Challenging our Students

We’ve tabulate the results from the ticket out from Fall 2007 Convocation. The following list groups the various "Challenging Students" ideas into trends that Naomi Story & Shelley Rodrigo identified. Please read through and consider responding to this post. Things to consider:

  • Which of these suggestions will you do? when? where? how?
  • Which of these suggestions have you done in the past? How did they play out?
  • What other categories do you see emerging in this list of suggestions?


  • Be the best teacher you’ve ever had!
  • Expand assignments to include open-ended, optional, extra work
  • Expose students to information about different culture of the world
  • Faculty and student services to work together as a team in helping students
  • Faculty to incorporate a S-L component in their coursework to enhance learning
  • Foster students getting to interest with one another: study groups (online too) conversation groups etc.
  • Give them more resources to be successful in class – IE online
  • Have high expectations that are clearly communicated throughout the semester
  • Have them outline their expectations for class operations on first week of class
  • Incorporate critical thinking teaching strategies
  • Incorporate fun classroom games to make sure they come prepared and learn
  • Incorporate service learning into the courses I teach
  • Infuse technology, some faculty are so “old-school”
  • Interact student service learning in the area of elementary and HS tutoring. This will increase MCC outreach
  • Involve students with identifying problems or challenges in their lives and communities and experiences to focus on those issues
  • More service learning and technology incorporated into classroom assignment – makes learning realistic
  • Peer guided cooperative learning
  • Provide activities and challenges specific to student needs
  • Research focus in classroom materials
  • Set high standards in assignments, provide examples and rubrics, provide resources
  • Set the bar high. Providing ladders to help teach, tools to carry
  • Spend one class period every class on Bill Cronnon’s article “Only Connect” discussions why you are in college
  • Studies show that students often choose 4 year universities because of more peer/peer activity – we could look at that
  • Teach students in each of my classes advanced research strategy, specialized are , active learning component
  • Think and bring up new ideas for classes and programs
  • To find real world applications of course work – and have students do something “real”
  • Utilize the internet and its ability to expand the 4 walls of the classroom

Supplemental Activities

  • Ask them to participate on student committees. Become involved in classroom and on activities outside the classroom
  • Create a new frontiers for kids – different topic each week
  • Develop a mentor program institutional wide (at risk students as pilot). Target and retain African-american students
  • Encourage students to register for and take the Amatyc math contest exam
  • Spread word across the campus and state about the value of the honors program

Faculty Development

  • Do more mentoring of new faculty and make our departments a better team
  • Keep up with technology – new advances in classroom teaching
  • To give my best by continuing to learn and keeping up to date in my discipline

Responsibilities for the Administration

  • Create promotion and advertisements headed by institutional advancement
  • Creating the best message that makes an impact on prospective donors
  • Cultivating ties with Indian communities, more staff and space
  • Finding funds to retain and attract students. Full time advisors and recruiters to assist students in appropriate areas – ie: education
  • How to compete against ASU. Make fundraising a responsibility of college presidents
  • Someone needs to challenge ASU. Crowe is creating a redundancy in the education system that is harmful students
  • We need to hire more who work in the “trenches”

Attitude Change

  • Attract students into honors program
  • Balance to be successful – work full time, school full time. Person connections – Starbucks factor
  • Boomers are a good idea, but the 18-22 is still significant
  • Challenge our culture of consumption, challenge our culture of conflict
  • Convincing people that the bad [press does not reflect the college as a whole.
  • End social promotion, grade inflation etc. return academic credibility to MCC – so universities will have no reason to complain about the quality of our graduates
  • For MCC employees to be focused on customer service
  • Show quality, consistency, competency, gain respect
  • Takes a lot of time/power to do this
  • To gain new students and keep them until graduation
  • Collaborations with early childhood programs
  • Connect with one high school student and help them get to MCC
  • Make connections with community
  • Make connections with community businesses (esp. biotech) for internship opportunities for students
  • Reach out to diverse population, age, culture, socio-economics, single parents

