Last week Morton College had a visit from a group of students from Durango, Mexico. Several members of Phi Theta Kappa were very enthusiastic about advising and informing the students about what the American education system is like, what our school/campus is like and much more. It was very uplifting to see how well our PTK members not only served the group by answering any questions they had, but also made them feel welcomed by being genuinely friendly, what our campus is all about!
The event started out by having Jaime Lopez introduce himself and some opening remarks about Morton College. Afterwards, one by one, all PTK volunteers introduced themselves, their academic/career goals and something interesting about themselves, to break the ice.
There was an instant personal connection, seeing that many of our student’s come from Mexican heritage. Even some of our volunteers came from the same pueblo or rancho as some of the Durango students!
After telling a little about ourselves, as volunteers, we spread out to sit with the Durango students in separate groups and had some interpersonal communication. In our groups, we were to talk about different topics regarding education, our school, our experience and more. We then shared to the entire room our questions and important ideas from the discussion.
Considering that a lot of what we talked about could be of help to many of our new students, I’d like to share some Q and A’s;
Q: How is college completion measured?
A: Here, we measure the number of accumulated credit hours.
This explains why two people can be taking the same class on different schedules, even though one person can go on MWF for 50 minutes, and another person goes TTH for 1 hour and 15 minutes, at the end, it accumulates the same time, thus the same credit hours. The number of credit hours needed to graduate depends what degree you are focusing on.
Q: What different academic programs does Morton College offer?
A: We offer certificate programs that can get you an entry-level job, such as nurse assisting, automotive service and more.
Furthermore, we offer different Associates degrees for those that wish to pursue a Bachelor’s degree once they transfer to a 4-year university. The associate’s degree will generally cover the general education classes and electives necessary for undergraduate students.
Q: What’s the difference between a 4-year and a 2-year school?
A: The difference between both is that in a 2-year school, usually, one would have to transfer out to receive a bachelor’s degree, and the options in the school programs are limited.
Although, there is benefits to a 2-year college; lower tuition, usually smaller class size (Morton College has a Student/Faculty ratio of about 22:1), which makes it easier to get 1-on-1 help.
Q: How can I pay for college?
A: Financial aid is available to those who are U.S citizens, and the amount varies, depending on your (or your family’s) income. Morton College does offer payment plans and school scholarships as well.
Q: Why is it important to apply for scholarships?
A: Scholarships are money that you won’t have to pay back, unlike loans. Except for certain scholarships, there is usually not a limit on how many you can apply for and some scholarships are even renewable. Applying or being accepted for a scholarship won’t exclude you or limit your chances for other scholarships. Remember to do your research and look for scholarships that you meet the requirements/criteria for.
After sharing some ideas and answering questions, each one of our PTK members mentioned some words of wisdom for our visitors to keep in mind, some ideas mentioned were;
“It’s okay to not know what you want to study, of course it can be challenging and even intimidating to feel the pressure of having to choose a career, but remember that the first classes you take are general education courses and electives, so that gives you more time to explore various subjects.” –Karen Ferrel
“Never feel embarrassed or ashamed to ask for help! Use the school’s resources, like the Individual Learning Center, Student Success Center and Peer-Tutoring. After all, the school offers these to help you become a better student.”
“Remember to never let anyone deviate you from what you are passionate about, follow what makes you happy” –Jacquelin Padilla
“Work hard and remember to have fun along the way.” –Gerardo Arias
After the words of wisdom from each PTK volunteer, there was a lunch held in the Student Union where both our students and Durango students shared ideas about college and their life experiences. Seeing the success and magnitude of this event, I hope it continues to be something Morton College can keep doing next year and after that, hopefully in the future with various groups of international students!
Special thanks to the Dean of Arts and Sciences, Derek Shouba., Mrs. Avalos., Mr. McLaughlin., Mr. Fields., Mr. Drury., Jaime Lopez for being our host/speaker., and all of our PTK volunteers that did an amazing job at portraying Morton College as the friendly and caring environment that we are; Cintya Ruiz, Giselle Castaneda, Yaritza Sosa, Jacquelin Padilla, Karen Ferrel, Gerardo Arias, Karina Pina, Fanny Xelhua, Clarissa Marmolejo, Ana Ibarra.