Dear Colleagues,

Happy Thanksgiving Week! It’s hard to believe that we are so close to the end of the Fall semester. I hope it has been a very successful semester for you and your students.

The Provost Office has moved to the second floor of the Administration Building on the DeVos Campus. Debbie, Art and I are getting settled in our new space. Please do stop in and visit when you get a chance.

The search process for the new Provost is going very well. The search team identified three finalists who will each be holding an open forum in the first week of December. Each forum is scheduled from 3:15-4:15 p.m. on the following days:

  • Tuesday, December 2 – Dr. Tony Hawkins
  • Thursday, December 4 – Dr. Laurie Chesley
  • Friday, December 5 – Dr. Bill Pink

Please plan to attend if your schedule allows. Feedback on the candidates will be solicited from those who attend. As of today, the location has not been identified – watch your email and/or GRCC Today for that information.

The Campus Climate Study has been completed and the results were presented a couple of weeks ago. I hope you had a chance to attend one of the sessions. If not, the final report and a video of the presentation are available at There are several opportunities for you to share your ideas about strategies to be considered as we move forward. The intent is to draft 2-3 goals that will help GRCC become a more inclusive culture. These discussions will be held on January 22 (9:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.) and on January 26 (11:30 a.m. and 2:00p.m.). Each session will last for 1.5 hours and they are being held in 120 ATC. Please do your best to attend one of these sessions.

I hope you’ve had a chance to be part of the 100 Year Celebration over this semester. The President Carter lecture, the Gala, and the Open Door play were each inspiring events. I feel very proud and grateful to be part of GRCC’s history. Please continue to participate in the 100 ways of giving opportunities. You can find details at

Mark your calendars! On January 8, 2015 we will kick off the Winter semester with our annual Faculty Learning Day. This year’s event embraces GRCC’s 100-year motto of “great past, bright future” by highlighting “TED style” faculty presentations. These presentations will provide approaches to “traditional” teaching issues and innovative, new teaching practices. The event will once again be held at Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, and will include poster sessions and a resource fair, in addition to the presentations. The presentations will feature a mix of technology-focused topics such as classroom flipping and back channeling, and “non-tech” topics such as planning an effective first day and engaging introverted students.  It should be a great day filled with teaching strategies all faculty can use!

Could you use a period of reflection and renewal while exploring new ideas and opportunities that reaffirm your passion for your discipline and contribute to the Mission of the College?  If so, consider applying for a sabbatical. The deadline for applications is March 12, 2015 and additional information, including guidelines, application and rubric can be found at

I continue to be very grateful to each of you for the dedication you have to our students’ learning and success. The items that follow highlight some of the great work that has been accomplished over this semester.

Have a very happy, relaxing Thanksgiving break.



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Fall 2014 Semester Kick-Off

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the new academic year and to our celebration of GRCC’s 100th Anniversary! I am looking forward to us marking this important milestone in many ways through this year, which we began with our formal convocation at Fountain Street Church to open the academic year. I also want to remind you the President and Mrs. Carter will be speaking here on September 22. I encourage you to incorporate this opportunity into your classes and to reserve tickets for you and your students soon. (They are going fast!)

I want to extend special thanks to all of you for our highly successful check-up visit from the HLC last Spring. This summer, we received a very complimentary feedback report from our visitors. This is due in large part to all your skillful work teaching and advising students, as well as developing curriculum and assessing learning. One of the high points of the visit for me was the afternoon in which all the program directors and department heads shared the work they and their faculty members were doing on student learning assessment. It was very impressive! I am ever grateful to be part of our college community which is so completely dedicated to student learning.

The summer has been busy. As a result of all the hiring work that occurred through last year, we have 52 new faculty members this fall. I am grateful to all of you who helped in these many search teams. It has also been a summer of construction and I thank you for your flexibility. The remodeled spaces are beautiful and will convey to our students how much we value them and their academic work. Finally, the work of hiring the Provost began this summer. The committee, led by Jennifer Batten and Nikki Banks, met with the people from the search firm we have engaged, and the process is underway.

This year, we are launching the college’s new strategic plan. The revised ends are Student Success Pathways, Workforce Pathways, and Transfer Pathways. As your Interim Provost, I am responsible to help create the conditions to ensure we meet our mission. Please let me know how I can help you help your students to succeed and do share your ideas, questions and concerns with me. You can do this by phone, email or stopping in to see me. Debbie, Art and I will be in the Data Center for the next month or so prior to moving to the Administration Building at the DeVos Campus. I look forward to working with you this semester. Have a great beginning of the semester.

