Welcome to all who are new to our MMCC community! And welcome back to all who are returning. The campus is lovely in the summer but it is just not the same without you!
This year is especially significant for our college as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of our founding. In 1965, the Beatles and Motown’s Supremes were at the top of the charts; Peggy Fleming, age 16, won the ladies figure skating title at the US Championships; France, the US and the USSR were all testing nuclear weapons; President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act; the first US combat forces arrived in Vietnam; movie theaters welcomed The Sound of Music; and we all got our first taste of Campbell’s new Spaghetti O’s.
Here in mid-Michigan, a group of visionary community leaders received word that the State of Michigan would authorize a community college for our region. Those early advocates had high hopes for a college that would be accessible to students of all ages and abilities; that it would be more affordable than distant universities; and that it would provide knowledge and skills to people who care about their local communities.
Throughout the years, MMCC has fulfilled the aspirations of our founders. We have grown from an initial class of 193 students to more than 4,500. Today, nearly half of all undergraduate students in the nation are enrolled in community colleges.
Through the years, we have worked diligently to keep costs down while expanding programs and integrating technology. While we recognize that you are making a significant investment of time and money in your education at Mid, your tuition and fees are 33%-50% lower than those of our public university partners, despite significant decreases in state funding over the years. And your education is a solid investment. Studies by both the College Board and the Community College Research Council show average increased earnings of more than $250,000 over the course of your career when you complete the Associate Degree.
However, the value of your education is about more than money. Like so many Mid alums, you will gain the knowledge and skills you need for success. More than 60,000 students have started at Mid and have gone on to make a difference in their communities, in our state, and around the world.
MMCC’s first 50 years provide a firm foundation for your future. I hope that you will take advantage of all that Mid has to offer. Here are some not-so-secret tips for your success:
- Go to every class. Time on task matters. It is easy to become distracted in our busy lives but attendance – physical and mental – protects your educational investment.
- Think about what you are learning. Reflect on it. Connect it to other aspects of your life and to your other courses. In fact, for every hour that you are in class, you should invest 2-3 hours in study.
- Talk individually with your professors. Mid faculty members are dedicated to your success. Take full advantage of their knowledge and advice. Ask questions – They will help you find the answers!
- Make a new friend – or two, three or 10. Join a group or a team, try out for a theatre production. Strong relationships will provide encouragement and useful advice, and will keep you motivated.
- Eat healthy foods, get enough sleep, and keep moving.
I look forward to seeing you in the year ahead. Please introduce yourself when our paths cross and let me know about your MMCC experiences. I am privileged to serve as your president and welcome your suggestions!
Best wishes for a successful semester and … Go Lakers!
Christine M. Hammond, Ph.D.
President, Mid Michigan Community College