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Program gives GRPS high school graduates both diploma and associate's degree



A program that allows Grand Rapids Public School students the opportunity to graduate with both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree from Grand Rapids Community College is getting an extension.

Along with Grand Rapids Public Schools Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal, Grand Rapids Community College President Bill Pink signed memorandums of understanding Monday that extend agreements for the Grand Rapids Learning Center program.

“It’s important to myself, it’s important to Superintendent Neal that we stop right here and help this community understand that the district of Grand Rapids Public Schools, and the Community College in Grand Rapids are both committed to the education of our students here in Grand Rapids,” Pink said.  

The program gives students in selected Grand Rapids Public Schools the option to attend high school for a fifth year, earning an Associate’s Degree from the Grand Rapids Community College along the way free of charge.

Superintendent Weatherall-Neal says the program provides an in invaluable opportunity for students who otherwise may not be able to afford a higher education.

“It is not just about college and it is not just about an associate’s degree. It’s about planting hope. Just an amazing partnership.”

So far, around 50 students have signed up for the program.