IT Communication: Changes to Google Chat and Transitioning from Hangouts

Since GRCC’s migration to the Google platform, both Google Hangouts and Google Chat services have been available to use. Both toolsets offer similar functionality, however due to prior limitations, Google Chat could not be used to communicate with students. Because of this we had recommended that Faculty use Google Hangouts to communicate with their students.

It was recently announced that Google Hangouts is scheduled to be retired from service by Google sometime this year, because of this, we recommend migrating from Google Hangouts to Google Chat.

Because of the pending retirement of Google Hangouts and understanding how the tool is used at our institution, the IT department has enabled chat conversations with users outside of the grcc.edu domain through Google Chat.

What does this mean? You can now use Google Chat to communicate with students. This is a great option for quick communications with your entire class, or to establish an ongoing flow of communication throughout a semester.

Take a look at our instructional video for more information on creating rooms, adding users, and starting a conversation.

Access Google Chat at chat.google.com

Upcoming session on external student surveys and data reporting programs at GRCC

During his January 2021 Opening Day Presentation, Dr. Pink talked about federal reporting of GRCC student completion, with completion only being defined as earning an associate’s degree or certificate within three years. 

Would you like to learn more about GRCC’s state and federal data reporting and the definitions of “student success” in this reporting? Would you like to know more about student survey programs that GRCC participates in to hear from our students about areas that are important to them and their satisfaction in these areas at GRCC, their needs, and their engagement?  If so, the Tuesday, February 2, 2021 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. professional learning session is for you!  

During this session, you will learn about a variety of aggregate data reporting programs (e.g., IPEDS, National Community College Benchmark Project, Voluntary Framework for Accountability) and student surveys (e.g., Noel Levitz, CCSSE, SENSE, Hope Center) developed by external organizations that GRCC participates in, information provided by each, and how the information is used at GRCC. 

Please join us, you can register online.

GRCC awarded federal grant to create Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success

Students walking outside, in front of RJF Hall.

Grand Rapids Community College will be able to enhance and expand the services it provides to veterans, using a new federal grant to create a Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success to connect students with resources they need to advance their education.

The U.S. Department of Education awarded GRCC a $450,000 grant for the project, with the success center serving as a hub for planning and delivering services to students who have served in the military.

“Our college is proud of our West Michigan veterans, and while we have a history of being a veteran-friendly campus, we want to raise the bar,” GRCC President Bill Pink said.

“Like many of our students, veterans often attend college part time while juggling home and work responsibilities. We’re focused on making sure these students have academic support and relevant assistance in tapping into the benefits they are entitled to. This grant will help us improve upon the strong program we presently have in place.”

Read more

Human Resources shares a resource for mental wellness

HR would like to share a resource for mental wellness some employees may find helpful during this time.

During this challenging time, we can all benefit from ways to help us calm down, unwind, destress, and relax our bodies and minds. 

At the request of Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer, Headspace developed a site with FREE resources and tools that can support mental well-being and comfort for Michiganders.

Using Headspace’s creative approach, you’ll find guided mindfulness and meditation exercises, as well as soothing music, and children’s meditations. 

Visit MIndfulness for MIchigan and explore!

Dr. Michael Eric Dyson headlines the 2021 Diversity Lecture Series on Jan. 27

For over twenty-five years, the series has provided GRCC and Grand Rapids stakeholders with access to society’s most prolific scholars, thought-leaders, activists, and innovative artists.

We are delighted to host Dr. Dyson and invite you to be a part of the experience. The virtual lecture will take place on Wednesday, January 27 at 6 p.m. RSVP through the ODEI Eventbrite page: GRCCequity.eventbrite.com

Picture of Eric Dyson.

Nominations being sought for 2021 Emeritus Faculty Award

You are invited to nominate a GRCC retired faculty or administrator for the Emeritus Faculty Award.  This award was established in 1985 to honor those instructors and administrators whose dedication and creativity have left an indelible mark on the lives of students and colleagues at GRCC.  During their tenure at GRCC and since their retirement, they have continued to promote GRCC’s “Commitment to Excellence.”

Please submit online nominations by noon on Friday, February 12, 2021.  If you prefer a paper nomination form, please contact provost@grcc.edu to request one.  For more information, you may visit the website.

New grcc.edu look and navigation

View of GRCCs main webpage (grcc.edu).

Congratulations to the GRCC Web and Digital Content team for the many months of exceptional work and collaboration with stakeholders across campus that has led to today’s grcc.edu update!

What are some of the biggest changes you will notice?

  • An engaging new design to draw users in.
  • A homepage where prospective and current student’s top priorities can be found front and center. 
  • Streamlined webpage navigation based on prospective and current student user preferences.
  • Prospective and current students can now find 100% of our academic programs on grcc.edu!

And there is more! Visit grcc.edu and take a look to discover new web page layouts and content organization.

If you would like to learn more about the web redesign project visit the Web and Digital Strategy department’s news and updates webpage.

Virtual Team Trivia is here!

Virtual Trivia sign.

This social employee engagement opportunity is brought to you through a collaboration of InteGReat CC (2018 Leadership Institute cohort) and HR.

We all miss seeing each other’s faces and catching up and laughing together. Let’s connect over fun and games!

Join us for Virtual Team Trivia via Zoom on Thursday February 11 from 4:00-5:30pm.

Trivia questions range various categories from Arts and Pop Culture to History and Geography to Science and Sports, and more!

Led by everyone’s favorite host with the most – Jim Schafer!

Sign up today! A link to join will be sent following registration.

Questions or more information? Contact angelasalinas@grcc.edu.

Community groups support GRCC students, food pantry through day of service honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Theta Chi Omega chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority members standing by a moving truck with supplies.

Grand Rapids Community College’s student food pantry received a boost this week from a coalition of community groups as part of a day of service in commemoration of the life of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.  

The Theta Chi Omega chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority invited community members to donate food to the GRCC pantry, partnering with the Black Impact Collaborative, Spectrum Health African Americans for Resources and Engagement, and Rent A Man moving company.

The result was a moving van full of food and other supplies. The donations were timely — restocking the pantry after a month of increased need that followed a second wave of COVID-19 cases, which forced many employers to close or reduce hours.

Shannon Wilson, a sorority member who organized the event, said the project grew from a desire to provide an act of service, “in honor of the life and legacy of the man who has inspired us all.” 

“The college is providing the education, and, as your community, we wanted to support your efforts by making sure that none of your students go without food, or necessities for survival,” she said.

Read more

Upcoming professional development session focuses on being kind to your mind

We are often guilty of mistaking our thoughts for reality. The story is not reality, it is just our perception or what we tell ourselves. We react to words about the event (our thoughts) as though it’s happening.  

During the “Be Kind to Your Mind” workshop, we will learn the importance of self-compassion for your thinking and how to “defuse” harsh thinking. We will also practice mindful attention to our thoughts and learn the power of acceptance and gratitude to relieve stress. 

Register online.