Noorthoek Academy was founded in 1989 to fill a gap in the community for special education after high school. “When our daughter, Katy, was graduating in 1989 from what was then Kent Occupational High School, she wanted very much to 'go to college.' After looking into what was available in the community, we quickly found that there were no viable options. With the help of a number of special educational professionals, including the late Joe Noorthoek, we created a partnership program with Grand Rapids Community College to address these needs,” says co-founder, Elizabeth Crouch.
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.