Middlesex Community College Virtual Tour Report

Middlesex Community College Virtual Tour Report
Patricia Hammock
May 12, 2014
!T"###
Pro$essor %rian Polding
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Middlesex Community College Tour Report
&irtual tour t'roug' t'e eyes o$ a retired $ormer (ean o$ )earning and *tudent
(e&elopment at Middlesex Community College in Middleto+n, Connecticut ser&es as t'e $ertile
$oundation o$ t'e $ollo+ing report, Middlesex Community College-s .Middlesex/ $ounding and
purpose are discussed, along +it' a description o$ t'e campus, t'e student population, and t'e
types o$ degrees and certi$ications o$$ered,
T'e cele0rated &eteran educator discusses +'at t'e community college does
exceptionally +ell1 +'ere community colleges, in general, can impro&e ser&ices to students, and
t'e ease o$ t'e admissions, registration and trans$er process at Middlesex, lso explored are t'e
ser&ices a&aila0le to students1 content deli&ery modalities, and t'e community relations'ips
$orged 0y t'e institution,
Middlesex Community College Described
Middlesex is licensed 0y t'e Connecticut %oard o$ Hig'er !ducation and accredited 0y
t'e Commission on 2nstitutions o$ Hig'er !ducation o$ t'e 3e+ !ngland ssociation o$
Colleges and *c'ools, .Middlesex, )icense 4 ccreditation, 2015/, T'e institution +as $ounded
in 1677 as a 0ranc' mem0er o$ t'e Manc'ester Community College, 2n 1678, Middlesex 0egan
independent operations as a part o$ t'e 129mem0er :ni&ersity o$ Connecticut .:Conn/ *tate
Colleges and :ni&ersities community college system, .Middlesex, )icense 4 ccreditation,
2015/,
Middlesex- Vision and Mission;
<2n all it does, Middlesex Community College stri&es to 0e t'e college o$ its
community 0y pro&iding 'ig' =uality, a$$orda0le, and accessi0le education to a
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di&erse population, t'e college en'ances t'e strengt's o$ indi&iduals t'roug'
degree, certi$ication, and li$elong learning programs t'at lead to uni&ersity
trans$er, employment, and an enric'ed a+areness o$ our s'ared responsi0ilities as
glo0al citi>ens?, .Middlesex, College Vision and Mission, 2015/,
T'e institution 'as among its strategic priorities $ostering student success1 increasing
community partners'ips1 gro+ enrollment and optimi>ing t'e curriculum, .Middlesex, 2011/,
@urt'er, Middlesex seeks to secure alternati&e $unding sources1 en'ance de&elopmental
education, and ac'ie&e sustaina0ility, among ot'er goals outlined in its 2011 *trategic Plan
<!n&isioning Aur @uture?,
ccording to its +e0site, Middlesex is located on 5# pictures=ue acres o&erlooking t'e
Connecticut Ri&er, in Middleto+n, Connecticut, T'e t+o9campus College also 'as a do+nto+n
location in Meriden, CT, a0out ten miles $rom t'e main campus, .Middlesex, 2015/, *el$9
descri0ed as t'e <College o$ Aur Community?, Middlesex o$$ers t'e same course o$$erings at
0ot' campuses, ena0ling students to earn <t'eir entire general studies? degrees +'olly at one
location or t'e ot'er, .Middlesex, 2015/,
@rank B, *amuels, P',(,, retired $ormer (ean o$ )earning 4 *tudent (e&elopment,
Middlesex ec'oed t'e sentiments o$ t'e &ideo in descri0ing t'e appearance o$ t'e campus,
<Middlesex is t'e prettiest campus in t'e 129college system, T'ere +ere 0eauti$ul trees and
rolling acreage, T'e main campus 'as a stream $lo+ing 0e'ind it,? .personal communication,
May 8, 2014/,
(r, *amuels, +'o spent 12 years in a leaders'ip role +it' t'e institution, said t'e campus
<+as inexpensi&ely 0uilt, 0arracks9style +it' many temporary 0uildings +'ic' 0ecame
permanent, 0ut are not conduci&e to today-s learning en&ironment?, .personal communication,
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May 8, 2014/, He says, t'oug', t'at in addition its 0eauty, t'e main campus also 'as excellent
signage and is +ell9designed allo+ing $or ease o$ na&igation 0et+een 0uildings and classes, .@,
B, *amuels, personal communication, May 8, 2014/, He +as una+are o$ complaints regarding
t'e campus layout or students 0eing delayed $or classes 0y 0eing lost,
<Middlesex is descri0ed in its +elcome &ideo as, <t'e most densely9populated? o$
sc'ools in t'e :Conn state district, .Middlesex, 2015/, as suc', t'e institution is 0uilding ne+
$acilities, ccording to t'e Middlesex, @ast @acts, .2015/, t'e *c'ool 0oasts an annual operating
