Photo of Grand Concourse
Glen Oaks’ grand concourse is featured in national design magazine

The newly renovated grand concourse at Glen Oaks Community Colleges has been selected as a 2020 winner in the annual Education Design Showcase. The project is being featured in the November/December 2020 issue of Spaces4Learning magazine.

“We are excited about our concourse being selected as a 2020 Honorable Mention winner,” said Dr. David Devier, Glen Oaks president. “The concourse is our ‘student union,’  where students gather for dining and many other activities. We were able to transform the 50-year-old 1960’s brutalist architecture into an inviting, contemporary student and community gathering space.”

Arkos Design, of Mishawaka, Ind., was the architect and Frederick Construction, of Vicksburg, Mich., was the general contractor. The project was completed in April, 2019.

“For those who haven’t seen it, the bare concrete walls have been replaced with anodized aluminum, and plaster walls,” said Devier. “Sound-absorbing wave panels cover the central high bay ceiling with accent lighting and the grand staircase incorporates authentic plaster veneer and new wooden handrails.”

Glen Oaks was one of 13 design projects featured among both higher ed and K-12 projects. The 2020 Higher Education Grand Prize was awarded to the James Lehr Kennedy Engineering Building at Ohio Northern University. Florida Ruffin Ridley School of Brookline Public Schools in Massachusetts received the 2020 K-12 Grand Prize.

Education Design Showcase was established in 1999 to share innovative and practical solutions in planning, design, and construction. The goal of the program is to share ideas that help achieve the best possible learning environments and to recognize the firms that have made these ideas a reality.

Aerial photo of campus
Glen Oaks plans for safe winter term by moving more courses online

In a proactive move to better safeguard the campus from Covid-19 for the Winter 2021 semester, Glen Oaks Community College is moving a larger percentage of its in-seat classes to either online or hybrid formats. The college’s Coronavirus Task Force recently made this decision in consideration of the recent community spread of COVID-19 in St. Joseph County.

“There is potential for an increase in positive cases and additional mandates over the holidays,” said Dr. David Devier, “and the decision was made to help keep the safety and health of our students and employees in the forefront.”

In a recent survey, although the ideal method of course delivery is face-to-face, students shared that they would prefer not to have the format changed in the middle of the semester as has was the case last winter and fall.

“We remain hopeful that the vaccine rollout will bring the virus under control; however, it is hard to predict how quickly the community spread will decline, or whether additional flare-ups will cause more closures,” said Devier.

Many of the Winter 2021 courses previously listed as hybrid or face-to-face have moved to synchronous (taught during the previously scheduled time via Zoom) or asynchronous (completely online). Some courses requiring lab components—certain sciences, automotive, agriculture, welding, nursing, and allied health, etc., will meet on campus to complete the portions of the classes that cannot be completed online.

Students are being notified of the changes this week as plans continue to be finalized.

Winter 2021 classes begin on Monday, January 11. New students wanting to enroll in winter classes should do so as soon as possible by visiting and clicking on the Apply Now button. Most services are continuing virtually. If questions, students can contact the Admissions Office at (269) 294-4253 or


Glen Oaks campus entrance
Glen Oaks receives recommitment from state for $7.3 million capital outlay project

Glen Oaks Community College received word in early December from the state budget office that it is recommitting and recommending approval of capital outlay requests for several Michigan colleges including the $7.3 million Glen Oaks project. The state is providing $3.5 million of the project in addition to $1.5 million they provided earlier for capital improvements resulting in a $2.9 million college portion. These funds will come from college reserves and donations from supporters.

“The original state approval was vetoed earlier this year due to the COVID-19 crisis,” said Dr. David Devier, Glen Oaks president. “All capital outlay projects were put on hold in March. Only the projects which were halted in process are moving forward at this time.”

“This has been a long three-year journey,” said Devier. “We have continued to work on plans over the summer; but this is the real green light we need to proceed.”

The Glen Oaks capital outlay plan calls for the total renovation of the north side of campus including the library, technical labs, art studio, business classrooms, restrooms, and replacement of the bowed exterior walls.

“The plans address maintenance, technology, safety and infrastructure upgrades to our 51-year old campus,” said Devier. “The project will increase the value of college with our students and the community. We hope to begin construction in early summer.”