Patti Trepkowski


Fall 2014 Start-Up Info:

Summer 2014 Academic Standing Results
Good academic standing (GOOD) – 5,093
First time probation (PRB1) – 196
Probation continued (PRBC) – 87
Suspended (SUSP) – 135*
*of those suspended, 25 were enrolled in Fall 2014 classes and removed from them


Here are the results from Summer 2013:
Good academic standing (GOOD) – 5,571
First time probation (PRB1) – 223
Probation continued (PRBC) – 83
Suspended (SUSP) – 108*
*of those suspended, 34 were enrolled in Fall 2013 classes and have been removed from them

Student Success & Retention Workshops

Click on the link directly above to access the Student Success & Retention workshop schedule. These workshops provide students with information regarding academic, career development, and personal development. Please share this information with your students and encourage them to attend.


Faculty Pay Date

Faculty Information Forms (FIFs) must be signed and returned to the appropriate academic associate dean. All required credentials (official college transcripts, degree status information, current certification, licensure, etc…) must be on file in Human Resources in order to ensure your correct pay rate. The first overload pay date is set for Friday, September 26, 2014.


Fall 2014 Tutorial/Computer Lab Schedule

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The Winter 2014 semester has kicked into high gear and many of the programs, services, and resources within academics and student affairs have plenty to offer. Please read and share the information below to help you and your students.


Enrollment Services

On Saturday, February 22, Admissions & Enrollment will host a Spring Open House for prospective students. This is the first time an open house has been coordinated during the winter semester. We typically offer one each fall that attracts between 300-400 students. For this open house we have sent invitations to over 12,000 prospective students that will be graduating from high school this spring. The event will include presentations on admissions, financial aid, and academic advising, and we will offer an exhibition hall that will feature many of our academic programs. We have received a great response from academic departments that will be participating to promote their programs and recruit new students. Contact Admissions at 234-4101 if you would like more information or to participate in the event.


Department of Experiential Learning

The Annual Honors Program Open House is scheduled for Thursday, February 20th from 6:00-8:00pm in Sneden Hall Room 108. The purpose of the Open House is to provide basic information about the program for both incoming freshmen and current GRCC students. Participants will also have the opportunity to meet Honors faculty, Honors students as well as representatives from Counseling and Career Center and Financial Aid. We encourage all faculty to attend and to invite students who they feel may benefit from participating in the Honors Program. Participants must RSVP at this link:


Center for Teaching Excellence

As Winter 2014 rolls on, there is still space available in many of the professional development workshops offered by the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE). In 2013-2014, CTE workshop attendance has already surpassed 700, and CTE and Distance Learning and Instructional Technologies (DLIT) faculty and staff have completed over 100 one-on-one consultations. A wide variety of offerings are available, covering topics such as Classroom Assessment Techniques, Blackboard skills, Universal Design for Learning, and various aspects of the Faculty Evaluation System. The sessions are offered at a variety of times, including evening tracks on both pedagogy and Blackboard. You can see a full calendar of events at and can register for sessions at . If you have questions or need assistance with registration, email the CTE at or call 234-2278.


Social Science: Race, Ethnicity, and Identity Conference

The Social Sciences Department will host their annual Race, Ethnicity, and Identity Conference March 10th through March 20th. This year’s conference will span two weeks and include speakers from GRCC faculty and from the community. The event is being sponsored by GRCC Social Sciences Department, the International Geographical Honor Society, and GRCC.

For a complete listing of events, including dates, times, and locations, please visit


Financial Aid Information

A newly published guide titled ‘Paying for College’ was created by Nan Schichtel with assistance from Paul Doane and can be viewed at The link can be copied into Blackboard or added to department advising pages.


The A (Academic & Student Affairs) Side of Information Technology

Here’s how I.T. is supporting faculty, staff, and students:

GRCC Information Technology on Facebook

  • Like I.T. on Facebook to receive alerts, tip and tricks, upcoming I.T. events, pictures/video and more. Go to

Technology Open House

  • Information Technologies is hosting a Technology open house February 20th from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm in Senden Hall, room 130. You can stop in and talk to the people that help you on the phone with your technology problems, or sit in on one a session about, security, blackboard, multimedia system, computer and accessory discount web site, Fusemail (spam filter) or Application Explorer(self serves software). See the new generation of classroom and staff equipment. DLIT and Open Lab staff will also be available. Door prize every 30 minutes.

Extended Service Hours

  • The “Customer Support Department” is available for extended hours of support. They are staffing the phone Mondays through Fridays twenty-four hours a day and Saturdays and Sundays 2:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

I.T. is on the Move

  • If you come to see I.T. starting the week of February 24th, you may have to look a little harder. The I.T. department is moving out for three weeks due to renovations. The Customer Support Department will be moving across the hall to room 118 and the rest of the department will be in the Laningga House. Please call the helpdesk if you are unsure where someone is, 616-234-HELP(4357).

