Apr 12, 2024  
2015-2016 Catalog-EXPIRED 

About GRCC

President’s Welcome

Welcome to GRCC!

Grand Rapids Community College has been helping students achieve their higher educational goals for 100 years. As we continue to celebrate our centennial, I am excited that you are beginning your college journey here, and putting the resources of GRCC behind you as set out to further your education.

The options available to you at GRCC will play an important role in helping you achieve your educational goals. Whether you are here for an associate degree, to transfer that degree to a four-year institution or to retrain in preparation for tomorrow’s marketplace, we can set you on the right path. GRCC is dedicated to your success.

We offer more than 150 degree programs, countless transfer programs, and a full array of student support services – from tutoring to career counseling. You have the option of flexible scheduling, and a variety of learning formats so you can tailor your time here to meet your learning style – and your busy lifestyle.

As a GRCC student, you have many options that allow you to personalize your learning experience. You can take one class or a full load. You can learn in state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories, through experiential learning in your community, or online. Class locations include: our main campus in downtown Grand Rapids; our Devos Campus in Heritage Hill; our Lakeshore Campus in Holland; our Tassell M-TEC in southwest Grand Rapids; or one of our regional centers located throughout Kent County. In addition, you have an opportunity to participate in student organizations, clubs, or sports. You can attend lectures, theatre, or musical events. In short, you can have a great collegiate experience at GRCC.

We are committed to the success of our students, and our number one priority is that when you leave GRCC you have the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully enter the workforce or transfer to another educational institution. 

We are proud you have chosen GRCC to help you achieve your goals. You’ve taken a wise first step on your educational journey, and we are here to help you succeed.

History of GRCC

Grand Rapids Junior College (GRJC) was founded in 1914 by the Grand Rapids Public Schools Board of Education after a resolution was passed by University of Michigan faculty to encourage the establishment of junior colleges in Michigan. In the ‘50s and ‘60s, legislative acts further clarified the role of community colleges in Michigan. This, along with the education and training needs of West Michigan, provided the college with direction and purpose.

GRJC was first located in Grand Rapids Central High School. Eight faculty members taught rhetoric and composition, mathematics, history, biology, physics, Latin, and German. The first graduating class numbered 49 students. By 1945, enrollment had grown to 1,200 students, representing 53 Michigan communities, five states, a territory, and one foreign nation. In the next decade, the college’s enrollment doubled. Under the 1966 Community College Act, the state of Michigan included postsecondary vocational-technical education in the definition of the community college program. As a result, GRCC now offers more than 45 for-credit occupational programs alongside its liberal arts programs.

In 1991, Kent County taxpayers voted to redistrict GRJC. The college was renamed Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC), gained a board of trustees, and its boundaries were extended beyond Grand Rapids Public Schools to include the 20 districts within the Kent Intermediate School District. By 1996, the college was serving about 25,000 full- and part-time students – today that number surpasses 33,000.

In the last 20 years, GRCC has expanded from its main campus to the DeVos Campus on Heritage Hill; the Lakeshore Campus in Ottawa County with five facilities; the Leslie E. Tassell M-TEC in Grand Rapids; the Learning Corner on Wealthy Street in Grand Rapids; and and regional centers in Lowell, Rockford, Grandville and Byron Center.  We also partner to provide the Wyoming Middle College, and offer classes at the Kent Careerline Tech Center and Kent City High School.

Traditional classrooms have been transformed into state-of-the-art laboratory and tutoring spaces. Teaching and learning is enhanced through experiential learning, seminars, workshops, training courses and online learning. This all is supported by an impressive system of academic support and tutoring, academic and career counseling, occupational and disability support, and bilingual support services.

Each year more than 16,500 students enroll in liberal arts and occupational courses. Another 16,400 learners from all walks of life are served by a multitude of non-credit certificate and job training opportunities. Our diverse student body includes students from Kent and surrounding counties, as well as students from across the U.S. and several other nations.

Throughout its 100-year history of academic excellence, GRCC has maintained a solid reputation as a premier transfer institution and is nationally recognized for both its liberal arts and occupational programs.


As a college of distinction, GRCC inspires students to meet the needs of the community and the world.


GRCC is an open access college that prepares individuals to attain their goals and contribute to the community.


Excellence – We commit to the highest standards in our learning and working environment as we strive for distinction in all aspects of our work.

Diversity – We create an inclusive learning and working environment that recognizes the value and dignity of each person.

Responsiveness – We anticipate and address the needs of students, colleagues, and community.

Innovation – We seek creative solutions to problems through experimentation and adaptation.

