The Real Formula for Student Success
Mar 12, 2019
Students are inducted into MTC's chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS). The NSLS is the nation's largest leadership honor society.
Student success is a hallmark of Midlands Technical College and a large focus of MTC’s Strategic Plan. MTC’s experienced faculty and staff ensure student success by creating effective classroom environments and building relationships that make students comfortable and open to learning.
“A critical component for student success is the classroom environment,” said Michelle Eargle, an instructor in MTC’s Human Services program. “It’s important to establish a learning environment where students feel respected and valued as individuals.”
MTC has smaller class sizes compared to most four-year colleges. Many of the college’s instructors have the same credentials as those at four-year colleges, and have earned state, regional, and national recognition for their teaching.
“MTC instructors establish an environment that is open, empathetic and kind, and also consistent and fair,” said Eargle. “This helps students become open to receiving instruction and comfortable reaching out if they need help. Sometimes, students just need to talk. Sometimes they need resources outside the classroom. When students are uncomfortable and struggling, we want to identify that quickly, and they are most likely to come to us for help in a good learning environment.”
Eargle said successful students view the classroom and the college as a community, where students get to know each other and their instructor. They also become familiar with the services and organizations available to them outside the classroom that can help make their journey more successful.
The college’s Student Development Services (SDS) division provides a wide array of opportunities for students to develop personally and professionally. SDS professionals assist students in setting clear, achievable, and personally satisfying goals, and SDS points students in the direction to achieve those goals.
“SDS staff work with students one-on-one and can recommend workshops that help with study skills, time management, cultural diversity awareness, self-esteem building, decision making, and other life skills,” said Kaci Wilhite Greene, MTC’s Director of Student Development Support. “Being a successful student means more than good grades. Student success is also demonstrated through a student's ability to solve problems, reconcile differences, and manage time effectively.”
Other important components of student success are being able to communicate orally and in writing, interact with others, and cooperate on tasks. Greene said a fun way for students to grow is by joining MTC’s student clubs and organizations.
“When students are involved in student organizations or participate in a Federal Work Study program, they become part of an interdependent community,” said Greene. “As a student leader or student assistant working on campus, students develop skills that can be used in any workplace while making valuable contributions to MTC and the community. We really encourage students to get involved with student organizations through the MTC Student Life Office. These give our students so many opportunities to grow.”
By being active in a student organization, students work and develop impactful relationships with a variety of students, faculty, and staff in various programs of study. MTC student leaders provide programming for students on campus and volunteer service for different agencies, schools, and non-profits across the Midlands. Abigail Eiler was a student leader in MTC's chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS). She said her experience with the NSLS really paid off.
“Without the National Society of Leadership and Success, I might not have discovered my leadership potential,” said Eiler. “I chose to take advantage of the tools and opportunities that the NSLS provided me because I wanted to be prepared for my career. The education I received from MTC opened the doors and made new career opportunities possible.”
Participating in clubs and organizations helps MTC students build the leadership and interpersonal skills that today’s employers say they look for when hiring. MTC has earned an excellent reputation among area employers for educating students who can move directly into successful careers.
“The best place for students to succeed is in a friendly and fair learning environment where the instructor can accept students for who they are, where they have been, and what they bring to the classroom,” said Eargle. “That is when learning begins. Pairing an enriching classroom environment with all the support that MTC has available is the real formula for student success.”