0udget o$ C20,7 million dollars and educates 4,400 students t'roug' $or9credit courses annually,
T'e community college o$$ers 2# degree programs in 2# $ields as di&erse as ccounting,
%iotec'nical 4 @orensic *cience, Veterinary Tec'nology, and @ine rts and Brap'ic (esign
.Middlesex, cademics, 2015/, )earners may also earn certi$icates in 21 content areas including
*u0stance 0use !ducation, *o$t+are (e&elopment, !ntrepreneurs'ip or d&ertising *ales and
Promotion, .Middlesex, cademics, 2015/, ccording to (r, *amuels .personal communication,
May 8, 2014/, many enter certi$icate programs 0ecause <adults +ant training to go immediately
into a Do0?,
(r, *amuels conceded t'at trans$erring $rom Middlesex to ot'er institutions 'as not
al+ays 0een seamless, <2t 'as 0ecome progressi&ely easier o&er time, %y dictate o$ t'e go&ernor
and state legislature, t'ere 'as 0een a great pus' to make t'e process easier? .personal
communication, May 8, 2014/, T'e institution 'as de&eloped memoranda o$ understanding
.MA:s/ and articulation agreements +it' sister and ot'er institutions to 0etter ena0le students to
trans$er, .@, B, *amuels, personal communication, May 8, 2014/,
*ince its inception, Middlesex 'as a+arded 8,01E degrees and #E1 certi$icates,
.Middlesex, @ast @acts, 2015/, small $ull9time $aculty .42/ and 1#4 mem0er adDunct $aculty
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mem0ers, augment E2 $ull9time sta$$ and administrators, and 17 part9time sta$$ employed to
pro&ide ser&ices to students 0et+een t'e t+o campuses, .Middlesex, @ast @acts, 2015/,
ccording to Middlesex .2015/, t'e student population is o&er+'elmingly $emale .#6F/,
+it' an a&erage age o$ 27, *ixty9se&en percent recei&e some $orm o$ $inancial aid, T'e cost per
semester $or $ull9time, in9state tuition is C1,655, T'e *c'ool 'as a di&erse student 0ody, +it'
52F o$ t'e students identi$ied as minorities, Middlesex 'as 0een success$ul in outreac',
marketing and recruitment e$$orts +it' t'e make9up o$ its student 0ody exceeding t'e state-s
di&ersity, T'e percentage o$ minorities in t'e state is approximately 20F o$ t'e 5,#7 million
residents, according to 2015 population estimates $rom t'e : * Census %ureau, .2014/,
n open9access institution, 0y design, t'e sc'ool o$$ers en'anced de&elopmental and
remedial studies in order to meet students +'ere t'ey are, (r, *amuels said, <T'e trut' o$ t'e
matter is t'at i$ a student cannot read, 'e +ill not 0e success$ul in $or9credit courses? .personal
communication, May 8, 2014/, Middlesex o$$ered de&elopmental courses to $it t'e needs o$
di&erse, mixed9a0ility students, (r, *amuels said, .personal communication, May 8, 2014/,
Middlesex Community College Admissions and Registration
s an open access institution, (r, *amuels said, learners must meet t'ree criteria in order
to 0e admitted; possess a 'ig' sc'ool education or B!( and t'e a0ility to 0ene$it $rom t'e
education, .personal communication, May 8, 2014/, )earners may complete a 'ard9copy
application $or admission +it' t'e assistance o$ admissions counselors, or apply online,
nominal C20 application $ee is assessed, .Middlesex, dmissions, 2015/,
s an added ser&ice to students, (r, *amuels said $aculty are 'ea&ily9in&ol&ed in t'e
registration process, <@aculty also a&aila0le during registration period on a &olunteer 0asis, 2n
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dedication to t'eir cra$t and to t'e students, (r, *amuels said, <T'ey assist and ad&ise students
during registration, 0ut don-t get paid,? .personal communication, May 8, 2014/,
Available Student Services
2n addition to ad&isement, Middlesex o$$ers a myriad o$ ot'er student support ser&ices,
lt'oug' not an ex'austi&e list, among t'e ser&ices pro&ided to students are; Career
(e&elopment 4 Counseling1 Tutoring1 (isa0ility *er&ices1 Minority $$airs1 Retention *er&ices,
and Veteran-s *er&ices, .Middlesex, *tudent *er&ices, 2015/, Retention *er&ices includes
resources to address concerns outside o$ t'e classroom +'ic' may 0e a$$ecting t'e academics o$
students, T'is unit o$$ers supporti&e ser&ices, re$errals and one9on9one coac'ing in +ork9li$e
0alance, time management, study skills, etc, .Middlesex, *tudent *er&ices, 2015/,
)earners at Middlesex 'a&e se&eral options $or t'e pace at +'ic' t'ey undertake studies,
