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Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC)
Uncovering a diamond in the ruff became the only comparable metaphor as students visited Minneapolis Community and Technical College. Dispelling the myths of community and technical colleges emphasized that “Anyone can afford college and smaller two year institutions can be stepping stones needed to build character and leverage academic support,” explained a SAAB member. SAAB or the Student African American Brotherhood, is a national organization with over 160 chapters. “ I am my brothers keeper and together we will rise,” was a resounding motto for academic support and cultural identity to empower members of the organization. As MCA Scholars explored the college, what made this visit unique was meeting a student organization whose presence supported social identity, academic excellence (2.5 to be an active member), cultural enrichment, personal development, service learning and financial affairs. SAAS or the Student African American Sisterhood also shared nuggets of truth about the importance of creating academic opportunity vs. an academic gap by joining organizations as first-year college students.
The biggest surprise came at the close of Augsburg’s college tour when one of the Health Sciences professor talked about Augsburg’s Health, Physical Education, and Exercise Science Department. As a program rooted in kinesthetic learning, scholars were exposed to the varies routes of College Coaching, Physical Therapy, and Sports management opportunities one can have as it relates to health sciences. Campus life became real, as Augsburg’s athletic department offered free tickets to its Division III men’s basketball game against University of Wisconsin-Superior. Scholars cheered and defended the almighty Auggies by chorally cheering, “Defense! Defense!” By increasing the look and feel of student activities, scholars were able to normalize student culture and school affinity.
Retention and Success
With statistical data informing college completion and performance, we know that 40% of college students will leave their post-secondary program without a degree (Porter, 1990), with 75% percent of such students leaving college, the data shows attrition happens within their first two years of college (Tinto, 1987). By exposing scholars to Astin’s theory of Involvement, Tinto’s theory of Student Development, and Boyer’s theory of Community Development, through targeted college visit experiences; scholars are developing fundamental advantages needed to complete the MCA mission of “to and through college”. Scholars are learning how to thrive as course rigor increases, glancing at socio-emotional competencies needed to become an adult through student organizations and college experiences, as well as discovering what they did not know on career avenues at an early age. #WhatI'veLearned
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