By Matthew Rios
The Diversity Learning Center at Grand Rapids Community College has become the Bob and Aleicia Woodrick Center for Equity and Inclusion. This change is not just in the name, but also in its mission.
The newly appointed director for the center is Domingo Hernandez-Gomez. Many students may know his work as the former College Success Center’s associate director. Hernandez-Gomez said the center will still be engaging the community with events and organizations such as the Diversity Lecture Series and The Latino Youth Conference, but the center will now be incorporating the mission of the Student Success Center.
“The goal now, while we are still keeping some of this external work with the community, because it is important, we are also going to look at the services that we would like to offer internally,” Hernandez-Gomez said.
Fast Track is one of the programs the Bob and Aleicia Woodrick Center for Equity and Inclusion will be offering. The Fast Track program is a three week lab-based session offered to students who are coming to GRCC and whose English or mathematical skills may require a bit of a brush up before starting college.
“In a basic definition of it we will try to provide the support, the tools and the resources to any individual who is here at GRCC, students, staff, faculty in order to be successful – -whatever that is,-” Hernandez-Gomez said, while explaining the flexibility the center will maintain to meet the needs of a diverse student body.
The mission for the Bob and Aleicia Woodrick Center for Equity and Inclusion is to give all students a place to receive the tools they need to succeed.
In addition to the Fast Track program, the center offers more programs for specific services. For undocumented students, who financial aid is not available for, there is a resource guide to apply for scholarships.Disability Support Services and the Veteran Benefits Office focus on meeting the needs of students in those communities.
The center’s mission extends beyond the concrete grounds of Grand Rapids Community College. Challenge Scholars is a program that the center has taken an active role in. This year’s freshman class at Union High School are promised at least two years of free schooling at Grand Rapids Community College through the program.
“We have committed two coaches to Union High School to start working with these ninth graders,” Hernandez-Gomez said. “So we are looking at these students having graduated with at least an associate’s degree in 2022. It’s a little more proactive in making sure those students are ready.”
Hernandez-Gomez said he is optimistic about the role the center will play, with aiding students to succeed through support tools such as Fast Track, Challenge Scholars or the exploration of ideas at events such as the Diversity Lecture Series. The first lecture takes place at 7 p.m. Sept. 28 at Fountain Street Church.
For more information, visit The Bob and Aleicia Woodrick Center for Equity and Inclusion website Or visit room 119 of the Library and Learning Commons, 140 Ransom Ave NE.