GRCC students to learn strategies for success from national education expert



Leah Nixon

Director of Communications

(616) 234-4213

March 13, 2015 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A national expert in educating at-risk students will talk to Grand Rapids Community College students and the public about how he overcame poverty and street gang culture to achieve his educational and professional dreams.

Paul Hernandez, author of The Pedagogy of Real Talk: Engaging, Teaching, and Connecting with Students At Risk, will share his story and his strategies for overcoming barriers in both college and life at 5 p.m. March 18 in room 108 of GRCC’s Sneden Hall, 415 Fulton St. This talk is free and open to the public. For reservations, call the Woodrick Diversity Learning Center at (616) 234-3390.

Hernandez was himself an at-risk student, growing up in poverty in Los Angeles. He realized that education was his way out and earned an associate degree from Los Angeles City College, a bachelor’s degree in sociology from California State University-Los Angeles and a doctorate in sociology from Michigan State University. Now a national education consultant, he shares his hard-won expertise in connecting with at-risk students.

"Dr. Hernandez is a true educator," said John Cowles, dean of Student Success and Retention. "He understands the struggles our students face and is a motivating force for student success. Paul's story is powerful and appropriate for all of us as we face challenges in our life."

Earlier on March 18, Hernandez will lead a workshop for instructors in GRCC’s College Learning Studies, English-as-a-Second-Language and developmental education courses.

GRCC encourages the entire community to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate a need for an accommodation, or have questions about accessibility, please call the College Success Center at (616) 234-2312 in advance of your visit or program participation.

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.