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“Opportunities to enhance the student experience”

What exactly are Student Career Learning Experiences?

Student career learning experiences come in various shapes and sizes at GRCC. In an effort to inform faculty of the many opportunities that could be incorporated into their curriculum, this resource page was created. By reading this page, you will visually see the outline for these opportunities. The below career learning opportunities are listed from the least invasive projects and trips to full-blown experience programs!

Start small! Start with a class project.

Any faculty member is encouraged to incorporate real-world projects into their course. If you have an industry contact that is willing to partner with your class to bring a current project to your students please do so! Be sure to complete a Classroom Speaker Request if individuals will be visiting to your class. 

Get your feet wet with a field trip!

Field trips are highly encouraged. This short-term student learning experience is a great way to dive into providing enhanced student learning experiences. If you are taking your class on a field trip, please fill out a Leave of Absence for that day.

Feeling adventurous? Align your learning outcomes with service opportunities!

Service Learning involves a teaching methodology in which faculty purposefully align course learning outcomes, involving a range of learning activities, to meet identified community needs in a meaningful way. Each semester, faculty elect to integrate service learning into their classes. Students gain real-world experience and receive a service learning designation on their transcript.

Why integrate a service learning activity into your curriculum?

  1. Brings greater visibility to the practice of service learning at GRCC and allows us to better document the benefits of this pedagogy to students, the community and faculty
  2. Research shows a positive correlation between student success and service learning
  3. Ensures risk and liability practices are in place
  4. Promotes good service learning practices.

How do I find out more information?

Visit the Department of Experiential Learning website or the Director of Experiential Learning at (616) 234-4180.

Join the West Michigan effort! Create an environment for local collaboration.

GRCC is part of a local consortium called the West Michigan College and University Group. This group’s focus is to encourage entrepreneurial efforts in West Michigan. The annual student business plan competition is designed to create cross collaboration between students that span across several universities from West Michigan. Through the MWest Challenge, entrepreneurially minded students are able to develop and grow new ventures based on their own ideas.

Which colleges are involved in MWest?

MWest involves eight West Michigan colleges and universities, representing 75,000 students from: Grand Valley State University, Kendall College of Art and Design, Davenport University, Aquinas College, Calvin College, Cornerstone University, Grand Rapids Community College, Kuyper College and Hope College.

All disciplines are encouraged to participate. To find out how to get your students involved, visit for the next competition opportunity.

Equip your students with professional, career-related experience!

An internship is a course which is a supervised, professional experience, guided by learning outcomes. Internships build on and enhance previous coursework and allow students an opportunity to make connections in the professional fields they are considering for career paths.  Ideally internships are a culminating experience for the student in his/her chosen career path.  Internships do not have any theory coursework required when the student is taking the course.

Internships are supervised by a faculty member teaching the course.  The expectation is that all faculty will conduct two verified on-site visits per student per course and one evaluative meeting with the supervisor and the student near the end of the course. Exceptions are granted when the internship is conducted out of the Grand Rapids area.

Are you interested in creating an internship course for your program?  Contact the Curriculum Specialist at (616) 234-2278.

Do you want a once-in-a-lifetime experience for your students? Choose Study Away.

Study Away involves a specific credit-bearing course specifically designed and approved around a short-term travel experience which is faculty-led. Study away courses can either be domestic or international, but all must be approved by the Study Away team.  

To find our more information, visit the Study Away webpage or contact the Director of Experiential Learning at (616) 234-4180.