Grand Rapids Community College, or GRCC, founded in 1914, offers degree courses, certification and training programs, workshops and personal enrichment classes in Kent and Ottawa counties.
A new association is connecting marketing and communications professionals at community colleges across the state.
Marketing and communications representatives from 28 community colleges, including Grand Rapids Community College, joined the Michigan Community College Marketing and Communications Association, which is affiliated with the Michigan Community College Association.
Ad hoc no more
Previously, the marketing and communications representatives met as an ad hoc committee once or twice a year. This year, the group took steps to become a formal association. The marketing association seeks to enhance marketing and public relations efforts of the individual community colleges — as well as promote them as a whole.
Leah Nixon, communications director at GRCC, said although the group is new, it will provide a great avenue for the representatives to work together.
“While we are in communities across the state, we all have the same goal,” Nixon said.
Nixon added that working with peers and having a network of professionals is very beneficial.
“I think it’s a great opportunity,” Nixon said. “There is a lot of knowledge and talent there, and it is great to be able to connect with that.”
The new organization also elected its leadership: Eric Greene, director of public information and marketing at Kellogg Community College, as president; Janet Roberts, executive director of marketing and communications at Oakland Community College, as vice president; and Gary Erwin, director of marketing and communications at Henry Ford Community College, as secretary.
"Viable higher education option"
Greene said formation of the association is an attempt to foster ties, network, learn from one another and, when appropriate, work collaboratively.
He said the organization plans on meeting quarterly each year and will focus on figuring out its identity and purpose in its first year.
The group is also working on a collaborative statewide campaign to market community colleges as a valuable and quality option for higher education.
“We generally don’t compete with each other,” Greene said. “It’s fertile ground for community colleges to join together and sell themselves collectively as a viable higher education option for people.”