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GRCC finalist for Michigan Quality Leadership Award


By Justin Dawes and Madeline Mcmahon

Grand Rapids Community College is in the running for the Michigan Quality Leadership Award and hosting a committee of evaluators during a three-day site visit that began today.

“We have won this award before, and it is truly outstanding that GRCC is a finalist again,” said GRCC President Steven Ender.

The eight-person committee is here to review the 50-page application to verify its consistency with what they see and experience on campus.

Whether GRCC obtains the award or not, administrators will receive a feedback report stating the institution’s strengths and weaknesses. As part of the Baldrige Pilot, GRCC will use this report to reapply for accreditation for 2014, according to Donna Kragt, Dean of Institution Planning and Research, whose job is to oversee GRCC’s accreditation requirements.

The Baldrige Pilot is a group of seven schools from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (NCA) using a state award program to apply for accreditation. GRCC is accredited through the NCA.

“We will use the feedback report for the Baldrige Pilot (in place of) the AQIP Systems Portfolio,” Kragt said. The Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) Systems Portfolio is what GRCC has used to reapply for accreditation.

The pilot was created because there have been many requests for schools to use the state award application in place of AQIP since the two application processes are very similar.

Results are expected at the end of October.

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