Glen Oaks is one of five universities and community colleges to share in $80 million in capital outlay funding. Others include Ferris State University, Northern Michigan University, Oakland University, and McComb Community College.

Glen Oaks provides more than 800 county high school students college-level instruction, with tuition that is supported by the local schools which results in an invaluable cost-saving opportunity for families.

Aerial photo of campus
Glen Oaks moves to mostly online classes; student services are now virtual

With a rise in the number of Covid-19 cases within St. Joseph County and on campus, Glen Oaks Community College will convert an even greater number of classes to online formats through the remainder of the fall semester.

“We are taking these added measures to help mitigate the spread of the virus and for the safety of the campus community,” said Dr. David Devier, Glen Oaks president. “We will go to minimal staffing beginning next Monday, November 16. Our Student Services employees will serve our students remotely.”

With few exceptions, the campus will only be open for students in face-to-face classes that require hands-on training such as some of the medical, automotive, welding, and electrical classes. All   career and technical education (CTE) classes that are held on campus will remain face-to-face and all on-campus classes will continue to run with COVID-19 safety protocols in place.

“We are sending most of the students in-housing home through the end of the semester,” said Devier. “A limited number of students enrolled in the hands-on lab classes will remain.”

“We had a great start to the semester with many protocols in place including a mask requirement, greater sanitization and we rearranged and created new classroom spaces to accommodate social distancing,” said Devier. “It was a good ten-week run; however, challenges were presented to us in the 11th week, and we knew we had to move forward with the transition to online. Our faculty knew the likelihood of this happening and have been working in advance to ensure backup plans are in place to help smooth the transition. The college is working out details with faculty for test proctoring where necessary.”

As of the end of October, there had been a total of two students and staff who tested positive for COVID-19. To date, since the start of the semester, the college has had a total of 13 students who have tested positive and another 37 students who have been or are currently in quarantine due to close contact.

The Learning Commons, including the Library and Tutoring and Testing Center will remain open with reduced hours as follows:

Monday:          10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Tuesday:         12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Wednesday     12 p.m.  to 8 p.m.

Thursday         10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Friday: Closed

Student Services employees are working remotely and will advise and address student needs virtually. Prospective students can apply online at, and an admissions representative will be in contact regarding next steps.

Larry Wingfield
Larry Wingfield – GOCC 2020 Distinguished Alumni Recipient

Music scholarship led to dreams and aspirations in an aerospace career

It was a Glen Oaks music scholarship that became the determining factor for Loran “Larry” Wingfield to pursue his dreams and aspirations. Those dreams, lots of hard work, and an intensely high energy level ultimately led him to a 33+ year career working for the U.S. Department of Defense Missile Defense Agency.

Born in Sturgis, and raised in a number of Southwest Michigan towns, as the family moved around quite a bit, Larry attended junior high in Burr Oak, and high school in Centreville, graduating in 1981.

He chose to accept that music scholarship, play his trombone and baritone in the orchestra, sing in the choir, and play forward on the Viking basketball team — as it was all a better financial package than the University of Michigan could offer.

His quest? “I was 7-years old when NASA landed on the moon and my mom said ever since then I was intrigued by the whole space program — wanting to be an astronaut. Unfortunately, when I graduated from high school, I was too tall to fit astronaut requirements — so I ended up starting down the academic path for aerospace engineering to pursue a space related career.”

“The late Donald VanZuilen, professor of math and science, probably influenced me the most academically,” said Larry, who enrolled in three semesters of calculus and two of his physics classes. “One of the most memorable things he had us do was an experiment to show how gravity effects all things the same, and a few of us set up an experiment in the auditorium where we launched a wood skee-ball from a large crossbow at a stuffed monkey we dropped from the ceiling at the exact time we shot the ball by use of an electro-magnet.  We hit it three straight times! Dr. VZ was exceptional at demonstrating the theory in simple to understand ways.

Wayne Moss was my other science teacher and actually I took his chemistry class during my senior year in high school since I had completed all of Centreville’s available science classes by my junior year.  I took the class with my sister, Lorena, who was a year ahead of me and specifically I remember how challenging his final exam lab experiments were.

