College expands accelerated course offerings


Courtesy GRCC

Grand Rapids Community College is attempting to make a college education more accessible.

The college will add more seven-week courses this fall. The courses will offer the same amount of content as a full-semester class but with longer sessions and an abbreviated schedule. A number of classes are available online.

“Earning a degree is important for people looking to advance their careers, and we know many people have work and home responsibilities that may make it difficult to attend class with the traditional schedule,” GRCC President Bill Pink said. “We’re being responsive to those needs and busy schedules, creating more opportunities for people to connect when it works best for them.”

There will be about 130 sections across different disciplines. The School of Arts and Sciences is planning to offer nearly 40 sections in subjects such as biological and physical sciences, English, math, social sciences and music.

The School of Workforce Development has about 90 sections scheduled with subjects related to computer information systems, the manufacturing fields and culinary arts.

“We are looking for ways to remove any obstacles to people starting — or completing — their education,” Provost Brian Knetl said. “We know there are many people who might be a class or two from completing that degree, and it can make a difference for them as they move forward. The traditional schedule might not work for people who are working around jobs and family obligations.”

Open registration for new students starts March 20. Current students with 12 or more credits can start registering March 10, and those with 11 credits or fewer can register starting March 17.

The expansion of seven-week classes follows GRCC adding Saturday courses this semester in subjects such as algebra, English and sociology.

Knetl said the college will use this upcoming year to determine if the seven-week and Saturday schedules work for students and strategically add sections to meet demand.

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