HelpDesk on Location:

  • If you missed them, I.T. will be back. In an attempt to better service our customers, the I.T. Customer Support Department has started a HelpDesk on Location project. For the next few months, I.T. will have a table on the 4th floor main on Tuesdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to make it more convenient for you to stop and get help with your technology.


Best regards,


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Welcome back! As we enter the second week of the Winter 2014 semester, I am taking this opportunity to provide you with some information and resources to assist you in being successful, in and out of the classroom.

ISIS Restructure

For the past two and a half years, the Instructional Support and Interdisciplinary Studies (ISIS) area has been divided administratively to allow Associate Provost/Dean Patti Trepkowski to focus on curriculum, program review, and student learning outcomes assessment. This was a temporary structure to establish new policies and processes. At this point, I believe that we have established a strong foundation due to all of the faculty member’s work on curriculum development, program review, and assessment.

Therefore, Associate Provost/Dean Patti Trepkowski will resume leadership of the entire ISIS area and Associate Dean Dr. Underhile, will be focusing on research and analysis necessary to support ISIS work, HLC accreditation work, and projects across Academic and Student Affairs.

Academic Outreach Restructure

The purpose of restructuring Academic Outreach is to create a centralized and unified department of the college by moving services that are currently being done by multiple college departments for high school students, GED and Adult Ed, and off-campus operations under the Academic Outreach unit. This reorganization includes the following outreach programs: Lakeshore Campus, Regional Sites, GED, ESL, High School Initiatives, Upward Bound, Early College Experience Sites, On Campus Dual Enrollment, Middle College, and Turning Point Academy.

To that end, Dave Selmon, Director of Adult Education & Academic Outreach, and Rhondo Cooper, Director of Upward Bound, will now report to Dan Clark, Dean of Academic Outreach. It is our belief that this restructuring will provide a more intentional and consistent service model, improve responsiveness and effectiveness, and reduce duplication and confusion.

Disability Support Start Up Information

It is very likely that you will have a student with a disability in your courses this semester. You may have already begun to see Accommodations Agreements from your students indicating the accommodations that they will need to be successful. This Disability Support Accommodations Agreement identifies specific accommodations for the student with a disability. These accommodations are based on the student’s requests and the documentation of disability.

It is the student’s responsibility to provide you with a copy of the Accommodations Agreement and communicate with you specifically about his/her need for accommodation. Please remember that this discussion can be challenging and anxiety provoking for many students. Disability Support encourages you to not ask the student about their specific disability but instead to focus on how to implement the accommodations that they are requesting.

Additionally, Cheryl Kautz, Adjunct/Computer Information Systems, has developed a series of accessibility videos to assist you in creating accessible documents in Word, PDF, and HTML. Check out these videos at: (There are links to these on the far right side of the page under Faculty Video Resources). Please contact Disability Support Services at 616.234.4140 if you have any questions.

Student Success & Retention Workshops

Click on the link directly above to access the Student Success & Retention winter 2014 workshop schedule. These workshops provide students with information regarding academic, career development, and personal development. Please share this information with your students and encourage them to attend.

Fall 2013 Academic Standing Results

Good academic standing (GOOD) – 11,560
First time probation (PRB1) – 1,224
Probation continued (PRBC) – 164
Suspended (SUSP) – 306*
*of those suspended, 72 were enrolled in Winter 2014 classes and have been removed from them

Here are the results from Fall 2012:
Good academic standing (GOOD) – 12,465
First time probation (PRB1) – 1,214
Probation continued (PRBC) – 175
Suspended (SUSP) – 249**
**of those suspended, 62 were enrolled in Winter 2013 classes and were removed from them

Winter 2014 Tutorial/Computer Lab Schedule

Click on the link directly above to access the tutorial and computer lab schedule for winter 2014. You will notice that due to the ATC renovations, the ATC Tutorial and Open Computer Lab has been relocated to Cook Hall, Room 307. However, the CAD Tutorial and Computer Lab will remain in the ATC building. For any additional information please contact the Academic Support Center (ASC) Office at x4145.

NADE General Certification Developmental Math

The National Association for Developmental Education (NADE) has awarded GRCC’s Developmental Mathematics Program General Certification. This certification is valid for seven years, from January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2020. Reviewers commented that it was clear from the application that GRCC is committed to using a continuous improvement approach to incorporate best practices in support of student success. That it is also clear that GRCC has faced a number of changes that will require time to assess adequately and that GRCC is on the right track.


The link directly above will direct you to sabbatical information and forms. All full-time faculty members with at least six years of service are eligible to apply for a sabbatical. Applications for 2014-2015 sabbaticals are due March 13th, 2014.

