rapids Community College.

Laps and Lessons: Coach Guides Students to Become Better Swimmers, People

Jan. 13, 2015;

East Grand Rapids Public Schools, MI — East Grand Rapids High School swim coach Milton “Butch” Briggs has helped many athletes swim their fastest laps and personal best races.

… Never a competitive swimmer, Briggs ran track at Grand Rapids Junior College (now Grand Rapids Community College). His coach, who Briggs said set a great example for him, helped him get a job coaching a summer swim league at Cascade Country Club.

Muskegon Community College sports recap: Men’s basketball returns to winning ways; wrestling struggling with lineup issues

Jan. 13, 2015; MLive

MUSKEGON, MI – Although the weather temporarily delayed the game, it couldn’t delay the Muskegon Community College men’s basketball team from returning to its winning ways.

The Jayhawks (12-3 overall, 2-1 MCCAA Western Conference) defeated Grand Rapids Community College (7-5, 1-1), 92-86, on Saturday, Jan. 10. The game originally was scheduled to be played Jan. 9, but weather pushed the schedule back a day.

Moore leads GOCC women past GRCC

Jan. 13, 2015; Three Rivers Commercial News

CENTREVILLE Captains are expected to lead their basketball team.

… (Courtney) Moore, a 5-foot-11 sophomore forward, scored 18 points and yanked down 21 rebounds in a 66-61 Western Conference win by Glen Oaks at home Monday over Grand Rapids Community College.

Northeast announces 2015 golf schedule

Jan. 13, 2015; WTVA (Tupelo, Miss.)

BOONEVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/NEMCC Athletics) – Northeast Mississippi Community Colleges golfers have the chance to experience some of the top courses across the Mid-South during the 2015 campaign.

… Northeast then takes a brief hiatus from its league slate to participate in the 14th annual Ron Marshall Spring Fling Tournament in Scottsboro, Ala., at the Goose Pond Colony Resort from March 12-14. The field includes nationally ranked Mississippi Gulf Coast and Grand Rapids (Mich.) Community College, which is receiving votes in the latest countrywide poll.

Things to do on Thursday, January 15

Jan. 13, 2015; MLive

… Jewish Theatre Grand Rapids Presents “One Night with Fanny Brice”: Spectrum Theater at GRCC, 160 Fountain St. NE, Grand Rapids. 8 pm. 616-234-3946

GRCC In the News, 11-29-12

GRCC announces plans to close West Side Learning Corner; move classes to M-TEC building

November 28, 2012; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Grand Rapids Community College will close a community learning center on the city’s west side in July and move operations to the college’s M-TEC workforce training building on Godfrey Avenue.

West Side Learning Corner to relocate within Leslie E. Tassell M-TEC

The West Side Learning Corner is moving to meet the rising demand for its GED and ESL programs.  As of July 1, 2013, the program will be located within the Leslie E. Tassell M-TEC.

Waiting lists for services have increased significantly over the four years the West Side Learning Corner has served the community. Currently, it serves 400 students with an additional 350 on the waiting list.

Dave Selmon, director of adult education, anticipates continued growth as the program relocates into the neighborhood where many of its students live.

“We are taking GRCC to the students,” he said.  “We’ll not only have the ability to serve more students, but we’ll partner with faculty and staff already working at the M-TEC to connect with associate degree programs, workforce training, and job-training programs to be even more intentional about transitioning these students into programs and training that will lead to jobs.”

“Tassell M-TEC will be a great location for this Learning Corner,” said George Waite, director of the Tassell M-TEC.  “With the many partnerships established with employers, Learning Corner students will have the additional benefit of creating a career pathway that includes education, training and jobs.”

Citizenship classes available at West Side Learning Center

A six-week course of citizenship classes starts February 2, 2013, at the West Side Learning Center. To be eligible for the program, sponsored by WORD ESL and GRCC, prospective students must have had their permanent residence card (“green card”) for five years and be able to speak, read and write English at Advanced ESL Level 3 (220 or higher in CASA testing).

The classes take place Saturday mornings, and a $25 deposit is required. For details, contact Lorena Aguayo-Marquez at 234-3172 or Sister Carmen Rostar at 454-4874.

GRCC Signs Partnership Agreement With Byron Center Public Schools

GRCC Signs Partnership Agreement With Byron Center Schools

Last night, Dr. Ender and Dan Clark attended the Byron Center Board of Education meeting to formalize the partnership between GRCC and BCPS. GRCC has been teaching classes in the that community for four years already and enrollment, which began with about 150, is up to 780. BCPS Superintendant Dan Takens and Dr. Ender each made brief remarks and then signed the paperwork as the board members looked on.

