The region’s community college is joining forces with a four-year school to ensure that students will have an easier time continuing their education.
Grand Rapids Community and Aquinas colleges are entering into an agreement that will allow faculty from both schools to work together on creating a seamless transfer experience for GRCC students.
The agreement was signed Oct. 14 by GRCC President Steven Ender and Provost Gilda Gely, and Aquinas President Juan Olivarez and Provost Chad Gunnoe.
“Our partnership with Aquinas College is a win-win,” Ender said. “GRCC students are able to begin their studies at the college on a direct transfer path. On the flip side, students attending GRCC gain educational experience that gives them a leg up as they continue their journey to earning a four-year degree, and beyond.”
Working together is nothing new to GRCC and Aquinas.
“Aquinas College is pleased to sign an articulation agreement that formalizes the longstanding relationship with Grand Rapids Community College,” Olivarez added. “This agreement makes it easy for students to transfer between the two schools and allows faculty at the institutions flexibility when designing programs in collaboration with other colleagues.”
Further solidifying the working relationship between the colleges allows for articulation of individual programs at the faculty level without having the presidents and provosts sign new agreements each time a program collaboration has been negotiated. GRCC currently follows this same model with Davenport and Ferris State universities, Ender said.
GRCC participates in the Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers agreement, which is designed to help GRCC students who graduate with an associate in arts or an associate in science degree transfer to their preferred four-year institution. Completion of the MACRAO requirements at GRCC will fulfill most lower-division general education requirements at participating four-year colleges and universities. Articulated programs that are supported by formally signed articulation agreements provide the transferring student with a detailed program of study to follow, allowing them to transfer into a particular program at their preferred college or university.
GRCC currently has more than 30,000 students annually enrolled in degree courses, certification and training programs, workshops and personal enrichment classes at its Grand Rapids campus and several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.
Aquinas, which has a 107-acre campus in Grand Rapids, has 2,300 students and offers more than 60 academic programs.