Accountability – We set benchmarks and outcomes to frame our decision-making, measure our performance, and evaluate our results.

Sustainability – We use resources in responsible ways to achieve balance among our social, economic, and environmental practices and policies.

Respect – We treat others with courtesy, consideration and civility.

Integrity – We commit to GRCC values and take personal responsibility for our words and actions.


In all instances, the work to achieve these Ends will reflect our core values.

End #1:  Student Success Pathways

A student-centered experience will ensure GRCC students will learn the skills necessary to achieve their educational goals.

End #2:   Workforce Pathways

GRCC will provide prepared students for the workforce in our community and the world.

End #3:  Transfer Pathways

GRCC prepares students to transfer to the college or university of their choice.

Institutional Learning Outcomes

Grand Rapids Community College has established four broad areas of skills, knowledge and competencies as its Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs). Institutional Learning Outcomes are those skills and competencies which are embedded within every aspect of the college to inspire and enhance each student’s transferable learning skills. The ILOs represent the broad categories of competence that enable students to be successful in further education, in careers, as citizens, and in their personal lives. Student achievement of ILOs is assessed within their courses and co-curricular experiences. The results of those assessments are used to improve the learning experience at GRCC.

The Institutional Learning Outcomes are:

  1. Communication Skills – Students will effectively express and exchange ideas through listening, reading, speaking, writing, and other modes of interpersonal expression.
  2. Critical Thinking Skills – Students will be able to gather and synthesize relevant information, evaluate alternatives, and implement creative and effective solutions.
  3. Social Responsibility Skills – Students will be prepared to practice community engagement that addresses environmental responsibility, social justice, and cultural diversity.
  4. Personal Responsibility Skills – Students will become independent learners who understand and express the lifelong skills necessary for physical, social, economic, mental, and emotional health.


For more informatlion on GRCC’s Accreditation please visit grcc.edu/accreditation

Associate Degree Nursing Program*   Approved by the Michigan Board of Nursing and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (formerly NLNAC), 3343 Peachtree Road NE Suite 850 Atlanta GA 30326 404-975-5000.
Automotive   Accredited by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation.
Child Development   Accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, Early Childhood Associate Degree Program.
Corrections   Approved by the Michigan Correctional Officers Training Council.
Culinary Arts/Management Baking/Pastry Arts    Accredited by the American Culinary Federation Educational Foundation Accrediting Commission.
Dental Assisting and Dental Hygiene Programs*   Accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association and Approved by the Michigan Board of Dentistry.
Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning/Refrigeration (HVAC)   Accredited by the Partnership for Air Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation.
Law Enforcement   Approved by the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards.
Music Department*   Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.
Occupational Therapy Assistant*   Accredited by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc., Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education. www.acoteonline.org
Practical Nursing Program   Approved by the Michigan Board of Nursing and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (formerly NLNAC), 3343 Peachtree Road NE Suite 850 Atlanta GA 30326 404-975-5000.
Preschool   Accredited by the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs and the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
Radiologic Technology*   Accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology.
Visual Arts*   GRCC is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design for its Visual Arts Programs.

* Accreditation agency is recognized by the US Secretary of Education. 


  • Alliance for Health
  • American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers
  • American Association of Community Colleges
  • American Culinary Federation
  • American Dental Education Association
  • American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.
  • Association for Gerontology in Higher Education
  • College and University Systems Exchange
  • Council on Law in Higher Education
  • International Tasters Guild
  • Michigan Association for College Admission Counseling
  • Michigan Association for Foreign Student Affairs
  • Michigan Association of Colleges and Universities
  • Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers
  • Michigan Community College Admissions Directors
  • Michigan Community College Association
  • Michigan Community College Biologists
  • Michigan Community College Community Service Association
  • Michigan Council of Nursing Education Administrators
  • Michigan Health Sciences Libraries Association
  • Michigan League for Nursing
  • Michigan Library Association
  • Michigan Library Consortium
  • Michigan Licensed Practical Nurses Association
  • Michigan Occupational Deans Administrative Council
  • Midwest Institute for International Intercultural Education
  • Midwest Institute–International Studies and Foreign Languages
  • NAFSA: Association of International Educators
  • National Association for Associate Degree Nursing
  • National Association of Practical Nursing Education and Service
  • National Association of Schools of Music
  • National Council for Learning Resources (NCLR)
  • National League for Nursing
  • National Restaurant Association
  • National Tooling & Machining Association
  • North Central Association for Foreign Student Affairs
  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • West Michigan Nursing Advisory Council
  • West Michigan Tourist Association