The retention of students and their educational success remains the primary goal at Muskegon Community College, where programs and initiatives throughout the year are designed to help MCC students to commit, continue and complete their respective academic degree or certificate paths.
“Our focus here is teaching and learning at the college,” said John Selmon, MCC vice president for student services and administration. “Our goal is student success – completing what they start here at the college. Student success occurs when a student achieves his or her academic goals.”
“College completion is an issue across the nation. The President of the United States says it’s critical to our country remaining competitive in the world.”
“At MCC, the Achieving the Dream (AtD) initiative is just one component of our student success agenda. Our ultimate goal is to enhance the student experience, to make sure each student has an academic plan when he or she comes here and to create a pathway to success for each one from the beginning to the end of their time on campus.”
MCC is focused on five high-impact best practices. Here’s a description of each:
- New Student Orientation gives students the information they need to make their transition into college life stress-free. Topics include financial aid, registration, safety, parking and navigating the campus, Blackboard, and college policies.
- Academic Goal Setting and Planning provides students with a road map to meet their personal, educational, and career goals. Friendly and professional MCC counselors help students to identify what they want from their college education and to choose classes that will help them achieve their goals.
- College Success Seminar (CSS100A) equips students with the skills they need to succeed in today’s competitive college environment and reinforces behaviors that promote academic and personal success. Topics include effective note taking, productive study skills, reading and remembering, critical thinking, library skills, basic computer skills, free career and job resource skills, and stress management.
- Students find that the skills they learn in Developmental Math, Reading, and/or Writing prepare them to succeed in rigorous college-level courses.
- MCC offers free online, small group, walk-in, and one-on-one peer Tutoring to help students learn and meet the high expectations of their courses. Tutoring is highly recommended for students who expect to be challenged by a particular course and is required of students in certain courses (Math 040).
Here are some recent MCC accomplishments through its Achieving the Dream initiative:
New Student Orientation – Between fall 2010 and winter 2014, participation in New Student Orientation increased by over 34%. Over that time the fall-to-winter persistence rate jumped from 77% to 82% for NSO participants, compared to a decrease of 73% to 72% for students who did not attend.
College Success Seminar – Between 2010 and 2013 the average first-term GPA of students who completed CSS 100 increased from 2.74 to 3.09.
Developmental Education – The Fast-Track accelerated math program was introduced in 2011. Since that time, students who place in the lowest level of developmental math and enroll in the Fast-Track option are more than twice as likely to pass a college-level math course as those who take the non-accelerated path. The Fast Track English program was introduced in 2014. Students who place into English 091 may accelerate into English 101 and scaffold their success in that college-level course by taking a section of English 091 taught by the same instructor. Traditionally, only 18% of students who place into English 091 ever pass English 101, but 65% of Fast Track English students pass 101 in the same semester as 091.
To learn more, contact Sally Birkam, Dean of Student Success, at (231) 777-0216.