MxCC’s Meriden Center welcomed Connecticut State Senator Danté Bartolomeo (D, 13th District) to campus this past Monday. Bartolomeo sat down with college representatives to talk about how MxCC has been complying with Public Act 12-40,  which requires state community colleges and universities to take a look at how their remedial or developmental courses are structured.

bartolomeo-low“It is so important to listen to and learn from the experiences of educators and students who are affected first-hand by laws and legislation coming out of Hartford, especially in the area of standards, developmental education, and transferring to other Connecticut colleges,” said Bartolomeo.

Public Act 12-40 was passed in 2012, and it is part of what has made “Common Core Standards” a hot topic within high schools the past couple of years. But even before the Act,  MxCC had identified an increase in the need for remedial or fast-track math and English programs. For students that have been away from classes for a long period of time, or who need a proper educational foundation (that may not have been established during high school) these courses are essential to college success.

Have you noticed MxCC posting about Transitional Strategies courses available for the upcoming Spring 2015 semester? These courses have been modified by the college to ensure they  meet the specific demands of this new Act.

“…Since our goal is student success, it makes sense that we take remedial learning seriously,” explained MxCC Dean of Academic Affairs, Steve Minkler. MxCC doesn’t set academic requirements for enrollment, and offering transitional courses is the best way to support MxCC students, he continued.

Additionally, MxCC has been proactively addressing ways to resolve other barriers to higher education including the need for certain social services and balancing school and work schedules. There is also the concern for how MxCC credits can or cannot transfer properly within the four state colleges. This is an especially complex challenge since each of the state universities have their own sets of requirements that can affect an MxCC student. This issue is something that continues to be discussed by the Board of Regents of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities as part of a mutli-year improvement effort called “Transform 2020“.

Bartolomeo, encouraged MxCC to continue to learn more about legislative timelines and the need for hard data outlining their challenges.

“I welcome concrete recommendations and suggestions for keeping our community college system competitive, responsive, and available to all students,” said Bartolomeo. “…Clearly we owe it to [students] to listen to the concerns and ideas their professors and administrators and support them as much as possible.”

The event was made possible by MxCC Economics and Political Science Professor Tad Lincoln. To get in contact with Senator Bartolomeo click here.