GRCC, Aquinas sign articulation agreement for honors programs





Leah Nixon

Director of Communications

(616) 234-4213


Katy McAvoy

(616) 632-2824

Feb. 19, 2015 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community and Aquinas colleges recently signed an articulation agreement that will give GRCC Honors Program students a seamless transfer to Aquinas' Insignis program.

“GRCC is proud to collaborate with Aquinas in supporting academically talented students,” said President Dr. Steven C. Ender. “Our Honors program students are now assured of a clear path to Aquinas’ program, and Aquinas knows that they’re prepared to excel.”

Established in 2004, GRCC's Honors program provides an enhanced learning environment for high-achieving students through honors courses, opportunities for community engagement and Study Away trips.

Under the new agreement, GRCC students will be able to automatically transfer all credits from GRCC honors courses into Aquinas' highly regarded Insignis Honors program. Insignis students must maintain a 3.5 or higher grade-point average, complete honors work in at least 20 percent of their required coursework, perform 15 hours of community service each semester, and complete a senior project, among other requirements, to earn the credential upon graduation.

"This agreement demonstrates our commitment to providing students with pathways for continued success," said Michael Schavey, director of GRCC’s department of experiential learning. "Honors students will continue their community involvement and passion for learning at Aquinas College. Through this partnership, we are able to bridge our events and activities to ultimately create a seamless transition to Aquinas College."

“Aquinas has always worked with honors students transferring from GRCC, but with this agreement, we are creating a seamless process for students to transfer honors credits from one institution to the other,” said Dr. Jennifer Hess, co-director of the Insignis Program.

“We are very pleased that GRCC thinks highly enough of Aquinas’ Insignis program to recommend it to their students,” said Aquinas Provost Dr. Gilda Gely. “The Insignis notation on a student’s transcript is very appealing to graduate schools and employers. Aquinas Insignis students have a 100 percent acceptance rate to graduate and professional schools.”

Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for 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.

Aquinas is a Catholic liberal arts college founded in 1886 by the Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids. The wooded, 107-acre campus is located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. With over 2,300 students and 60 academic programs, Aquinas College is an inclusive educational community that emphasizes career preparation, leadership, service to others and lifelong learning. Additional information on Aquinas College can be found at