Basketball required a lot of training time, and Larry recalls training with Tom Soper, who also taught English, and Ken Schuler the basketball coach. Keeping on top of coursework, attending classes, workouts, practices, and game schedules was a challenge especially with working part-time jobs.  “I had my commercial driver’s license, so I actually ended up driving the bus for the basketball team – and while the rest of the team could do homework on the bus ride — I  obviously couldn’t as I was driving the team all over Michigan and Indiana for games.”

And he certainly could have used that time to tend to his studies as his course load was demanding. “Every semester, I had to get special approval from the dean of academics to take the amount of credit hours I was taking,” said Larry. The least amount of credit hours he took was 19 — and it was usually 20 or 21 – all this in addition to driving a garbage route for his dad’s business, working at Centreville High School in the evenings, and de-tasseling corn in the summer.

But the best memory of his time at Glen Oaks? “I met my wife, Alise Ritzer,” said Larry, “we were in the choir and orchestra together, and we spent a lot of time hanging out on the concourse.  We got married in 1983.”

Graduating with honors from Glen Oaks in 1983 with an Associate of Science, Larry transferred to Tri-State University (now Trine), with a half academic scholarship, to study aerospace engineering. While there, he also worked second shift at Angola Die-cast, an aluminum die-cast company. He admits not sleeping a lot during his college years.

But it was the engineering co-op program that connected Larry with Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, where he started in 1986.  With his Bachelors of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering and this job experience, it led the way to a full-time job upon graduation in 1988. “I was a civilian air force engineer at Wright Patterson for a little over six years where I worked on a number of missile programs. While there I also took classes at the Air Force Institute of Technology,” added Larry.

One of his favorite accomplishments? – Larry was part of the team that worked on the National Aerospace Plane X-30 – a joint effort by NASA and the Department of Defense. The project explored aerospace vehicles for hypersonic cruise and access to space.

“I particularly enjoyed working on the X-30 early on in my career – that’s what really got me interested in the hypersonic work,” said Larry. “It was all about pushing the state of the art in the hypersonic technology.”

His second job was at Arnold Air Force Base in Tullahoma, Tennessee, where he managed the Hypersonic Branch of the Space and Missile Test Division, primarily doing missile defense related work.

“At the time, President Ronald Reagan had started the Strategic Defense Initiative,” said Larry. “That set off a number of missile defense programs. I was really attracted to working “defensive” programs as opposed to “offensive” programs—so rather than focusing on mutually assured destruction – my focus now became one of defending our Allies and Homeland by intercepting foreign country missile threats.

After seven years in Tennessee, the next stop for Larry was the Pentagon. “It started out that this was going to be a missile defense project assignment for a year,” said Larry, “but I ended up accepting a full-time job there as division chief for the Test Resources Ground Test Division. I never thought I would want to work and live in the DC area – the daily commute was three to four hours – that was the hardest part of the job.”

He spent nine years at the Pentagon including multiple assignments in test work, deployment of US and allied missile defense capabilities and other classified work. Although still working in missile defense – Larry and his wife moved to Huntsville, Alabama in 2008 when his division relocated there. During this time, Larry’s work took him overseas — working on a number of sites in the Middle East, Turkey, Romania, Poland and Japan and a couple of sites back in the US.

Prior to retirement, Larry was the director for program management and integration for the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense program, providing oversight of projects, cost estimates and budgets, and contracts. His leadership and guidance helped to ensure ballistic missile defense systems were ready and on plan.

Larry retired from the Missile Defense Agency in 2019, and received the Pinnacle Award for Excellence – the highest award that the agency awards its employees. “I received a number of awards for leading projects throughout my career, but this was the most significant and it was for work done on a recent test flight and other homeland defense activities.”

But retirement for Larry didn’t last long – today he works full-time for Gray Analytics, a technical consulting firm in Huntsville, where he provides consultation and technical support for missile defense.

Larry’s advice for today’s students:  “Don’t give up – just follow your dreams — it took me seven years to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. If it wouldn’t have been for the music scholarship, it would have been hard for me to get through the first two years of school at Glen Oaks.  That helped me get a half scholarship at Tri-State — and the engineering co-op job helped me pay for the rest of my education – which led to reaching my aerospace dreams.”