Systemic Change

  • Challenge budget, time, and personnel. Offering classes at the right time (schedule)
  • Find your (40-50 yr old) adjunct instructors who are interested in teaching night classes at MCC
  • Give faculty time to innovate – lower load
  • Return on investment. Examine/analyze course and sections to maximize enrollment
  • Time/size of MCC – cant find answers


  • Connections from classroom to college community and beyond
  • Model syllabi on Ivy League syllabi – sell the class as first rate education for bargain price
  • Move beyond single recognition on assignments
  • New course offerings (non-credit) to attract boomers
  • Offering classes that fit students needs
  • Projects in all classes
  • Provide real world projects that require problem solving skill development that challenge them. Take a look at course competencies as well
  • Rigorous, stimulating programs
  • Work on creating cross disciplinary classes that would address multiple student needs

Student Preparation

  • Can students explain their overall plan? Why are they going to school? What do they want to do? Can they explain to other students why they are at MCC?
  • Challenge each student to get resources to overcome
  • I will be more proactive to help students reflect on their own placement
  • Need counselors to support students and dept to retain students and teach academic success skills
  • To learn the system, be able to navigate themselves. To learn about MCC – their college of choice
  • To serve students who are new and need assistance as a first year. Program would help at risk students
  • Training to be better students

Diversity in Learning & Background

  • Find ways to make assignments relevant to real world issues
  • Meet needs of various backgrounds


  • Ask a student to perform in a way they have never imagined
  • Building student interest in personal development
  • By insisting that students engage in critical thinking with respect to their cultural and life experiences, and the importance of their contributions
  • Challenge and support students to set their own goals and steps to reach goals – empower the student – cognitive therapy style
  • Challenge students
  • Academics far outweigh anything negative.
  • Challenge students with goals for their future
  • Challenge them to see how they can excel and be the best they can
  • Each student to do his/her best. Set high expectations
  • Engage the emotional spark in the potential student. Let them know its all about them
  • Expect them to believe they have the abilities to be that person who can make a change that changes the world
  • For my students to stay and increase success early
  • Give reinforcement to student. Encourage them to succeed
  • Help them reach these goals and dreams
  • Hold high expectations, foster a team atmosphere
  • Push them to be their best in every way – as students and as beacons for the community
  • Talk about grad ceremony often. Role model: first attenders


  • Build open students goals so that it pushes them further
  • Keep standards high. Provide an environment to develop each person
  • Maintain academic standards.
  • Maintain quality in the classroom. Jim Mancuso understands quality.
  • Maintain the educational standard required by the profession. Utilize teaching approaches that facilitate critical thinking and hands on experience
  • Make objectives high and clear and then express appreciation
  • Not lessen standards just because this is a “community college.” “Buck stops here” at whatever department student seeks help
  • Set expectations higher than normal. Providing students the resources they need to attain them

Support System

  • Create more support systems that allow students to focus on their studies and programs
  • I need to know the programs for grants and student loans so I can take care of these exceptional people’s needs
  • Make the registrations process easier
  • Need current phone and e-mail to reach students in need
  • Provide prevention services
  • Provide this level of service each and every interaction
  • Significantly enhance academic advisement


  • Find out what our students need as far as library services – ask them, don’t assume we know what they want
  • Get proper facilities for performance
  • Need better student union. Registration-one-stop/online
  • Negative “be quiet” attitude open, “Border” approach of a library that invites spending time learning, reading, researching, gathering for relaxation and discussion
  • Parking! we need multilevel parking garage. Signs on buildings
  • Provide best customer service – on a consistent basics
  • To identify and function as an MCC student on an MCC campus
  • Use our resources more efficiently. The attention to details is so important. Clean bathrooms.

Academic Departments

  • Set department goals and keep functional staff focused on them
  • We need to look for ways to support customer service in all departments especially frontline offices

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