Online / Hybrid Enrollment Explodes at GRCC

Enrollment for recent semesters has seen a mild decline from the historic numbers Grand Rapids Community College has enjoyed in recent years, but the number of students seeking courses online climbed 13 percent in the Summer 2012 semester.

According to college officials, this increase means that online courses account for 30 percent of all courses offered this semester.  It also follows a 67 percent enrollment growth since 2009.

GRCC has been challenged to keep pace with the demand for these alternative delivery methods for courses, and has 40 new courses slated to come online next year.  Training and certifying all of the faculty members that will teach these courses is the task of the Distance Learning and Instructional Technologies Department (DLIT).
GRCC Provost Dr. Gilda Gely explained the appeal of the courses: “The flexibility that online classes present to our students is definitively an advantage when juggling work and family responsibilities.

She cautioned, however, that “online classes are challenging. They require a lot of self-discipline and sophisticated time management skills from the student. “

To ensure this delivery format is a right fit, GRCC’s Distance Learning and Instructional Technologies department recommends every student take an interactive self-assessment and review the resources available at

Dr. Gely added, “There are a wealth of flexible learning opportunities available to students through the convenience of online courses.”

Says Eric Kunnen, Director of Distance Learning and Instructional Technologies:  “It is also important to know that online courses at GRCC are as rigorous as campus based courses with weekly participation and assignment deadlines so it is helpful to stay self-motivate and disciplined to ensure success.”

Gely added, “The institution is proud to have a committed group of faculty members that create online learning environments that parallel the traditional classroom experiences.”

About Grand Rapids Community College

Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for over 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 additional locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.