Bill Lederman
Lederman receives E. J. Shaheen Faculty Excellence Teaching award

Bill Lederman, professor of nursing at Glen Oaks Community College, is the 2020 recipient of the E. J. Shaheen Teaching Excellence award. Although usually presented at the college’s spring commencement, which is postponed until spring 2021, the college is honoring Lederman at this time.

The award was initiated in 1984 with a generous donation from Shaheen, one of the college’s original board members, a college professor, lawyer and business owner, who placed a high value on education.

Lederman’s students say he “makes learning interesting—and his love for teaching is quite evident. Teaching comes naturally for him and he is said to have a way of making difficult topics easier to comprehend.”

Nursing students say he “pushes them to strive to do the best they can while helping them become more confident in the nursing role.”

Lederman has been teaching at Glen Oaks for over 34 years. His peers and students alike say he exhibits a high level of professionalism in his work and an inspiring sense of compassion for helping others. This is the second time he has received this prestigious award.

Growing up in Mendon, Michigan, Lederman attended Colon High School in the early 70’s. His dream was to become a math teacher. During this time there was a glut of teachers, and his sister, who was a librarian, asked if he had ever thought about going into the healthcare field?

“My response was no,” said Lederman. “But I did recall that on a recent career assessment test, the results indicated that the healthcare field would be a good option for me. My sister also pointed out that there was a college right in my backyard—so I applied to Glen Oaks and was accepted and graduated as an LPN in 1975.”

“I really enjoyed the course work at GOCC and it wasn’t until later in my career that I realized what a truly amazing education I had received.”

And, from that point on he continued his education – receiving another degree every four years.

Lederman’s first job as an LPN was at Sturgis Hospital where he worked the day shift on the medical floor. He soon saw the potential of education and gained confidence that he too could become a registered nurse.

Feeling it necessary to give back to community, and as an option to the draft, Lederman served a year of voluntary service as a nurse in a program affiliated with Mennonite Voluntary Service.

“I received room and board and a $15 a month stipend,” said Lederman. “It was in the true spirit of volunteerism.”

While there, he met Janell, also a volunteer in the program who was from upstate New York. She is now his wife. “Janell had already finished her bachelor’s degree – that alone may have inspired me to further my education – to be at as smart as her,” Lederman joked.

He also got to know the nursing faculty there pretty well. “I remember telling Peggy, a phenomenal nursing instructor, that I wanted to come back and have her as a teacher after the program was over.

And he did just that – He came back home, got married and together, he and Janell went back to New Mexico and he obtained his Associate Degree in Nursing in 1979.

The Ledermans then moved back to Sturgis and Bill went back to work at Sturgis Hospital as a registered nurse in the emergency room and critical care units.

While there, he decided to continue his education. He enrolled at Indiana-Purdue University in Fort Wayne with a pretty crazy routine — classes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and work at the hospital full-time Thursdays through Mondays. This was his routine for 2 ½ years until he received his Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1983.

“It wasn’t the most convenient way to get it done, and I usually discourage my students from doing it this way,” said Lederman, “but sometimes that’s the option that works out the best.”

Upon receiving his bachelor’s degree, he received a call from Thurston Woods Village asking if he would consider coming to work for them as the director of nursing.

“I enjoyed the leadership role at Thurston Woods and was able to make a number of positive changes for the organization. Current nursing students that work there, tell me those changes are still in place.”

Although he enjoyed the nursing home work, Lederman received a call from one of his former Glen Oaks nursing professors and director of nursing, June Delong, in the spring of 1986. “Of course, we knew each other, and perhaps she was following me in my career. She asked if I would be interested in teaching at Glen Oaks – and I was pretty much hired on the spot.”

“I started that summer and was soon teaching five classes: Nursing Role Transitions, Leadership, Ethics, Obstetrics and Pediatrics classes,” said Lederman. “In fact, I taught OB and PEDS for 18 years, which was rather unusual for a male teaching these courses.”

“There were no computers then – in fact I had never been on a computer, and the closest thing to a computer was my manual typewriter,” said Lederman. “When Apple came on board with computers, we used them in the labs, but the programs were very simplistic. We had one phone, no PowerPoint presentations, and we used a chalkboard. There were no video players – we still were using an overhead projector.”

