Grand Rapids Junior College (GRJC) was founded in 1914 by the Grand Rapids Board of Education after a resolution was passed by the University of Michigan’s faculty which encouraged the establishment of junior colleges in Michigan.
Today, GRCC’s eight-block downtown campus, encompassing more than 25 acres in downtown Grand Rapids, includes several classroom buildings, a learning center (including the Diversity Learning Center) and library, Spectrum Theater, the Applied Technology Center (which features a green roof), a remodeled music building, a fieldhouse with natatorium, a student center, Bostwick Commons, and the Calkins Science Center.
The college also offers instruction from a variety of regional centers in the metropolitan Grand Rapids area (including numerous local high schools, regional centers and its two Learning Corners on Wealthy St. and Seward Ave.) and on the West Michigan lakeshore (including West Ottawa High School, Careerline Tech Center, the Midtown Holland Center and Grand Valley State University's Meijer Campus in Holland).
In addition, GRCC has two Michigan Technical Education Centers (M-TECs in West Michigan. The Patrick Thompson M-TEC, part of GRCC's Lakeshore Campus, located in Holland, opened in Fall 2000 in partnership with the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District. The Leslie E. Tassell M-TEC ® in Grand Rapids opened in 2002. This world-class facility offers training in manufacturing, auto service, and building and construction trades.
To increase capacity to meet unprecedented demand, GRCC acquired the former campus of Davenport University on Fulton St. in downtown Grand Rapids and began offering courses at Sneden Hall beginning in the Fall 2009 semester.
In Winter 2010, more than 17,000 students enrolled in more than 1,900 liberal arts and occupational courses. The diverse student body represents students from Kent and surrounding counties as well as students from across the U.S. and 22 other nations. Another 10,000 learners are served by non-credit instructional opportunities. In addition to traditional classroom environments, students may also receive instruction through community and distant service-learning offerings, seminars, workshops, training classes, distance learning options and other educational formats. GRCC employs a faculty of more than 260 full-time and 590 part-time members as well as a staff of 430, all of whom are focused on the College’s priorities to be student-centered, collaborative, and flexible. Throughout its 90-year history of academic excellence, GRCC has maintained a solid reputation as a premier transfer institution and is nationally recognized for both its liberal arts and occupational programs. Many GRCC faculty members have been recognized regionally and nationally for their expertise and innovative teaching styles.