Launch U

A Tuition-Free, Early College Program

What is Early College? 

Early college is an opportunity for high school students to earn a college degree. By taking a combination of high school and college courses, students earn both a high school diploma and associate degree – cost free. Upon completion of an early college program, students may directly pursue a career or continue with higher education. 

Friends and Family Invite

Come See what this program is all about!

  • See real student project demonstrations
  • Test out your creativity and design skills
  • Meet instructor from Grand Rapids Community College
  • Learn how to earn a FREE associate degree
Plus - Food, swag, prizes and more!

 Register QR Code

How Launch U Works

Launch U starts in a student's 10th grade year. Our students attend high school classes at their regular high school or online for a portion of the day, and attend college courses at Kent ISD during grades 10-12. These college courses are taught by GRCC instructors. During the 13th year, students attend college courses full time on GRCC's campus.

Because college courses can be more demanding than many students expect, we provide the support and guidance they need to prepare for and adjust to the intensity of college coursework.

College and Career Readiness Built In

We help Launch U students be prepared for success, in and out of the classroom. While they learn the academic and technical knowledge to earn their degree, our students also gain the skills and experience they need to be successful professionals.

Our built-in college and career readiness curriculum prepares students with behaviors and skills necessary in any college or professional environment. Plus, tours of businesses, workshops, job shadows and internships allow students to see professionals in action and explore a variety of career options.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to apply to Launch U, students must: 

  • Be a current 9th grade student in a public or charter school in Kent County
  • Have a cumulative 8th grade GPA of 2.5 or higher
  • Have a cumulative 9th grade GPA of 2.5 or higher

Please note:

Most local school districts provide transportation to Kent ISD. If it is not provided by the local district, then students will be responsible for their own transportation to Kent ISD and GRCC.



PowerSchool Portal

School Messenger Set-up

GRCC Support Programs

Blackboard tutorial for students

2021-2022 Student Handbook and Guidelines
It is a privilege to be a part of the Launch U program. All students are expected to follow the
Launch U Handbook, the Grand Rapids Community College policies, as well as your local school
district’s rules and guidelines.

Session Times:
Morning Session: 6:55 am - 8:55 am
Afternoon Session: 11:55 am - 1:55 pm

Kristen Doneth 
Launch U Coordinator

Melissa Ausua
Launch U Academic Coach

Mike Mitchell
Launch U Academic Coach

Stacy Smith  
Launch U Academic Coach                                                   

Cary Stamas
Launch U Dean

2023 February Launch U Newsletter

Launch U's COVID-19 Prevention Strategy Form

Attached above is our COVID-19 Prevention Strategy Form that is required by the Kent County Health Department to be posted to our website. The form details the measures we are taking to reduce the health risks posed by COVID-19 to students, staff and visitors.

Important Dates

Important Dates
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Contact us for more info and to enroll

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A Unique Partnership

Launch U is offered through the partnership of Kent ISD and Grand Rapids Community College. GRCC faculty and Launch U Staff are committed to creating an educational environment where students will grow and succeed.