There was a stipulation with the Glen Oaks job.  Lederman now needed to obtain his master’s degree – so, he enrolled at Western Michigan University in the Educational Leadership program, where he received his Master’s in Education in 1987. Ultimately, he went on to receive his Master’s in Nursing from Goshen College in 1991 and became a certified nurse leader.

Lederman still teaches Math for Nursing today – so his dream of becoming a math teacher had really been fulfilled.

What advice does Lederman have for today’s students? “I tell them to hold true to honesty, compassion and kindness – it’s not about working because you have to – it’s about the caring and compassion for our clients.”

“Listen to your patients!” said Lederman, “We were taught that the clients were always right, and they are not always right – but they are always our clients – and that means treating them with respect. I tell my students to try to see things from a patient’s viewpoint in order to serve them best.”

“In my ethics class, I talk about value,” he said. “I personally believe if you are willing to put time, energy and money to achieve something, that is what you value. So I ask my students where they spend their time, their energy and their money? This prompts them to really think about value.”

Lederman once asked his students what it is that he valued. “And, instantly a student piped up and said ‘EDUCATION’,” said Lederman. “That made it for me – as they recognized my passion for education.”

When he’s not teaching, Lederman enjoys reading and you’ll often find him in the yard working on his landscaping projects. He also enjoys singing with the praise team at his church.


All 6 award recipients
Glen Oaks announces 2020 award recipients

Glen Oaks Community College is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2020 Glen Oaks Special Recognition awards. These awards are typically announced during the spring commencement ceremony which was postponed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We originally rescheduled graduation to December, but as a continued concern for the safety of our students, employees and the community, we have made the decision to include the 2020 graduates as part of the May, 2021 commencement ceremony,” said Dr. David Devier, Glen Oaks president.

However, at this time, the college wishes to announce several individuals who are being recognized this year. They are:

  • J. Shaheen Chair for Teaching Excellence – Bill Lederman
  • Distinguished Alumni Award – Loran “Larry” Wingfield
  • Outstanding Service Award – Larry Diekman
  • Part-Time Faculty Teaching Excellence Award – Marlene Livingston
  • Athletic Hall of Fame Award – C. B. Gordon, Jr., Joel Mishle

Background on award/recipientsJ. Shaheen Chair for Teaching Excellence – Bill Lederman

The E. J. Shaheen Chair for Teaching and Excellence Award was initiated in 1984 with a generous donation from E. J. Shaheen, one of the original Glen Oaks Board members. Shaheen, a college professor, lawyer and business owner, placed a high value on education and spent much of his later life promoting high quality education and education institutions, including Glen Oaks. This year’s recipient is Bill Lederman.

Bill Lederman, professor of nursing, has a strong passion for education. He is said to work hard to make sure that his students not only understand the content, but he instills in them the importance of thinking about and understanding their values. Lederman received his LPN training at Glen Oaks and went on to receive his associate degree in nursing from New Mexico State University, his bachelor’s in nursing from Indiana-Purdue University in Fort Wayne, Ind., a master’s in educational leadership from Western Michigan University and a master’s in nursing from Goshen College. He has taught at Glen Oaks since 1986 where he teaches Nursing Role Transitions, Leadership, Ethics, Obstetrics and Pediatrics classes, and Math for Nursing. Bill and his wife, Janell, who retired from the nursing faculty at the college, reside in Sturgis. When he’s not teaching, Lederman enjoys reading and you’ll often find him in the yard working on his landscaping projects.


Outstanding Service Award – Larry Diekman

This award recognizes employees of Glen Oaks for outstanding performance and contributions to the college. This year’s award goes to Larry Diekman.

Larry Diekman, director of buildings and grounds and public safety director, has been with the college since 2014 starting as a maintenance assistant and becoming director in 2017. Diekman is said to be easygoing, gets the job done, and when it comes to helping others—he has a heart of gold. He has a positive attitude and is respected by everyone. Diekman attended classes on campus in the late seventies and did training at the Michigan State Police Academy, Lansing Community College and Ingham County Sheriff Department Academy. He enjoys outdoor activities, and in particular hunting, fishing and sports.


Distinguished Alumni Award – Loran “Larry” Wingfield

This award recognizes alumni who have distinguished themselves through professional excellence and personal service. This year’s award goes to Loran Wingfield.


