October 11, 2019 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Grand Rapids Community College is offering Saturday classes this winter to make college more accessible, especially for learners trying to work around jobs and home responsibilities.
Starting with the winter 2020 semester, the college will offer classes on Saturdays, including algebra, English, and sociology. Classes are offered in Grand Rapids, with some sections also available at the Lakeshore Campus.
GRCC leaders said enrollment for the fall 2019 semester dipped slightly, but they know there are people in Kent and Ottawa counties who can take advantage of Saturday classes to advance in their jobs or gain skills for new careers in evolving fields. GRCC’s fall enrollment for credit-seeking students is 13,326, down 3.6 percent from fall 2018, according to draft enrollment data. There have been increases in non-credit career programs, with the college serving about 25,812 students overall.
“Our mission is to serve the people of West Michigan, and we are finding more ways to connect with them,” GRCC Provost Brian Knetl said.
“The expanded offerings on Saturdays are great opportunities for current students, new students, or people who were working toward a degree and were interrupted. The traditional schedule often is not an option for students who are working around jobs and family obligations. Many of them can benefit from these expanded offerings.”
The Saturday classes complement current offerings that provide flexibility to students, including online classes and hybrid classes that allow students to work online in addition to classroom sessions. The college also is exploring an expansion of the current seven-week class schedule in some areas.
The efforts are intended to help people continue or start an education that can help them advance in careers and improve – in some cases, transform – their lives. There were about 280,000 adults in Kent and Ottawa counties who have not attended college or have not completed a degree or certificate, according to 2017 statistics from the federal government’s American Communities Survey.
The changes come as state leaders call for increasing the number of Michiganders with college degrees or certificates, and adding programs to help reduce costs of attending for residents age 25 and older.
"GRCC offers high quality programs with excellent faculty and we want more people in West Michigan to access that quality," Knetl said. “A flexible schedule helps make us more accessible.”
People interested in enrolling in Saturday classes or any other GRCC classes can contact the Admissions and Enrollment Center at (616) 234-3300 or online at grcc.edu/enroll.
Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for more than 100 years. Established in 1914, the college offers degree courses, certification and training programs, and workshops and personal enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, and at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties, as well as through distance learning.