By Aspen Strauss
Grand Rapids Community College will begin to welcome the public to its new lakeshore campus with an open house in Holland on Aug. 21.
What previously was JCPenney, the new lakeshore home is allowing everyone interested to come and check out the brand new renovations. Visitors can visit the new location and are able to sign up for classes leading to credits for a degree, to transfer, or credit certificates. Staffed experts from the Enrollment, Financial Aid, Academic Advising, Student Records, Veterans Benefits, Student life, Honors, TRiO, and the College Success Center will all be on-site to help out with questions.
After purchasing the 50,000-square-foot space in The Shops at Westshore mall in 2019, GRCC is consolidating classes and services, which were previously held at four Ottawa County sites. Now, the new facility will feature classrooms, labs, and study spaces along with testing, counseling, and placement services as well as a satellite library.
“Come in as a visitor; leave as a student,” President Bill Pink stated in a press release. “Our new campus will allow even more Ottawa County residents to benefit from our life-changing programs. We are excited to have the community visit and have a look at what we know will be a vibrant hub of learning for students of all ages.”
The new campus is centrally located on U.S. 31 and James Street, with a stop on the Macatawa Area Express bus line.
“Lack of transportation is a huge barrier to higher education for many Ottawa county residents,” Pink stated. “The new site is more accessible, and consolidating all our programs into one place means students can easily align their class schedules with their work and family obligations.”
Visitors who come will be able to talk to staff on hand at the open house. They will be able to help with admissions and registration for those who are interested. Along with assisting with registration, staff will be talking about the potential for students to learn if they are eligible for the Michigan Reconnect Program or federal Pell grants, which can help students reduce costs.
Current class offerings can lead to an Associate of Arts, Associate of General Studies, and Associate of Applied Arts and Sciences-Industrial Maintenance Technology, as well as certificates in Industrial Maintenance, Industrial Technology, Tooling and Manufacturing, and Welding. With the expanded space, GRCC’s partnerships with other employers will have hopes to increase, and plans call for additional programs, possibly in health care, early childhood education, and teaching.
For those wishing to attend the open house on Aug. 21, reservations are not needed. For more information on GRCC’s lakeshore programs, call 616-234-2200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.