MCTC among 10 schools selected for Caring Campus Initiative
Oct. 9, 2019
by Keith Kappes
Maysville, KY - “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” might be good advice in some situations, but that folksy saying surely doesn’t apply to student support services at Maysville Community & Technical College.
Jessica Kern, MCTC’s chief enrollment and student services officer, believes the college’s already strong reputation for connecting positively with its students can be even stronger.
As a result, MCTC is among 10 two-year colleges selected to participate in the nationwide Caring Campus Initiative launched last year in California by the Institute for Evidence-Based Change (IEBC).
About two dozen faculty and staff members from MCTC’s four campuses have been organized into the Caring Campus Work Group with the goal of further strengthening the college’s support of its students in today’s higher education environment.
Kern describes the work group members as “frontline problem solvers who understand today’s students”.
The group is meeting three times during the balance of this calendar year with a “caring campus coach” from IEBC to identify specific problems and realistic solutions for academic and administrative issues that might unintentionally but negatively impact a student’s college experience.
“We feel certain that our diverse cohort of group members can help us determine how to better assist students in developing personal, helpful connections with faculty and staff members,” Kern said. “We want our students to know for sure that we truly understand the real life challenges they face and that, from their first day at MCTC, they are welcome members of our college community.”
Kern says she is convinced that most students want and need a sense of belonging if they are to achieve their educational goals.
“A knowledgeable authority figure – a faculty or staff member – often is the human connection that makes the difference between success and failure on any campus,” Kern added.
Other objectives of the project include identifying other student-staff engagement opportunities, conducting and analyzing surveys of existing engagement, and establishing a means of evaluating student-staff interaction going forward.
President Theodore Roosevelt may have been describing the goal of Caring Campus when he said: “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”