T'e *c'ool o$$ers sel$9paced mat' and !nglis' courses1 intensi&e mat' $or college readiness1
learning communities and a transitional year program t'at allo+s learners to slo+ly transition
into college +it' a series o$ college9readiness courses, .Middlesex, )earning Aptions, 2015/,
G'en asked +'at student ser&ices Middlesex pro&ided exceptionally +ell, (r, *amuels
did not 'esitate in responding, <d&ising students, Ge o$$er pro$essional de&elopment eac'
semester and release time to allo+ $aculty to ad&ise students?, .personal communication, May 8,
2014/, T'e institution makes ad&ising a priority, prepares $aculty &ia 0i9annual ad&ising training,
and 'olds t'em accounta0le,
<T'ere is a $aculty mem0er +'o ser&es as )ead @aculty d&isor, and is pro&ided
release time to $ul$il t'is role, Ge set aside @aculty d&ising Geek, +'ere $aculty 'a&e
no meetings, !ac' $aculty mem0er is assigned a s'eet o$ ad&isees, !ac' ad&isee must
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come in and t'e $aculty, is like+ise, re=uired to meet +it' t'e student,? .@, B, *amuels,
personal communication, May 8, 2014/,
A$$ering sage insig't on areas in +'ic' community colleges, in general can augment
ser&ices pro&ided to students, (r, *amuels said in some respects, t'e 0est interests o$ students
can 0e contrary to existing institutional structures,
<T'ere s'ould 0e more $ocus on students in need o$ de&elopmental studies, n
indi&idual may 'a&e a 'ig' sc'ool education or general education degree .B!(/,
still many cannot read, T'e traditional de&elopmental approac' is to o$$er t'e
learner a t'ree credit 'our reading course, *tudents cannot learn to read taking a
t'ree credit9'our course?, (r, *amuels said .personal communication, May 8,
2014/,
(r, *amuels, said, <G'at t'ese students need is a great deal o$ time in a +orks'op9type
learning en&ironment to impro&e t'eir reading skills, @or t'e college, t'e =uestion t'en 0ecomes
'o+ to c'arge on a per9credit 0asisH? .personal communication, May 8, 2014/,
2nstead, institutions s'ould, <look at t'e student and t'eir needs rat'er t'an considering
'o+ to $it t'e student into t'e existing 0eurocatic en&ironment?, .@, B, *amuels, personal
communication, May 8, 2014/, (r, *amuels- sentiments ec'o t'ose o$ %oroc', Hope, *mit',
Ba0riner, Mery, Io'nstone 4 sera, .2010/, in lamenting t'e state o$ de&elopmental studies and
additional e$$orts needed in t'is ser&ice area, <Model de&elopmental programs s'ould integrate
learning and personal de&elopment strategies and ser&ices, :nderprepared students 'a&e di&erse
needs, many o$ +'ic' extend 0eyond t'e need to learn 0asic $undamental skills?, .p, 85/,
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Available Delivery Modalities
ccording to Middlesex, .2015/, t'e College touts t'e expansion o$ its online education
program o$$erings, Middlesex 'as experienced at 87F gro+t' rate in t'e num0er o$ students
enrolled in its distance education programs in t'e last six years, T'e College o$$ers eig't .8/
program degrees $ully online, +it' a total o$ 2100 learners 'a&ing matriculated online in 2015,
.Middlesex, 2015/,
(r, *amuels noted t'e &ariety o$ content deli&ery modalities o$$ered at Middlesex, <Ge
experienced a tremendous s'i$t o$ teac'ing t'roug' tec'nology and o$$ered 'y0rid, $ace9to9$ace,
and online learning,? .personal communication, May 8, 2014/,
Community Relations and Partnerships
T'e College engages +it' t'e community t'roug' a &ariety o$ means, most nota0ly
t'roug' its non9pro$it $oundation J T'e Middlesex Community College @oundation, 2nc,
ccording to t'e @oundation-s 2011 nnual Report, t'e entity-s primary purpose is to engage
+it' t'e community and raise $unds to support sc'olars'ips and ot'er student9centered campus
operations, <Remo&ing $inancial o0stacles t'at 0ar student access to education is t'e
@oundation-s dri&ing $orce, *c'olars'ips address not only t'e gro+ing need $or $inancial
assistance, 0ut also t'e perennial +is' to cele0rate ac'ie&ement?, .Middlesex, 2011/,
T'e @irst nnual Red Moon @est, sponsored 0y t'e @oundation in 2012, +as a $undraiser
designed to cele0rate <e&eryt'ing Connecticut?, to include arts, cra$ts, $oods and music, T'e
e&ent raised more t'an C22,000 $or t'e *c'ool in addition to <0ringing t'e community and
College toget'er in a +ay t'at 'ad ne&er occurred 0e$ore,? .Middlesex, n,d,/, T'e 2
