Innovation Projects in the Works
Coordinators: Jonathan Langston and David Reeves (Innovation Council Member)
With MCC’s vision of pursuing innovation this past year, an opportunity was given to their employees to answer the call, meaning to find a need that can be addressed and take action. The I Am Here app is a collective need district-wide for better navigation assistance to classes, events, and meetings for students, the outside community, and employees. The outcome requirements included a product that is accessible and readily available for all to use. Offering an electronic campus navigation system to the targeted audience solved that requirement. The working title that arose was I Am Here; signifying the importance of individuals arriving at their desired destination in a stress-free and convenient manner. The idea was one of three pitches at MCC’s 2018 District In-Service receiving positive feedback and the green light to pursue this endeavor.
I Am Here has tons of potential and MCC is researching cost-effectiveness, a user-friendly UX design, and development. At this time, student focus groups are scheduled, online meetings with YouVisit (a globally-known virtual tour developer) and other app developers are offering ideas on the potential of campus navigation systems. Also, internal app development is being evaluated. Initially, I Am Here is hoping to get a successful trial run where individuals arrive at their destinations in the most accessible manner possible. However, it is essential to keep in mind that I Am Here needs to be inclusive; considering individuals who speak languages other than English as their primary language, ADA compliance (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990) for individuals needing additional assistance and for individuals who have no prior experience with MCC or our campuses in general. Ultimately, the end goal is to have a useful, working application that is approachable, accessible and able to be expanded upon as technology evolves.
Coordinators: Brenda Wagner and Ryan Meador (Innovation Council Member)
Starting in the Fall 2019 enrollment, Finish What you Started will forgive qualifying student MCC debt. The program will allow the individual who owes the college money to enroll in courses with a goal to finish their degree. This is a win for the student that is clearing the debt and obtaining their degree, and success for MCC in removing the past debt and having a completer. The debt will be forgiven over a three-semester timeframe.
- Has not enrolled at MCC in the past 2 years and not currently with an Outside Agency
- Has not received a degree from MCC or another Institution
- Completed at least 24 credit hours transcribed by MCC
- GPA 2.0 or higher
- Past due MCC balance of $1,500 or lower
- Will complete at least three semesters or more with MCC having the debt forgiven over three semesters
- Aid eligible or funding source in place
- Current on any outstanding student loan debt
Once a student is identified a qualifying for the program they will be contacted to set up an infosession time.
Continuance of Program
Student must meet the following requirements to continue in the program
- Must be enrolled in degree related half time status
- Maintain a 2.0 semester GPA
- Complete 2 Online Financial Literacy Sessions
- Meet with assigned advisor
- 1x in person with advisor within 2-4 weeks of classes beginning
- 1x by phone or email by midterm
- 1x in person before the end of the term also can be used to enroll into the next term
Forgiveness of MCC Debt
For 3 semesters 1/3 of the amount owed to MCC will be forgiven for each completed term that meets the program requirements.
Coordinators: Adam Kissler and Chris Morrow (Innovation Council Member)
My name is Adam Kisler, and I’m a Community Education Coordinator with MCC. Last year I was invited to be a part of an open conversation and strategic planning event on how MCC could become “Innovative” again. There were many ideas shared from talented and smart MCC employees. But my idea was to expand our “College for Kids” program across the district and directly impact our future students. Obviously with a strong background in youth development programming, I was passionate about this idea. Mine was one of three projects chosen to move forward and was tasked with developing a strategic plan and presentation for our district In-Service event. I presented with the following question
Can you remember when you were young and trying to dream of what you wanted to be when you grew up? Unless you’re like me and you’re still trying to grow up Ha! If you have a child in your life, can you imagine what it might be like for them to try to Dream of what they want to be when they grow up??? We are entering a future with quick and ever changing job markets. That will be challenging for many of our kids.
Let’s back up for a moment. I’ve had the opportunity of spending many years working with children and families, and a large part of that success was understanding the development of a child’s brain and why they respond to things in certain ways.
- 90% of a child’s brain development happens before age 5
- By Age Seven: Basic Foundation of Their Definition of Right and Wrong
- By Age Twelve: Basic Foundation of Their Moral, Ethical, and Academic Mindset and Habits
MCC over the years has attempted a small range of opportunities at reaching local children. The most successful attempts have been in our College for Kids programs at Maple Woods and Longview. These programs were designed to give local youth opportunities to develop new interests and meaningful skills while exciting them about learning through an emphasis on STEAM.
To date these programs have consisted of topics related to Coding, Designing Video Games, Photography and Photoshop, Art Design, Science Skills, Theatre, Chess, Technology and Robotics, Cooking, and more
But these locations are very spread out and are just too plain expensive for the families and youth that could truly benefit from them. As we have been charged to expand Continuing Education, MCC has an opportunity like never before to impact our Community’s Kids and Families. We can show our kids how to Dream Big and help support their families in making that happen!
This would require a Unified Effort across all of our campuses. Expanding these opportunities throughout the year. Adding to our lineup the creation of smaller workshops for our children that can mirror actual programs in our district. Partnering internally with departments to make that happen.
Some of you might be thinking that this sounds good, but why is it important
- This program gets children and their families on our campuses at an early age.
- Early family exposure to our campuses with a good experience can help with retention and take away fear of the unknown.
- It tells a strong story: Good for news, media, funding, and donors
- It gets families talking about MCC much earlier than the college enrollment years.
- It helps create a strong and positive relationship with our early education schools, and there’s a lot of them!
- It gives us a strong platform to display our workforce opportunities
- It creates a positive direct future feeder student opportunity – Wouldn’t it be beneficial to have an influence on them before we get them as college students? –CAN YOU IMAGINE A PICTURE WITH A HUGE GROUP OF KIDS PROUDLY WEARING SHIRTS THAT SAY “FUTURE MCC STUDENT!”
- Most importantly it gives us a direct connection to our community
It sounds BIG, but it’s very doable!
- It will require a lot of support
- It would have to be intentional and be formatted and laid out the same at every campus –It’s gotta have the same feel, and be designed with quality and excellence.
- It requires internal and external partnerships and a change of mindset
- One that understands that every one of these children is a potential Future Student
Why can’t MCC become the Building Block that CONNECTS all of these pieces together???
But imagine a future with me
- One where MCC is Moving our Families in a Prepared and Positive Direction
- One where MCC is Moving our Community in a Stronger direction
- One where MCC is moving into the Innovation Provider for all of our Local Communities
Today’s Dreamers will be tomorrow’s Innovators!
To date, we are developing a strong assortment of College for Kids programming that covers all aspects of STEAM learning to be offered at all of our campuses beginning this summer. We are still trying to overcome the obstacles of enlarged enrollments, brand and marketing awareness, and staffing, but we are excited about the new opportunities that I truly believe will benefit MCC and our communities.