Higher Learning Commission lunches with students

Students describe their experiences at MCCC to the Higher Learning Commission.

A representative of the Higher Learning Commission met with MCCC students for lunch Oct. 19, to get an idea of what it’s like to attend the college. 
Students from Student Government, the International Studies and Respiratory Therapy clubs were present.
The Higher Learning Commission is the group that grants accreditation to colleges. A six-member team from the HLC visited MCCC Oct. 19-20 to review the college’s accreditation. Team members me with faculty, staff and administrators during the visit, and had lunch Monday with students. 
Students were asked to talk about their experiences with things that have gone well or been a challenge for them, as well as how easy the process of enrolling for necessary courses is.
A few students said that it had been difficult understanding what courses to take, yet it was generally agreed that once a student decided on a major, there were academic advisors available to help guide them to the right courses. 
Student Government officer Molly Siedlecki noted that the college catalog is available all around the campus, with information on all of the degrees that are offered at MCCC, as well as the prerequisites required for courses. 
“I never meet with a counselor. I just looked at what I was interested in and what I needed to keep going and went about it that way,” said Respiratory Therapy student and club member Amanda Vesty. 
“Sometimes the adjunct professors were more of a challenge for me,” Vesty said.
She said that she had a really good experience taking courses required for her program with the full-time faculty, but that adjuncts didn’t offer a similar experience.
“Maybe the class was more difficult or it was kind of unclear what they expected of us,” she said. 
International Studies Club member Steve Moore described enrolling as pretty simple, citing the WebPal website’s registration form that shows which classes are necessary for a particular major. Alternatively, if the major is not listed on WebPal or if students prefer, they can meet with a counselor and go over an outline of what courses are needed and schedule them right then, he said.
“Actually, I have never seen a counselor,” said Cole McNew. “But Student Government gave us pretty good relationships with the president and vice presidents of the college.” 
Student Government President Jessica Ryder said she has heard many stories of students struggling with the math program. When they go up to their professors asking for help, they simply send them back to continue to work on MyMathLab to watch the video again, she said.
She said the trigonometry class is she must take for her degree is online.
“I don’t want to learn a higher up math online, I want a professor to explain it to me,” she said. 
The hours these courses are offered do not lend themselves to flexible schedules like many other courses, she added. 
“I remember having to schedule everything else around it if I was going to take it,” she said.
“I can’t imagine taking a math class online. That seems really difficult,” Vesty said.
“That makes me so scared for the two math classes I have to take now,” Moore said. “I cannot do online classes.” 
“I just don’t learn well with them. It just doesn’t fit my learning type,” he explained.
 “Half the time MathLab doesn’t work, either. Something is always down on it,” he said, receiving agreement from most in the room.
McNew said the math redesign was implemented slowly, starting with basic courses.
“There was a professor actually teaching the course and then your homework was all on MathLab,” he said. “And then it slowly went into them teaching the 159 level, the crazy courses, all online now.”