Grand Rapids Community College and Grand Rapids Public Schools have fostered a long withstanding partnership which has led to an increased number of GRPS students enrolling in GRCC as the college attracts top graduates from the district.
According to the release, there has been a 121% increase of enrollment into GRCC from GRPS since 2016. This past year, the valedictorians from Central Innovation and Ottawa Hills high school chose to attend GRCC.
This alliance has had a two-fold benefit.
“Our graduation rates have increased by more than 50 percent over the last seven years and more students are enrolling in post-secondary opportunities like GRCC,” said Ron Gorman, GRPS Interim Superintendent, in a statement. “We greatly value our partnership and longstanding history with GRCC and are excited to see the significant increase in our students enrolling there.”
The collaboration between the two institutions is something GRCC President Bill Pink is rather pleased with.
“Our community benefits when educators work together to create opportunities,” Pink stated in a press release. “We’re proud of our collaboration with GRPS and other (districts), and also the community organizations supporting us all. Together, we’ve been successful – and we continue to build upon that success.”
As stated in the release, there are a number of ways GRCC works alongside GRPS including The Challenge Scholars Program offered to students who attended Union High, Harrison Park Middle and Westwood Middle schools. Raider Nation Day connects students from East Kentwood and GRPS high schools to assist in a successful college experience. Supported through a grant from the Douglas and Maria DeVos Foundation, The Summer Learning Academy Cruisin’ to College program allows students to earn college credit while exploring various career opportunities. These are some of the ways in which GRCC has been actively involved in the betterment of academic opportunities for people within the area.
“We actually make an asserted effort to recruit them and make sure they are aware of the opportunities available to them,” GRCC Associate Dean David Selmon told The Collegiate. Selmon works with the GRPS students and their families to make them more aware of the assistance available and says they are “Intentional about reaching out to them.”
Selmon told The Collegiate “We want to make the relationship between GRPS and GRCC as strong as possible.”
Editor-in-Chief Connor MacLachlan contributed to this report.