In an attempt to minimize the spread of COVID-19, Grand Rapids Community College classes will remain in an online format for the remainder of the winter semester, Brian Knetl, GRCC Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, announced Monday.
Officials from the Kent County Health Department have confirmed that two GRCC students have tested positive for COVID-19. Professors and students who were potentially exposed have been notified and the health department has determined that there is “little to no risk to others at the college.”
GRCC President Bill Pink stated that this decision was made so faculty and students could “make the necessary steps to continue education through the end of the term.”
Pink praised the efforts of faculty who have worked to assist students with “existing and magnified student challenges in other areas.”
Decisions regarding commencement and Summer 2020 classes are still ongoing.
“These are challenging times, and we want to reduce the amount of additional disruption for our students and faculty as we move forward,” Pink stated in a release. “This campus continues to put the needs of our students first, even as we work remotely.”
In an email to students, Knetl urged people to maintain participation in classes and check their GRCC student emails daily. For those who this is not possible for, the provost stated that he is “reviewing college policies and procedures and making adjustments to help you complete this semester as successfully as possible.”
“We are very passionate and committed about supporting your academic pursuits to reach your personal and professional goals,” Knetl stated. “We are also concerned about you and the wellbeing of our community. With these two things in mind, we are making unprecedented decisions and responding to quickly changing circumstances.”
The Student Life office has created an online resource to help assist the needs of students. The link to the GRCC webpage can be found here.
Support services such as academic advising and counseling, financial aid and enrollment questions will remain available remotely.
For questions or concerns regarding college resources, students are instructed to call (616) 234-400 or text (616) 226-5999.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated at 6:27 p.m. March 23 to include additional information put forth by the college.