Foul weather caused two snow days in January, and more could follow if the Grand Rapids skyline doesn’t see a change in its weather patterns.
Following the recent snow days, students might wonder if extra time will be added on to the semester to make up for missed days.
That’s not in the plans, according to Patti Trepkowski, associate provost and dean of Instructional Support and Interdisciplinary Studies.
“It’s very difficult for students to accommodate makeup days into their schedules,” she said. “Students have committed a certain time to their classes.”
In order for students to make up missed material, Trepkowski said it is up to the professors to develop a plan for students to learn the required material in a different way. She also pointed out that learning at the collegiate level is different from learning in a K-12 environment.
“So much of your learning is accomplished during the school day (during K-12 years), but it’s different in college,” she said, explaining that most of the learning is done independently outside of school.
The decision to close campus does not come lightly. Campus police and facilities personnel consult National Weather Service reports and police reports before making the final decision, according to GRCC spokesperson Leah Nixon. Among criteria looked for are extreme unsafe driving conditions and quick frostbite exposure time.
Yet Trepkowski said snow days don’t happen often. “Only about two or three at most (happen in a given year).”
Arctic wind chills combined with several inches of snow helped influence the decision to close the college last week. Whether it will happen again remains to be seen.