Gogebic Community College is moving its off campus location and expanding the offerings and services. The GCC Board of Trustees recently approved a 10-year lease with UPM Management LLC (Moyle) to occupy 11,668 square feet of the Copper Country Mall in Houghton, MI.
GCC has been occupying space in the Huron Centre on Razorback Drive for several years with two new classrooms that were added in 2009 which increased the square footage to 3,000, to accommodate increased enrollment at that time. Since then, enrollment in the Copper Country has continued to increase and now accounts for 25% of the GCC total headcount and 20% of the college’s total credit count. GCC leased the aforementioned space at the Huron Centre from Michigan Works! and UPM Management LLC (Moyle), and utilized eight classrooms at Hancock and Chassell High Schools for general education classes that were held in the evenings. The current space at the Huron Centre provided a computer lab, a multi-purpose classroom, nursing lab, faculty office and two small offices shared by three off-campus staff.
Feedback from the community, including surveys to current students, indicates that students are interested in more day classes. GCC has been able to provide a limited number of day courses, but has been restricted by space to fulfill these needs.
The college administration along with the Off-Campus Director has reviewed options for instructional space since early 2012 discussing emerging classroom and facility needs. Moyle’s proposal was the leased space in the Copper Country Mall which increases our controlled space and provides three general classrooms, a nursing classroom, computer lab, full service lab for sciences, multi-purpose conference room, student lounge and restrooms along with faculty and staff offices. This dedicated space will allow the college to consolidate instruction by offering courses throughout the day, provide a lounge and study area, and adequate staff offices. The new space will also enhance GCC’s technological capabilities to allow students and staff to communicate through distance learning and/or with the main the campus in Ironwood.
“We believe that a consolidated, well-located, and attractive facility will strengthen our off-campus program and services, supporting further growth in enrollment. This growth in enrollment would support further program development in that region as well as feed enrollment to on-campus programming,” said GCC President Jim Lorenson.
The increased space and ability to now accommodate day courses will strongly enhance the services that GCC can provide to the students and meet the needs of the growing higher education marketplace in the Copper Country area.
“Students and faculty are excited to have one central location for the courses GCC offers in the Copper Country. It is wonderful to have a facility where we can expand our offerings and schedule classes any time throughout the day, not just in the evenings,” said Director of Off Campus Operations, Stacy Crouch. “It is our goal to meet the needs of our current and potential students by providing more scheduling flexibility, so they can earn a degree at GCC or transfer those credits to another educational institution. We will continue to offer a wide range of quality and affordable courses while maintaining our low student to faculty ratio,” said Crouch.
The GCC Copper Country office currently employs three regular staff, a full-time nursing instructor, and approximately 20 adjunct instructors while offering approximately 35 courses each semester in general studies, business, criminal justice, and personal enrichment or job upgrade. GCC also offers programs in Early Childhood Education, Emergency Medical Technician as well as the Licensed Practical Nursing Certificate and the Associate Degree in Nursing in the Copper Country area.
GCC moved into the Copper Country Mall in early January and is open for business at their new location. Classes begin January 14, 2013 for the spring semester classes. Normal office hours are Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm EST. Please contact the office at (906) 483-0070 for more information.