Colleges ink transfer deal


Calvin College, with almost 4,000 students, is one of the nation's largest Christian colleges. Photo via

Two local colleges have signed an agreement to smooth the path for students to transfer between institutions.

Grand Rapids Community College and Calvin College announced a partnership on Oct. 24 that will allow GRCC students to map out and lock in what classes they need to transfer to Calvin College for their third and fourth years.

GRCC President Steven Ender said the agreement will save GRCC students time and money in allowing them to focus on what classes they need to transfer successfully.

“In addition to strengthening our long-standing relationship with Calvin College, this agreement provides our students with the clear steps that they need to take to transfer to Calvin's programs,” Ender said.

GRCC said the program agreements will be listed as academic programs in the college’s course catalog and will be eligible for financial aid.

GRCC Provost Laurie Chesley said the initial agreement allows department heads and program directors at each institution to map out “programmatic avenues between the colleges” that will be formalized later. She said getting the agreement in writing provides “an easier path” for GRCC students who want to transfer to Calvin.

“We have students who transfer now to Calvin and receive credit for courses. But this (agreement) is beyond a course-by-course analysis. It allows students to have a guarantee that if they start in a program, and they take the associated courses here, then it assures those credits will transfer to Calvin.”

Calvin College President Michael LeRoy and Provost Cheryl Brandsen said Calvin looks forward to welcoming more GRCC students as a result of the deal.

“Calvin College benefits from this agreement because it provides another on-ramp to a Calvin education, one that GRCC students might not have thought about or imagined when they began their academic careers at GRCC,” Brandsen said.

About GRCC

Grand Rapids Community College offers two-year degrees, certification and training programs, and workshops and personal enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, 143 Bostwick Ave. NE, and at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties, as well as through distance learning.

About Calvin

Calvin College, 3201 Burton St. SE, is a four-year liberal arts institution that offers 100-plus majors and programs to just fewer than 4,000 students from 46 U.S. states, 55 countries and six Canadian provinces.

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