​​​​​​​Growing partnership expands GRCC’s Cruisin’ to College program, boosting academics and career exploration for high school students

Feb. 21, 2020 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – More students will be able to gain academic skills and explore careers at the Grand Rapids Community College Summer Learning Academy through a growing partnership with the Doug and Maria DeVos Foundation.

The number of students attending Cruisin’ to College and Career Success 2020 will grow to include 100 high school sophomores, primarily attending Grand Rapids, Godfrey-Lee, Kentwood, Kelloggsville, Godwin Heights and Wyoming public schools.

“This is a successful program focused on building a college-going culture,” said GRCC Associate Dean of K-12 Enrollment David Selmon, who oversees the program. “We want students to be inspired and realize the opportunities available to them. They’ll be able to experience college and careers, and become familiar with the resources that can help them reach their goals.”

The program includes career readiness and exploration, including meeting employers from high-demand fields such as advanced manufacturing, healthcare, energy, finance, construction and information technology. Students will get hands-on experiences, learn about the education required to attain rewarding careers, and gain employability skills such as resume writing and interviewing skills.

GRCC’s Student Affairs and Workforce Training departments will work with students to match them with job shadowing experiences in fields aligned with their interests.

The program also looks to create awareness of higher education opportunities, with students visiting Ferris State, Western Michigan, Grand Valley State and Davenport universities as well as GRCC.

Students also will build academic skills, focusing on mathematics. Using GRCC’s Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces program, they will work with professional tutors in traditional college settings to build skills that will help them be successful when they head back to classes in the fall.

“Cruisin’ to College is an outstanding example of GRCC working with partners who are committed to making our entire community stronger through education,” said Dr. Kathryn K. Mullins, GRCC vice president for Advancement and executive director of the Grand Rapids Community College Foundation. “We appreciate the continued support from the Doug and Maria DeVos Foundation for this program, and for our region as a whole.”

Parents and families will be engaged each week during the program through progress reports and updates about field trips to employer sites, college visits, and other program events.

“We are excited to deepen our collaboration with GRCC to provide this outstanding summer opportunity for students in our community,” said Luis Lugo, director of Community Initiatives for the Doug and Maria DeVos Foundation. 

“Cruisin’ to College offers students robust career exploration, rigorous work-based learning, and targeted math instruction.  We believe these are essential elements in helping our young people advance their learning and uncover how their interests can lead to rewarding careers.” 

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


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