Kellogg Community College

KCC group to share experiences in Cuba during free Lunch and Learn event April 16

April 9, 2015

Kellogg Community College students, staff and community members who traveled to Cuba as part of the College’s international travel trip to the country in February will share their experiences during a Cuba Lunch and Learn event at the College next week.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held from noon to 1 p.m. in the Kellogg Room in the Student Center on KCC’s campus at 450 North Ave., Battle Creek. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lunch, but samples of Cuban cuisine will be available for tasting.

A group of more than a dozen individuals from KCC and the greater community spent more than a week in Cuba in mid-February as part of the College’s International Studies Program. Kate DeGraaf, manager of Service-Learning at KCC and a member of the group, said Cuba trip participants will talk about their experiences and share observations of the country’s health care and education systems, among other topics.

“KCC’s trip to Cuba offered participants a unique experience that the group would like to share, particularly given the current discussions surrounding the future of U.S.-Cuban relations,” DeGraaf said. “The Cuba Lunch and Learn will give the community a way to share in our unique adventure, and taste some traditional Cuban food, as well.”

KCC offers several educational opportunities for individuals interested in international topics, including instruction in a number of foreign languages, international travel opportunities each year and an associate degree offering in International Studies.

Additionally, since 2012 the College’s Choral Union Touring Choir has performed on international concert tours of both Italy and Ireland; the College will return to the latter for an International Studies trip this summer.

For more information about International Studies or the Cuba Lunch and Learn event, contact KCC’s Social Science and Education office at 269-660-7705.

In the above photo, courtesy of Kate DeGraaf, some of the members of the KCC group that traveled to Cuba pose while relaxing in the country during their trip.

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KCC bookstore seeking used shoes for donation, recycling

Kellogg Community College’s Bruin Bookstore is collecting gently used athletic shoes for donation and worn out athletic shoes to recycle as part of a Sneaker Collection campaign during the month of April.

The bookstore, located on the first floor of the Lane-Thomas Building on KCC’s campus at 450 North Ave., Battle Creek, will accept the shoes through the end of the month during regular business hours, which are 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Fridays.

This is the second consecutive year the bookstore has held the Sneaker Collection, which in 2014 yielded approximately 90 pairs of gently worn shoes for donation and another four or five dozen unusable pairs for recycling.

Annual Spring Sale

The Sneaker Collection initiative corresponds with the store’s annual Spring Sale, during which all KCC clothing and gift items are 20 percent off for the entire month. It’s just one of the major donation drives spearheaded by the bookstore each year, which also include an annual Hoodies for the Homeless campaign. The latter involves the collection of gently worn sweatshirts for those in need each December, and has resulted in the donation of more than 300 items over the course of the stores 2013 and 2014 campaigns.

For more information about the KCC Bruin Bookstore’s Sneaker Collection campaign, the Spring Sale or other KCC bookstore initiatives, contact the bookstore at 269-965-4128. General information about the Bruin Bookstore, including key textbook dates for students, is available online at

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State: KCC charter authorization in good standing

Kellogg Community College is pleased to announce that the Michigan Department of Education has removed the College’s “At-Risk of Suspension” status regarding its charter school authority.

State Superintendent Mike Flanagan of the Michigan Department of Education announced last week that KCC’s oversight and efforts regarding its lone charter school are sufficient and improving.

“I am entrusting that you and your charter school office will continue with the commitment to public transparency and accountability, and academic improvement, to offer high-quality schools for the children and families we all serve,” Flanagan wrote in an email to Dr. Dennis Bona, president of KCC.

Flanagan placed 11 charter authorizers on the at-risk list in August amid concerns about oversight of the state’s charter schools. Seven of the 11 were removed from the list last week.

In recent months, KCC representatives met with the MDE and discussed KCC’s placement on the at-risk list and why the College’s one charter — an alternative high school in Battle Creek that serves students who haven’t succeeded in their home districts — is different from many other charters across the state. During the meetings, state evaluators acknowledged that KCC’s charter, which operates as Calhoun Community High School, doesn’t belong on the Top-to-Bottom academic rankings.

As to the charter agreement itself, conversations with the MDE led to clarification of what needed to be formally restated regarding the agreement’s general terms and conditions as well as KCC’s role in the oversight of CCHS. The KCC Board of Trustees unanimously approved a restated agreement during a meeting Oct. 15.

“We embraced the opportunity to engage with the Michigan Department of Education and we appreciated being removed from the state’s at-risk list, just as we had anticipated,” Dr. Bona said. “As we have demonstrated, our charter agreement is solid, our oversight is ample and we will stay in communication with the state as our charter operation continues.”

In the above photo — shot by photographer Nick Garrison — CCHS graduates celebrate following their commencement ceremony in 2013; Dr. Bona spoke to the graduates during the event.

For more news about Kellogg Community College, view our latest news releases online at

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