An Open Letter from MCC President Stacy Young, Ph.D.
Like many of you, I am struggling right now to make sure my children stay busy, active, and engaged during this time.
My daughter, Allison, will be a senior in high school next year. She is working fewer hours at her job, her sports and extracurricular programs are canceled, and she can no longer hang out with friends.
My son, Max, is 14, active in sports all year, but is now finding that he has a lot of free time too. In fact, our main summer activity – attending travel baseball games – may not happen at all this summer. I thought about summer jobs or camps for them, but many of the things they might have done before are no longer options. In other words, they both have a lot of free time.
I have also been talking with a lot of high school seniors. What a strange time for them. They have been robbed of the most exciting time of their high school career including senior awards, prom, and now graduation. Further, their fall plans may not be realistic. As parents, we may not feel comfortable letting our kids go “away” to college – or our kids may not be comfortable going “away” – the potential health risks maybe too great.
We are also facing different financial challenges, including job loss, or a significant decrease in our investment accounts, which may be impacting college savings. Furthermore, some universities have already announced they will be offering courses online for fall. Does it make sense to pay for a “university experience” when our kids cannot be on campus?
I encourage students and parents to consider using Montcalm Community College – your local community college – to help fill the education gap during this time. At MCC, we are taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of our students, instructors and staff. We are enhancing our online offerings; equipping many classrooms with additional technology that will allow students to attend from another location through the Internet; putting extra cleaning measures in place to provide a safe learning environment; and providing for social distancing.
One of the concerns we often hear is whether credits will transfer to a university. The short answer is that most do, and we have advisors and counselors to assist our students in making these decisions. Many people do not know that community colleges, in conjunction with Michigan colleges and universities, have created a transfer network. The network, available at www.mitransfer.org, allows a student to plug in a course from a community college to see how it will transfer to a university.
This summer, I plan to have Allison take a class or two to get credits toward her associate degree. She plans to complete her associate degree at MCC and then transfer to Ferris State University. This will save our family thousands of dollars and we will have the peace of mind of knowing that she is here with us as this pandemic continues to evolve.
We have packages for middle school students, too. Although Max will only be a freshman in high school, he can take an MCC class this summer. It may be a noncredit course focused on career exploration, but if he does well, we can decide at the end of the class to use it for college credits.
Like many of you, I want my children to stay active and engaged this summer. With fewer summer jobs, activities, and sporting events, our kids have a lot of time on their hands.
Why not use this summer and fall to encourage your children to take classes at Montcalm Community College, stay close to home and get a jumpstart on their education, all while saving a lot of money?
I share this with you because I believe many do not know the value and opportunities available to our students. Sometimes I feel like MCC, in conjunction with the Michigan Transfer Network, is a well-kept secret, and I want to share it with all of you!
Stacy H. Young, PhD
Mom and Montcalm Community College President