There is absolutely no doubt that an individual who is better prepared for an examination, or for that matter anything, will invariably do better than one who is not. This simple concept applies to sports, examinations, and anything in life. Period.
When I was in the classroom as a professor of economics, I NEVER gave my students an examination without first reviewing the material with them. NEVER! I would set aside time outside of the classroom when I would go over the important material, emphasizing the critical concepts that they needed to retain in order to fare well. It has been many years, but I have many of my former students who find me on Facebook and tell me how much they appreciated how I impacted their lives. Indeed, some of the statements (positive) have brought me to tears. As I have gotten older, I have begun to pose the question, “what would I want for my own children?” No doubt I did for those students that I mentored and nurtured what I would have wanted for my own kids.
What is unfortunate about many of the students who come to institutions like MCCC is that they are not like my kids; they are more like what I was when I was younger. My children are privileged, they have never had to do without, they are not first generation, and they were not unprepared for college. I, on the other hand, was first generation, I lived in the ghettoes of Baltimore, I faced extreme poverty (on my own after I left home – my parents were not poor, but I became poor), and I was unprepared for college.
Knowing all this about myself and realizing that a higher education would cure my poverty, open the doors of success, and provide me with that ticket to the middle class, I decided, prior to enrolling in college to prepare myself for it. So, I spent months preparing for the SAT and more time preparing for the placement test that I knew would determine which classes I took in college. My preparation paid off. I tested out of mathematics, and out of English 101. Had I not prepared, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I would have ended up in remedial/developmental mathematics and a lower level English class. That is the power of preparation. I recently paid for my daughter to take a GRE preparation course – preparation makes a difference.
As a college president who has been where many of our students are, I understand and can empathize and sympathize with them. That statement begs the question: what are we doing about it? MCCC, in collaboration with the Learning Bank, has created the Turning Point Program. Turning Point is a test preparation program for the COMPASS and GED. This is a great start for those who want to achieve college success. The program meets on campus in the CTC on Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and at the Learning Bank on Mondays through Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. It is FREE and open to the public, especially MCCC students who want to improve their placement test scores. In addition to this, MCCC also offers COMPASS test preparation through our Corporate and Community Services for $25. Furthermore, all students who register for classes at MCCC are provided with information on FREE TUTORIALS and practice tests for the COMPASS and ACT. One such example is http://www.act.org/campass/sample.
No doubt, students who take advantage of these services will fare better, be less likely to be placed in developmental courses, and be well poised for success. Please tell everyone you know about these services that MCCC provides to our community. Availing themselves of these services will not only enrich and transform students’ lives, but make MCCC a better institution and help take the entire community to the next level.