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. In the '50s and '60s, language in the constitution and legislative acts further clarified the role of community colleges in Michigan. This, along with current needs of the community served, provides the College with direction and purpose.

The College was first located in Grand Rapids Central High School. Eight faculty members taught rhetoric and composition, mathematics, history, biology, physics, Latin, and German. The first graduating class numbered 49 students. By 1945, enrollment had grown to 1,200 students, who represented 53 Michigan communities, five states, a territory, and one foreign nation. During the '50s, the College's enrollment doubled. Under the 1966 Community College Act, the state of Michigan included postsecondary vocational-technical education in the definition of the community college program. As a result, GRCC now offers more than 45 occupational programs.

In 1991, Kent County taxpayers voted to redistrict GRJC, which became Grand Rapids Community College. For the first time GRCC had its own Board of Trustees and its boundaries were extended beyond the Grand Rapids Public School District to include the 20 districts within the Kent Intermediate School District. By 1996, the College was serving more than 25,000 full- and part-time students.

Today, GRCC's eight-block downtown campus includes several classroom buildings, a learning center and library, Spectrum Theater, the Applied Technology Center, a remodeled music building, a fieldhouse with natatorium, a student center (including the new Diversity Learning Center), Bostwick Commons, and the state-of-the-art Calkins Science Center. An off-campus "Learning Corner" has been added to serve the East Hills and Eastown neighborhoods as well as the greater Grand Rapids Community. Another such "Learning Corner" is on the way in the West side of Grand Rapids.

GRCC employs a faculty of more than 250 full-time and 650 part-time members as well as a staff of 650, all of whom are focused on the College's priorities to be student-centered, collaborative, and flexible. Throughout its 95-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.
Academic Service Learning

The Academic Service Learning Center (ASLC) is committed to the principles of experiential learning.

Through the work of the ASLC, students are provided with unique experiential learning opportunities, instructors with alternative teaching methods and community partners with needed resources and services. The center strives to understand and advocate for the needs of each stakeholder simultaneously to make a meaningful difference in the lives of all! Read More >>
Community Services

In addition to affordable, excellent education, Grand Rapids Community College provides a wealth of opportunities for the community that it serves. From the Heritage Restaurant to performing arts to services like our laboratory Preschool; we are the community's college. This section of the site is designed to put the Grand Rapids community in touch with the wealth of programs and services that GRCC provides for them (many of which are free of charge). Read More >>
GRCC Foundation

It is the mission of the GRCC Foundation to secure and manage financial gifts to support and promote student, employee and community learning, enabling the College to fulfill its mission and vision. Read More >>


The Diversity Lecture Series is intended to give insight and understanding of multicultural issues to the West Michigan Community. The series is designed to introduce an essential component of education in helping audiences consider perspectives other than their own, encouraging civil debate, broadening the basis for critical thought and promoting cultural understanding. The Lecture Series is intended to recognize the trailblazers in the civil rights movements and those who challenge mainstream assumptions. We offer our community an opportunity to enhance mutual understanding and to build mutually beneficial relationships for the improvement or individuals and our campus and sociality as a whole. The series provides a forum for faculty, staff and students to deepen their knowledge and awareness of issues and opportunities for change in our global society. Read More >>

Innovation and Sustainability

Innovation at GRCC focuses on integrating the principles and tools of innovation within our organizational culture and throughout our curriculum in order to bring new value to our students, faculty, staff and greater community. We approach innovation as both a process for bringing new ideas forward into action, as well as a human skill set that can be taught and learned. Read More >>

Distance Learning & Instructional Technologies

The mission of Distance Learning & Instructional Technologies is to provide administrative leadership, strategic direction, coordination, training, and support for the College's instructional technologies, classroom multimedia, distance learning, enterprise course management system (Blackboard) and emerging academic technologies. This work includes both faculty and student applications, academic solutions, and their use of technologies in teaching and learning. Read More >>

When you become a faculty member, sfaff member, or adminstrator at Grand Rapids Community College you will teach and lead diverse students who are seeking interesting and unique career paths. Some of our students are featured in the video above discussing their dreams, aspirations, and career goals. Click the video above to learn more about our students and to find out why Grand Rapids Community College is a great place to work.