nd
nnual
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Red Moon @est, last year raised C27,000, T'e $unds +ill support student sc'olars'ips, special
proDects and a ne+ Media Center .Middlesex, n,d,/,
(r, *amuels said t'e institution also engenders community engagement t'roug' its adult
education programs and outreac' e$$orts, <!&ery program 'ad an ad&isory 0oard comprised o$
0usiness and industry leaders +it' a stake in t'e =uality o$ t'e ser&ices Middlesex pro&ided?,
.personal communication, May 8, 2014/, He continued 0y saying, <!ac' tec'nical program 'ad
an interns'ip attac'ed to it J $urt'er promoting interaction +it' t'e larger community?, .@, B,
*amuels, personal communication, May 8, 2014/, dditionally, (r, *amuels said, t'e institution
conducted outreac' in t'e community eac' semester, recruiting students, letting t'em kno+
Middlesex +elcomed t'em,
My Impression of Middlesex Community College
2n 0eing a$$orded t'e opportunity to &ie+ Middlesex Community College t'roug' t'e
eyes o$ an educator +it' more t'an 40 years- experience, a 129year leaders'ip tenure, and a
palata0le a$$inity $or t'e institution, 2 +as most struck 0y t'e &i0rancy and excitement t'at seems
to per&ade 'is memories, T'e institution-s 0randing1 message1 $eel, .i$ one +ould Dudge 0y t'e
student testimonies +it'in t'e +elcome &ideo/, excitement and passion seem to 0e t'e reality o$
t'e educational experience at Middlesex, G'en asked a0out +'at accomplis'ment during 'is
tenure at Middlesex 'e 'ad t'e most pride, (r, *amuels cited t'e =uality $aculty 0uilt during 'is
tenure, <T'e $aculty 2 assem0led +as an outstanding, $irst9class $aculty, T'ose $aculty c'anged
t'e entire culture o$ t'e institution, and set it upon an entirely ne+ traDectory o$ excellence t'at
t'ey in$used into t'eir teac'ing, &olunteerism, and ad&ising, +it' suc' ent'usiasm and skill, t'e
students pursued excellence, as +ell,? .personal communication, May 8, 2014/,
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lso impressi&e is (r, *amuels- em0race o$ 'y0rid and online education, Ane may t'ink
t'at a &eteran educator 'a&ing risen t'roug' t'e ranks o$ traditional educational models may
dou0t t'e e$$icacy o$ anyt'ing ot'er t'an $ace9to9$ace instruction, 2n t'e case o$ (r, *amuels, one
+ould 0e +rong, <Git' a good instructor and a +ell9designed content management system, t'ere
is not muc' di$$erence in t'e =uality o$ instruction online &ersus $ace9to9$ace, T'e end product is
t'e same,? .personal communication, May 8, 2014/,
Conclusion
&irtual tour t'roug' t'e eyes o$ a $ormer dean $or cademic $$airs at Middlesex
Community College in Middleton, Connecticut ser&ed as t'e 0asis o$ t'e preceding report,
Middlesex Community College $ounding +as discussed, along +it' a description o$ t'e campus,
t'e student population, and t'e types o$ degrees and certi$ications o$$ered, cele0rated &eteran
educator discussed +'at t'e community college does exceptionally +ell1 +'ere community
colleges, in general, can impro&e, and t'e ease o$ t'e admissions, registration and trans$er
process at Middlesex Community College, lso discussed +ere t'e ser&ices a&aila0le to
students1 content deli&ery modalities, and t'e community relations'ips $orged 0y t'e institution,
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References
%oroc', (,, Hope, ),, *mit', %,, Ba0riner, R,, Mery, P,, Io'nstone, R,, 4 sera, R, .2010/,
*tudent success in community colleges; practical guide to de&elopmental
education, *an @rancisco, C; Iossey9%ass,
Middlesex Community College, .2015/, 0out, Retrie&ed $rom 'ttp;""mxcc,edu"community"
Middlesex Community College, .2015/, dmissions, Retrie&ed $rom 'ttp;""mxcc,edu"$uture9
students"
Middlesex Community College, .2015/, cademics, Retrie&ed $rom 'ttp;""mxcc,edu"academics"
Middlesex Community College, .2015/, Anline )earning, Retrie&ed $rom
'ttp;""mxcc,edu"distance"
Middlesex Community College, .2011/, !n&isioning Aur @uture, *trategic Plan 201192017,
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17,pd$
Middlesex Community College @oundation, .2015/, nnual Report 201292015, Retrie&ed $rom
'ttp;""mxcc,edu"+p9content9uploads"2014"02"201292015@oundationnnualReport,pd$
: * (epartment o$ Commerce : * Census %ureau, .2014/, :* Luick @acts, Connecticut,
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