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Learn from the Best: Nursing Faculty member Fred Comer’s dream? To help his student’s reach theirs.

May 27, 2022, GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- After 10 years of teaching Grand Rapids Community College nursing students as an adjunct faculty member, Fred Comer, MSN RN reached his goal of teaching as a full-time faculty member at GRCC.

Comer values the unique population of students who come to a community college.

“I appreciate the variety of students, and the various walks of life they come from, when starting their life journey at GRCC,” he said. “They are students of different ages, backgrounds, and life experiences. You could have in your class students who are first-time college students, adults that are returning to finish school after life halted their educational journey, and students that are starting a new career path.”

Comer’s students see his commitment to their success as he teaches them. His classes might not be easy, but he is making sure his students graduate with skills to land them a job in a demanding field.

“Professor Comer is caring, willing to help, and has a very calm demeanor,” shared one of his students. “He creates a comfortable atmosphere and will answer any question you have. He is a great listener and really wants you to succeed.”

Being accessible to students in and out of the classroom is key to Comer’s support of their success.

In this virtual world it is important to be accessible to students,” he said.“I flex my availability, and am willing to meet with students outside of my scheduled office hours. This has meant answering a few more emails over the weekend or staying after class an extra 30 minutes to an hour to allow students to ask questions or practice a skill.”

Comer switched careers in his 30s, from biology to nursing, and wishes he would have made the decision sooner.

“This would have given me many more years to serve as a nurse and nursing professor instead of entering a great profession in my mid 30s,” he said. After earning a bachelor’s degree in Biology, Comer earned a bachelor’s degree, and then master’s degree, in nursing.

Look for Comer this fall, teaching Introduction to Practical Nursing Concepts, Health Illness Concepts for the Practical Nurse I, Health Illness Concepts for the Practical Nurse II, Application of Basic Nursing Skills, Health Illness Concepts II, Health Illness Concepts III.

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