Loran “Larry” Wingfield, is a 1983 honors graduate of Glen Oaks with an Associate of Science degree. He began his post-secondary education with a music scholarship at Glen Oaks. He continued to follow his dreams and aspirations toward an aerospace career. He received his bachelor’s in engineering from Tri-State University (now Trine), and participated in an engineering co-op program at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, where upon graduation he landed his first full-time job. He later worked at Arnold Air Force Base in Tullahoma, Tenn., for seven years, before accepting a position at the Pentagon. He moved to the Washington D.C. area where he worked in the Missile Defense Agency for the Pentagon for nine years with multiple assignments in test work, deployment of US and allied missile defense capabilities and other classified work. He took a division relocation to Huntsville, Ala., in 2008, and retired from the MDA in 2019.


Part-Time Faculty Teaching Excellence Award – Marlene Livingston
This award recognizes employees of Glen Oaks for outstanding performance and contributions to the college. The award is presented annually to a part-time faculty member or adjunct who demonstrates excellence in teaching and who reflects the value of education to students. This year’s award goes to Marlene Livingston.


Marlene Livingston, allied health instructor, has taught at the college since 2004. She says the most exciting part about teaching is seeing the pride as her students learn new skills and progress to the point of being able to carry out hands-on training by themselves. She is said to always be flexible and willing to be able to do what is needed to make sure students are successful in their studies. Born and raised in Grand Rapids, Livingston studied practical nursing at Grand Rapids Junior College. She received her associate in nursing from Grace College in Winona Lake, Ind. She resides with her husband in Portage and together they enjoy the outdoors—biking, walking and nature.


Athletic Hall of Fame AwardsC. B. Gordon, Jr., Joel Mishler

The Athletic Hall of Fame Award recognizes members of the Glen Oaks community for outstanding achievement as an athlete, coach, team, administrator/staff, or contributor to sports. These individuals have brought distinction to themselves and the college through their achievement, commitment, sportsmanship and leadership in athletics. This year there are two recipients: C.B. Gordon, Jr., and Joel Mishler.


C.B. Gordon, Jr., is said to have stood out as a “marvel” on the basketball court, hence given the name “Genghis Khan” by fans and news reporters. He attended Glen Oaks from 1968-70 after graduation from Muskegon Heights Public Schools and was the first Viking in any sport to receive NJCAA All-American recognition. He turned down an offer to play basketball with the Dallas Chaparrals and instead went to play football in the Philadelphia Eagles National Football League. Gordon became a minister and led several ministries across the US. His talk “Big Man with a Big Message” was said to be soul-stirring. Gordon, who passed away in 2018, was active in many community organizations, but his passion is said to have been working with and mentoring inner-city youth.


Joel Mishler was the Viking baseball coach from 1992 to 2002. His winning teams advanced to regional competitions for nine consecutive years; however, it was in the spring of 2000 when the team won the regionals and the Vikings took third place nationally in National Junior College Athletic Association Division II. Mishler worked as an entrepreneur as he owned and operated a restaurant, bakery, and bed and breakfast business for 21 years. Today, he teaches business at Northwood High School in Nappanee, Ind., as part of Wa-Nee Community Schools. In addition, he is an associate scout for the Florida Marlins, and a partner in the Indiana Chargers Baseball Academy in Goshen, Indiana.


David H. Devier - Glen Oaks President
Glen Oaks Community College’s COVID-19 Response

by Dr. David H. Devier
Glen Oaks President

Like all organizations, Glen Oaks has been navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the eight months since Michigan went into shutdown, through the summer and into the fall, the college has managed the situation successfully.

Beginning on March 17, the college closed the campus and moved most instruction online. This was a herculean effort by the faculty who rose to the occasion. Among the significant impacts resulting from the first-ever situation was the canceling of commencement and nursing and allied health pinnings, award presentations, and sending all housing students home.

As summer began, the campus was still almost completely abandoned with only the physical plant staff and essential workers in residence. Administration and staff were working from home making plans for the potential opening of the campus for fall. Many student services had been handled online including advising and registration in preparation for classes. Academics worked with faculty to determine courses that could be moved online as needed and developed hybrid courses which combine in-seat and online modalities to reduce daily on campus student numbers.

