GRCC intervention program receives national award



Leah Nixon

Director of Communications


Feb. 4, 2014 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A national community college organization has recognized Grand Rapids Community College for its efforts to get students back on track after academic probation.

The National Council of Instructional Administrators, a professional organization affiliated with the American Association of Community Colleges, awarded GRCC an honorable mention in its 2103 Exemplary Initiatives competition for its intervention program – one of only two awards given by the council. GRCC and the other award recipient will be recognized during the International Conference on College Teaching and Learning on March 26 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

GRCC determined in fall 2012 that landing on academic probation often was the end of a student’s college aspirations and organized its resources into a comprehensive plan to help this population.

Counselors and advisers at GRCC begin work immediately to help students move past academic probation: reviewing their course choices and communicating with them weekly about resources, opportunities and deadlines. Lynnae Selberg, program director of GRCC's Counseling and Career Center, planned the initiative, working with counselors, advisers, the Student Success Center, Academic Support and others on campus.

“We have seen an increase in the number of students who move from academic probation to good standing — 100 students more than the previous winter semester,” said Casey J. Cornelius, associate dean of Student Success and Retention Services. “We’ve also found that more of these probationary students are making use of campus resources — and they’re seeking help earlier.”

Cornelius emphasized that the effort to help these students involves the entire campus: “All of us know that we have a role to play and can have an impact on these students and their ability to be successful.”

Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for more than 30,000 students annually in degree courses, certification and training programs, workshops and personal enrichment classes. GRCC holds classes on the downtown Grand Rapids campus as well as several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.