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GRBJ: GRCC sees enrollment spike from GRPS graduates

The partnership between GRCC and GRPS is seeing dividends.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (GRBJ) -- Grand Rapids Community College saw a 31 percent increase this fall in the number of enrolled Grand Rapids Public Schools graduates.

This fall, 152 students who graduated from GRPS last year enrolled at GRCC, up from 116 in 2017.

There are 239 GRPS students in the dual enrollment, concurrent enrollment and middle college programs, up from 219 students a year ago and nearly double the 121 students in fall 2016.

GRCC's Early/Middle College program at Ottawa Hills High School extends grade school education to 13 years, allowing those enrolled to simultaneously earn a high school diploma and an associate degree.

About 50 students are dual enrolled in high school and college courses this year, with tuition and fees for the GRCC courses covered by the K-12 district’s state aid.

There have been additional programs recently implemented to help GRPS students overcome potential obstacles and more easily make that transition, as well as a greater emphasis on those opportunities, according to Dave Selmon, GRCC associate dean of K-12 enrollment.

Selmon said many of the students benefiting from the partnership might come from backgrounds without academic support as strong as those in some families, so there has been a lot of work put in to level the playing field.

“For a lot of them, they’re breaking through as a first-generation college student,” he said. “Regardless of economic background, we try to make education affordable.”

Since GRCC President Bill Pink took his role in May 2017, Selmon said Pink has made a point to better connect GRCC with GRPS.

You can read the whole article by picking up a copy of the Grand Rapids Business journal or by visiting their website.

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