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GRCC offering fall semester classes in four formats, providing opportunities to learn in safe, flexible environment

July 7, 2020 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Rapids Community College will offer Fall 2020 classes in four formats -- including some delivered on campus -- allowing students to learn in a flexible and safe environment.

Fall semester classes begin on Aug. 31 and include some on-campus experiences.

GRCC has set in place a comprehensive plan to keep students and employees safe as the region continues to recover from the COVID-19 crisis.

“We are ready to provide our community with robust classes delivered in a safe, responsible manner,” President Bill Pink said. “West Michigan has always turned to this college during difficult times, and we are proud of that role. We are offering a mix of online and on-campus classes and taking proper precautions. This will be a different type of semester, and we might need to continue making changes. But we will not sacrifice quality or safety.”

Class formats are:

  • Online classes are entirely online with no set meeting times, and are ideal for people who work well independently or who need a flexible schedule.
  • Hybrid classes have students working mostly online, with limited meetings on campus.
  • Virtual classes meet online at specific times using programs such as Zoom, allowing students to interact with faculty and classmates in real time.
  • On-campus classes meet on campus at specific times, with proper social distancing and safety protocols.

It is possible that hybrid and on-campus classes could shift to remote or online instruction at any time in the event of another pandemic-related shutdown. GRCC leaders continue to work closely with state and Kent County health authorities to be on top of the latest developments.

GRCC has waived online fees for courses offered through distance learning during the 2020-2021 academic year, part of an effort to keep college as affordable as possible during challenging times. The move will save students $16 per contact hour, or about $50 for a three-credit class. Students would still be responsible for tuition and other universal fees.

The number of online and hybrid classes make attending more convenient for students who need to balance their education with home and work responsibilities.

“Our faculty members are dedicated, innovative and focused on providing students the quality educational experiences they expect from GRCC,” Provost Brian Knetl said. “Students can stay close to home while gaining new skills to advance in their career or earn credits to transfer to a four-year partner.”

Knetl said while some fully on-campus classes are available, there are fewer offered than in a typical semester to accommodate social distancing protocols and to maintain a safe campus capacity in classrooms, hallways, and other areas.

The campus also will continue providing students with strong support services, including academic advising, counseling and tutoring.

GRCC’s COVID Response Team developed a series of protocols and physical changes to campus to keep students, faculty and staff safe as they return:

  • Students and employees must complete an online health screening before arriving and will be required to wear face coverings in all public spaces.
  • Classrooms will be limited in size and arranged to promote social distancing. Other public areas will have reminders to maintain safe distances and promote proper hygiene. Clear acrylic panels will be in place in food service areas and other service areas.
  • More than 500 hand sanitizing stations have been installed in classrooms and corridors. Cleaning materials will be readily available. Campus will undergo frequent deep cleanings.

Additional information about GRCC’s safety efforts is available at

Grand Rapids Community College offers learners of all ages opportunities to gain credits for degrees or transfer and in-demand career skills leading to rewarding careers. GRCC was established in 1914 – Michigan’s first community college -- and offers affordable classes on weekdays, evenings, Saturdays and online at locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.

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