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Photo: Full ESL Classes From Appearance at St. Joseph the Worker Festival

GRCC has full classes scheduled for our English as a Second Language Classes at the GRCC West Side Learning Corner, in Partnership with Lake Michigan Credit Union.  Recently 20 students signed up at the St. Joseph the Worker Festival at Lamar Park.  If you know someone interested in these great classes contact the Learning Corner!

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Podcasts Featuring GRCC Employees Phil Green, Kristin Seevers and David Selmon

Lynne Jarman-Johnson, Interim Executive Director of Communiations at GRCCLynne Jarman-Johnson, Interim Executive Director of Communication at GRCC hosts a radio show on WJRW AM 1340 and recently featured GRCC employees on two episodes:

GED Night Classes Orientation

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GRCC now offers high-quality GED preparation to residents in neighborhood sites that are accessible and familiar with the goal of helping those students earn their GED certification and also acquire English proficiency.

An orientation for GRCC’s GED Night Classes will take place July 19, 2010 from 6-9 p.m. at the Learning Corner @ Wealthy (1154 Wealthy St. SE). For more information, contact Theresa Williams at (616) 234-3040 or

“Never Give Up” Scholarship Winners *Date Corrected

The West Side Learning Corner would like to congratulate their incredible staff Sabra Kinsley (Professional Tutor) and Jackie Villegas (Data Entry) for winning the Mary J. Szczepanski “Never Give Up” MS Scholarship.

Scholarships will be awarded at the 3rd Annual Miniature Golf Event for MS on Saturday, August 14th, 2010 (date corrected). Please contact Rick Szczepanski at for more information about the scholarship or event.

Partnership Earns State Award

Our Learning Corners are in the news again this week. David Selmon and his team went to the annual Michigan Adult Education and Training Conference (MAETC) in Kalamazoo last week to receive an award for the work GRCC has done to educate adults through its No Worker Left Behind (NWWLB) demonstration grant. Susan Ledy, director of the Literacy Center of West Michigan (LCWM) , a valuable partner with GRCC in the grant, was also able to bring several of her staff. Renee Steel, vice president at Huntington Bank, the Wealthy Learning Corner’s original and still-strong partner, also attended.

Dianne Duthie, Director of Lifelong learning for the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor, &Economic Growth (DELEG), and Erica Nakfoor, also from DELEG, were on hand to present an award to partners who advanced the goals of the NWLB mission.

Learning Corner Partnership Wins Award

In the photo, left to right, are: Erica Nakfoor, DELEG; Linda Spoelman, GRCC; David Selmon, GRCC; Susan Ledy, LCWM; Dianne Duthie, DELEG; Kristin Ekkens, GRCC; Vera Grishkina, LCWM; Theresa Williams, GRCC; Renee Steel, Huntington Bank.

Karen Ender Welcomes Business Alliance Neighbors to Wealthy Learning Corner

Karen Ender Speaks to Business Alliance Neighbors About GRCC's Learning Corner @ Wealthy

Sandwiched between all the activities and last-minute preparations for Commencement 2010 on the main campus, Karen Ender and the Wealthy Learning Corner staff were busy hosting the Wealthy St. Business Alliance, a group of the businesses along and near the Wealthy St. corridor and a division of the city’s Neighborhood Business Alliance.

Karen presented a brief overview about the role of the WLC within the college and that neighborhood, as well as the impact it can have on the larger community.

Karen has become quite familiar with the workings of the WLC and the people who go there. She came one time to help with an orientation and now participates regularly as a presenter and a tutor.

“From the first time she came, people really took to her and she took to them,” says Dave Selmon, director of GRCC’s two Learning Corners. “She sits right down with our students to ask them what is next in their education,” says Selmon. “We want students to be proud of finishing their GED, but we don’t want them to think that is the end. Education is a life-long pursuit.”

Karen is clearly committed to the work. While everyone snacked on refreshments from Sandmann’s – a renowned BBQ eatery right across the street and also a business alliance member, she moved from table to table to welcome everyone and telling each group about the WLC students, goals, history – and how much she loves the work she’s doing.

“I’m so lucky to be part of this great team,” she says. “The work is so important and I just enjoy being here.”