Board responds to math petition

The MCCC Board of Trustees responded to student Austin Eby’s math petition at the May 23 meeting.

Eby attended the March 28 and April 25 meetings to build awareness of student opposition to the current math program. The chairman of the board, Joe Bellino, responded to the concerns in a letter which was read aloud at the meeting by board member Jim DeVries.

Board members also approved the proposed millage language and supported the Monroe County Senior Millage Renewal and Increase.

In his response to the math petition, Bellino informed Eby that the board could not interfere with course curriculum.

“As the experts in the field, faculty are responsible for implementing the best curriculum possible to ensure student success,” Bellino wrote in the letter.

Vice President of Instruction Yackee and Dean of Math and Science Vinnie Maltese have presented evidence to the board that the computer-based Emporium Model used by the college is successful. They believe any change to the program will be a hindrance to MCCC’s progress.

“I’d like to point out here that the board has taken this very seriously. This is an issue that has been at the forefront of our minds. We cannot tell them [faculty] what to do, but we can tell them that something needs to be done. So this is the spirit in which I think this letter conveys,” DeVries said.

In an effort to satisfy faculty and students, the board organized meetings with students to gather suggestions to improve education. Yackee met with members of Student Government and Jamie DeLeeuw, Coordinator of Institutional Research, Evaluation, and Assessment, conducted focus groups to reach students of all ages across campus.

In the meetings, students suggested MCCC promote resources such as the Learning Assistance Lab, the Writing Center, and the Math Den. Students also requested more thorough training for adjunct faculty.

Math 090 has more success than Math 092. Students want the college to reevaluate the difference in class size and content between the courses.

Some students felt unprepared in the math class they tested into and questioned the accuracy of the Compass test. MCCC could implement a mandatory orientation for all students to ensure students are ready for college level math.

To help students complete the course, students suggested including dates along with the weeks on the syllabi, separating the Math Den from the math class when they are combined, and issuing students new laptops immediately.

Students also want the college to offer traditional math sections with a grading standard congruent with the current standard. Students believe the addition would increase student satisfaction and allow MCCC to examine the two methods systematically.

“We will be visiting the Henry Ford Community College to examine their model,” Bellino wrote.

Henry Ford Community College combines the Emporium Model with lecture classes. Maltese said it would cost more money to incorporate lecture classes, but they will look into it.

Bellino thanked students for all their suggestions in the letter, and he said he looks forward to working with them to improve education at MCCC.

The board unanimously approved the proposed millage language. The language will be summited to the county Clerk of Monroe County. The general election will be held on November 8, 2016. MCCC’s president, Kojo Quartey, assured the board he is working diligently to have a successful millage this time.

“We have pretty much formed the internal team and we are working on the external,” Quartey said.

Quartey is talking with leaders in the community who will help support the millage, meeting with the local paper, and making a competitive case for the millage in South County where people have been against MCCC’s efforts in the past. He has also attended township meetings and found the supervisors are all in support of the millage.

The board also supported the Monroe County Senior Millage Renewal and Increase Proposal. If the millage is passed, it will be distributed through 17 non-profit agencies that provide service to Monroe County residents 60 years of age and older. The services provide basic needs such as food, shelter, home care, legal services, transportation, counseling, community involvement, and socialization.

The board members encourage Monroe County residents to vote for the renewal at the August 2, 2016 election.