As fall semester grew near, most staff returned to campus in preparation for school opening. Student housing was full reserved and significant effort was expended to ensure that these students would be safe. Late summer saw campus deep cleaning, reallocation of large campus spaces converted to serve larger classes with social distancing, and significant safety precautions implemented.

On opening day; August 31, everything was in place to begin safely. Hundreds of masks were distributed, every classroom and gathering space was equipped with cleaning materials, employee and student daily health screening was initiated, and COVID quarantining protocols were in place.

Once classes resumed, it became apparent that everyone was taking the situation seriously. Students wore their masks and limited close gatherings. Faculty and staff set the example by following all Health Department guided procedures and serving the students well.

At this point ten-weeks into the fall semester, the challenge is mounting. In recent days, as the COVID numbers have increased in St. Joseph County, the efforts have increased to continue to control it on campus. With four0weeks remaining in the semester; the plan is to move as many current campus-based classes as possible to online.  The exceptions include the technical courses and the nursing and allied health offerings for their laboratory components. Even if it is determined to move to all online classes for the remainder of the semester, the experiences from the spring have prepared all for this possibility. No matter what, GOCC students, faculty and staff have responded admirably to this once in a century challenge. In the final evaluation, students have been served well and added value to their lives.

Dollar bills
Application open for 2021-22 Presidential and Dean’s Scholarships at Glen Oaks Community College

Glen Oaks Community College is now accepting applications for the Presidential and Dean Scholarships for the 2021-2022 academic year.

To be eligible for these scholarships students must be a 2021 graduate from a public or private high school in St. Joseph County or a public high school within the Glen Oaks service area (Cass County residents attending Three Rivers, Constantine or White Pigeon High Schools; students attending high schools in Branch County in Michigan; and students attending high schools in LaGrange, Elkhart, Steuben and St. Joseph Counties of Indiana).

For the Presidential Scholarship students must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 to be eligible for up to $4,000 per year. For the Dean’s Scholarship, worth up to $2,000 per year, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0.  Students must meet the minimum GPA requirement after the first semester of their senior year.  Both scholarships may be renewable for a second year.

“A Glen Oaks Presidential Scholarship will be awarded to one student from each of the eight high schools in St. Joseph County, one scholarship for a student attending a private high school in St. Joseph County, and two additional scholarships will be awarded to students residing in the Glen Oaks Service Area,” said Jean Zimmerman, director of financial aid. “For the Dean’s Scholarship, we will award two students from each high school in the county, two students attending a private high school in St. Joseph County, plus two scholarships for students residing in the Glen Oaks service area.”

To access the scholarship descriptions and application please go to: and select Scholarships. The scholarship descriptions and the link to the application are listed under Currently Active Scholarships.

To be considered for these awards, all application materials must be received in the Glen Oaks Financial Aid Office by 4 p.m. on March 1, 2021.

Contact the GOCC Financial Aid office with questions by calling (269) 294-4260 or email  Office hours are 8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday, Thursday and Friday and 8:15 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.


Glen Oaks Foundation logo
Glen Oaks Community College Foundation is now accepting scholarship applications for 2021-22 academic year

The Glen Oaks Community College Foundation is accepting scholarship applications from new and returning Glen Oaks students for the 2021-22 academic year.

Through efforts of the Foundation, endowed scholarships and charitable cash gifts provide many students with financial assistance to pursue their education helping to change their lives in a positive way.

The Glen Oaks Community College Foundation reported that for the 2020-21 academic year, 66 students received over $64,400 in scholarships.

A link to the GOCC Foundation Scholarship application is on the Glen Oaks website at: Scholarship applications with all required materials must be submitted by 4 p.m., March 1, 2021.

To browse descriptions of the available scholarships, visit the Glen Oaks Community College Foundation Scholarship link at:  Persons wishing to learn more about establishing a scholarship fund or contributing to an existing fund, should contact Vonda Marrow, executive director, Glen Oaks Community College Foundation, by calling (269) 294-4384, or email

Contact the GOCC Financial Aid Office with questions about financial assistance by calling (269) 294-4260. Office hours are 8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday, Thursday and Friday, and 8:15 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.