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Welcome to Noorthoek Academy, a non-profit organization that provides an affordable college experience, offering continuing education in the arts and sciences for adults with learning challenges and other intellectual disabilities in partnership with Grand Rapids Community College.

Noorthoek Academy was founded in 1989 by a group of concerned parents to fill a gap in the community for special education after high school. With the help of a number of special education professionals, a partnership program was formed with Grand Rapids Community College. Today, the Academy is able to offer weekly classes on campus and all of GRCC’s student privileges.

To learn more about Noorthoek Academy we invite you to contact us, signup for e-news, join our on-line community, and add this website to your favorites list. We look forward to learning about you and your interests.

Noorthoek Academy was founded in 1989 to fill a gap in the community for special education after high school.

As a well-established national model, the Academy has been recognized for its excellence by the Joseph P. Kennedy and W.K. Kellogg Foundations.

Noorthoek Academy is a 501(c) (3), nonprofit organization overseen by a board of Trustees. In partnership with Grand Rapids Community College, the Academy is able to offer weekly classes including all GRCC’s student privileges.

The Academy is designed for students who want to expand their knowledge and enrich their lives by learning more about the world around them. We provide many opportunities for self-expression and development of creative talents. We explore the natural sciences, history, literature, drama and current events while learning about other countries and cultures using a dynamic, hands on approach. Being on a college campus and integrating into the mainstream, students have the opportunity to increase their self-confidence and independence while making friends in an atmosphere of mutual respect and encouragement.

We serve Kent and surrounding counties adults, ages 18 and over, who have successfully completed four years of high school. The curriculum is tailored to the needs of the educable mentally impaired student or those with comparable abilities. The successful student is motivated to learn, displays socially acceptable behavior, and is able to read and write (with exceptions for visual impairments).

Our Donors

The students of Noorthoek Academy join us in recognizing and thanking our valued donors at every level. Your interest and generosity have enriched the lives and improved the outcomes of the individuals we serve. (January-December 2018)

A special thank you to Grand Rapids Community College for their generous partnership! They provide the valuable use of classroom space, labs, support services and other resources.

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Get Involved

Every day Noorthoek Academy’s staff and board have the opportunity to witness your gift of life-long learning. Our goal is to empower the community to ensure that all adults with learning challenges and other intellectual disabilities have the opportunity to experience college, integrate into the mainstream, increase self-confidence and independence while making friends in an atmosphere of mutual respect and encouragement.

Unlike many educational organizations, Noorthoek Academy does not receive public funding. The Academy relies entirely on private gifts from individuals, corporations, service clubs, and foundations to cover those costs not offset by tuition.

We are grateful and inspired by your gifts of life-long learning. We cannot do this work without you.

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Do you have a question, comment or concern?
Please contact us at 616-234-4123 or by using the form on our contact page.