Hello again from Marquette, Michigan. This is my second year as a VISTA as the Transitions Coordinator for the Marquette-Alger Technical Middle College (MATMC. I have had the opportunity to assist in the establishment of a new and innovative educational institution. The mission of MATMC is to make a college degree a possibility to those students who otherwise would not have pursued a postsecondary education. It targets students who have traditionally been underserved, especially those who are unengaged and at-risk of dropping out of high school, economically disadvantaged, and first generation college students. A key component of the program is the gradual transition from high school to college and a support curriculum that addresses college readiness, employability and social maturity skills.
The second year of our program brings the expansion of both the number of students and the number of participating high schools. Our second cohort consists of 19 students from 8 different high schools. Our second-year students are nearing the end of their first semester of regular colleges classes and they continue to be successful in both the college and high school courses.
A huge part of my work involves coordination between students, parents, high schools and the university to ensure that students are placed in the correct courses and on track to meet their high school graduation requirements. There are many moving parts and scheduling is, without a doubt, the craziest part of the job.
I am especially proud of the new partnerships that I have facilitated with the English Composition and Clinical Lab Sciences departments at Northern Michigan University. These discussions led directly to some changes in curriculum and course sequencing that will really benefit our students (and NMU).
I’m definitely never bored in this position and I am looking forward to all the new challenges ahead. (But maybe not the snow)!
Each blog post was written by one of our VISTAs!