Since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Muskegon Community College quickly acted to assist our current and incoming students with regard to their health and safety concerns, their sudden transition to remote learning, their apprehensions about being able to begin and/or continue their MCC education, and their ability to earn their degrees and certificates on time.
“During this COVID-19 pandemic, MCC has never lost focus on student access, success, completion and equity,” said MCC Provost/Executive Vice President John Selmon. “We have and continue to do our best to ensure that our students have a quality educational experience with us whether it is face to face or remotely. This Supporting our Students webpage provides many examples of the level of commitment and support by MCC faculty and staff.”
While ongoing and continually developing, the MCC actions to date include:
- “Active Minds” – The MCC Counseling Department hosted a weekly open zoom meeting entitled “Active Minds” for students during the 2020 summer with a different topic each week.
- Admissions Q & A Events – Our Admissions team answer questions from students periodic Facebook Live Admissions Q&A events that are viewed by thousands.
- CARES ACT Funding – MCC has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars to students through CARES Act student grants.
- Check-In Survey – The MCC Care Team developed a check-in survey for students to alert the Care Team to any needs the students may have, and also to assess the overall need areas of our students to help us improve the Student Success Services.
- College Decision Day – More than 70 students, faculty and staff participated in the College 101 Virtual Event held in March.
- Commencement – When an in-person 2020 Commencement ceremony no longer became a possibility, the Commencement Committee organized a weeklong Virtual Commencement celebration on June 22-26. Each day, a different video honored the MCC Class of 2020 with tributes from staff, students, alumni, community members and state officials while maintaining many elements of the traditional MCC Commencement. The MCC Class of 2020 Student Graduation Drive-Thru, organized by the MCC Faculty Association, took place on campus on June 24.
- COVID-19 Hotline – MCC created a COVID-19 Hotline to assist students during the pandemic.
- COVID-19 Tuition Credit Appeal Process – The Registrar, with assistance from the Dean of Student Services and other departments and divisions, created and implemented a COVID-19 Tuition Credit Appeal process for students whose Winter 2020 semester was negatively impacted by COVID-19.
- Disability Support/Tutoring Mentoring Program – The Tutoring Center increased the Successful Disability Support/Tutoring Mentoring Program to serve all students during the summer.
- How To Become A Jayhawk – Facebook Live – Organized by the Admissions Office, the three-part virtual events attracted nearly 5,000 visitors in June 2020.
- New Student Orientation – Orientation is a key component to students being prepared to start classes. Our Orientation Specialist Sarah Pearson was able to convert orientation to 100% online and has been able to assist hundreds of students.
- Physical Plant – Staff have continued supporting operations, maintenance and repair, and disinfecting, sanitizing and safeguarding our facilities. The focus has been on the continuity of business, maintenance and repair, disinfection, sanitizing and treatment of areas covering almost 700,000 square feet of space before limited summer classes begin.
- Placement Testing Waived for Summer 2020 and Fall 2020 Semesters – Because of the difficulties with online placement testing during COVID-19, the College Success Center, English Department, and Math/Science Department – with support from the Testing Center and Counseling & Advising Office – developed guidance for students to place themselves into classes in those departments.
- Presentations/Training Offered – The Counseling and Advising Center offered presentations on: Self-Esteem & Confidence, Managing Stress and QPR Training (Question-Persuade-Refer): Three easy steps anyone can learn to help prevent suicide.
- Reopening Campus – MCC is carefully planning to full reopening of the entire college in six phases. A cross-functional team of college employees are leading the efforts. Without question, the highest priority is the safety of students, faculty, staff, and visitors. We have been extremely careful and deliberate in our efforts and have consulted with some of the best minds in helping guide our decision-making, such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the State of Michigan – Safe Start Plan, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Muskegon County Public Health Department.
- Student Fees – The Board of Trustees voted not to increase MCC student fees for the 2020-21 academic year.
- Student Services Virtual Events – The MCC Admissions Team quickly transitioned all Senior Visit Days (SVD) to a virtual format after COVID-19 halted in-person campus operations. It was a collective event with Admissions, Testing, and Counseling working together via Zoom and phone appointments.
- Student Technology Survey – The MCC Care Team led a technology survey of students to get a true assessment of their needs during the shift to all-remote learning. In all, 2,119 students responded. There were 18 MCC employees from many departments who made calls to reach students, who had not completed the online survey.
- Student Town Halls – MCC has hosted periodic virtual Student Town Hall meetings, in which College faculty and staff are on hand to answer student-related questions in an open discussion format.
- Virtual FAFSA Fridays – Virtual FAFSA Fridays are held by the Admissions, Financial Aid and the Registrar’s Office,.
- Virtual Career Pathway – MCC hosted a Virtual Career Pathway via Zoom. Created to inform students about the six different pathways that MCC currently offers, the event included representation from faculty in each different pathway and staff who support student success on campus.
- Virtual Drop-in/Appointments offered for Counseling and Advising – Counselors were available to assist students by answering general question, verifying secondary admit requirements (send applications if ready), assisted with scheduling classes, completed training plans for MI Works, assisted with Financial Aid Plans, verified/updated program codes, personal counseling and much more! Extended hours were made available in December.