Faculty Pay Date

Faculty Information Forms (FIFs) must be signed and returned to the appropriate academic associate dean. All required credentials (official college transcripts, degree status information, current certification, licensure, etc…) must be on file in Human Resources in order to ensure your correct pay rate. The first overload pay date is set for Friday, January 31, 2014.

Campus Climate Audit

GRCC has partnered with Rankin & Associates to conduct a GRCC Campus Climate Audit. The purpose of this assessment is to better understand how students, faculty, and staff experience GRCC. The goal is to assure that GRCC fosters an inclusive environment for all members of our community. Rankin & Associates have been conducting focus groups for a couple of months with faculty, staff, and students and based on that feedback they will prepare a comprehensive survey that will go out to our entire College community in early March. I encourage each of you to participate in this survey. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact John Cowles or Eric Williams.

Best Regards,


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Dear Colleagues,

As we continue to strive to keep you informed of important milestones for our community, I am happy to share some tools and good news with all of you.

As part of our re-accreditation process, GRCC will receive a site visit from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) in April of 2014. If you are curious about accreditation I invite you to explore two links. The first one is the HLC website. Secondly, if you want to learn more about accreditation in general, I invite you to explore the toolkit that the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) has developed and that provides information on accreditation. The toolkit covers students, faculty, presidents/chancellors, governing boards, and accrediting organizations.

Most importantly, I remind you that as part of the re-accreditation process, the Commission is receiving comments from constituents regarding our work. The public is invited to submit comments directly to the Commission via regular mail or at the third-party comment page on the Commission’s website.

Recently I was invited to attend a meeting at Western Michigan University (WMU) with colleagues from GRCC and WMU. At that meeting, WMU provided us with the following data:

Students Enrolling from GRCC to WMU

Fall 2009 101
Fall 2010 133
Fall 2011 107
Fall 2012 119
Fall 2013 100

Transfer Students from GRCC Student Success Indicators

WMU All Transfer Students at   WMU with >23 Credits GRCC Students at WMU with   >23 Credits Native WMU Beginners with   >49 and <59 Credits
As of end of Spring 2010   Semester 3.02 3.00 2.88
As of end of Spring 2011   Semester 3.00 2.97 2.91
As of end of Spring 2012   Semester 3.02 3.05 2.93
3 Year Averages 3.01 3.01 2.91

This data reinforces the work that you are doing to help GRCC students be successful in college. Thank you!

Speaking of our faculty and staff, Melanie Schiele Gady and Leah Kicinski have done an excellent job in maintaining the Experiential Learning Blog that features the great work faculty and students are doing.

Once again, please know how much we appreciate your hard work and commitment to our students.

Best regards,


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Dear Colleagues,

Fall is kicking in and we love it! As we approach the middle of the term you might start noticing some students that are struggling in the classes. Please, know that we have an array of support services that you should feel free to refer students to use at any time in order to help them succeed.

Students who need additional support with discipline specific areas (i.e. Biology, Math, Business, Health, English, etc.) can seek the support of our amazing group of Tutors. Refer them to Tutoring Services.

Room 232/Learning Resource Center (Library) 616.234.4145

Students who need help with specific soft skills (i.e. time management, study skills, etc.) may be referred to the wonderful Counseling and Career Center.

Room 327/Student Community Center 616.234.3900

Concerns regarding attendance or behavioral issues? Use our Early Alert system

If you see a student struggling to meet some financial obligations, the Financial Aid Office offers emergency loans. Direct students to the Office of Enrollment Management and Financial Aid

Room 123/Main Building (Office of Enrollment Mgmt. and Financial Aid) 616.234.4101

Students who have disclosed the need to have special arrangements for any disability can use the services of the Disability Support Services.

Room 368/Student Community Center 616.234.4140

Feel free to refer the students directly or call the offices for more detailed orientation.

This is the first Provost Update that is being sent to all employees at the College. Since 2008 faculty and staff from the Academic and Student Affairs area have been receiving regular updates from our office. At the request of our President, Dr. Ender, we will now be sharing this update college wide in an effort to increase and improve communication among all the areas. You will find in this communication summaries of the decisions and discussions at Deans Council, Academic Governing Council and the Strategic Leadership Team…among other topics.

We are also testing a new format and we look forward to hearing how you like it! We continue to look for ways to improve this communication and will gladly receive your recommendations.

Thanks for taking the time to read this communication and thanks for your continued support to our students. Feel free to contact me with questions or contributions to share in future updates.

Best regards,


Provost/Executive Vice President for Academic & Student Affairs

In this issue (please click on the menu tabs above to view these items):

  • AGC Updates
  • Deans’ Council Updates
  • SLT Update
  • 2012-2013 ASA Milestones
  • 2012-2013 EOL Reports
  • Faculty & Staff Showcase
  • Upcoming Events


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