Durango visits Morton College

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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.

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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

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“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.”

-Iris Rodriguez

cropped-morton-student-center1.jpg“Remember to never let anyone deviate you from what you are passionate about, follow what makes you happy” –Jacquelin Padilla

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“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.

 

 

 

 

 

Students Learn about Sexual Assault Awareness and How to Be an Active Bystander

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By Marcela Ruiz

Morton College has been hosting a series of events regarding sexual assault awareness during this month.
 On April 12th, the Sexual Assault and Bystander intervention workshop took place at the student union at 1:00 p.m. Kevin DeMarce, outreach coordinator for Pillars; was the guest speaker. He began his presentation by showing the video Dear Daddy.
 “I will be born a girl”, the main statement presented in the video indicated that a woman’s biggest danger is her vulnerability.
 DeMarce discussed how sexual assault awareness begins with educating men. He believes point of views and attitudes towards women are formed from childhood. In turn, during teen years these attributes can manifest themselves in either a positive or negative manner.
 “How can we change these messages? Do these attitudes change in college or do they become more discrete?” he asked the audience, referring to how people express about women in a sexual manner.
 A student commented that she believes these types of conversations are taboo in most cultures; which makes it more difficult to prevent the assault or for victims to come forward.
 According to the department of justice 1 of 5 women and one of 16 men are victims of sexual assault while in college.  Surprisingly, 90 percent of these victims do not report the assault. In part, “because they are fearful of their attacker”, said DeMarce. He added that, “Victims may also be ashamed to go to trial and having to deal with people’s perception of them, or feelings of guilt. But the most prevalent reason remains to be the belief that no one is going to do anything anyways.”

“no one is going to do anything anyways.”

DeMarce mentioned that people tend to help when they are alone rather than in a group. To be an active bystander means that if someone presence a comment or abuse he/she: “does not wait for someone else, a person alone has to be the one stepping up”.
Lastly the video “Who Are You?”, was presented to help students visualize when is the possible right time to intervene to prevent sexual assault and how the outcome can be different.
For further questions about Pillars and the available programs, outreach coordinator Kevin DeMarce can be reached at kdemarce@pillarscommunity.org

Open Forum: Knowing the Rights and Needs of Undocumented Students 

20170308_111133By Veronica Fernandez

An open forum was hosted on March 8th in the Student Union that allow the Morton College community to be informed of the rights of undocumented individuals, along with having the opportunity to voice their needs.

Prior to the forum’s start, available to students were an array of documents that included lists of rights written in different languages and lists of immigration attorneys.

First to present in the forum was student trustee, Andrea Chavarria. She guided the audience through a sideshow with information on the recent shift of policies and laws, what can be done if ICE comes to your home, the validity of arrest and search warrants, and constructing a family plan. Students were attentively listening and actively participating by asking questions.

After the informational portion of the forum sociology professor, Benjamin Drury, lead an interactive discussion on the particular needs of undocumented students of Morton College. Here students gathered into groups and discussed the different ways in which undocumented student’s fears and apprehensions could be alleviated when in school. A student suggested that professors discuss and perhaps become knowledgeable about immigration here in the country. Another student suggested that students should take it upon themselves to learn about the topic and to live with caution rather than fear.

As the forum came to a close, professor Drury encouraged participants to “Continue the conversations that you started here today.”

Upcoming events will bring over 20 Universities and Colleges to Morton Campus

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By Marcela Ruiz

Morton College will be hosting two events on campus for students who plan to transfer this fall.

The Annual Private Colleges and Universities Fair will take place Tuesday, March 14th from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the cafeteria. For students who are interested in transferring to a private college, this is a great opportunity to speak to representatives about their options. These colleges are members of the Private Illinois Colleges and Universities (PICU). This organization partners with community colleges to grant a minimum of two scholarships every term. The application is available on their website www.picuonline.org/scholarships.

University Day will take place Wednesday, March 29th from 10:00 a.m to 2:00 p.m. Students who have more than 15 credits and a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or above will be eligible to receive free official transcripts. Students must RSVP before March 22nd, in order to qualify to pick up their transcripts the day of the event. Universities will also be waiving application fees. These fees usually cost $60 or more. This is a great opportunity for those who are interested to save on transferring costs.

Students who have not yet made an appointment to meet with their advisor regarding their graduation petition, should do it before the deadline on April 1st.

First Hall of Fame Event Hosts “Eye of the Tiger” co-writer Among Three Honored Alumini

By Marcela Ruiz

Morton College celebrated their first Hall of Fame event this past February 10th, 2017. The ceremony had been planned for months by The Hall of Fame committee and Blanca Jara, Director of Public Relations. The inductees were selected by their lifelong accomplishments in national and international levels. President Stanley Fields thanked the honorees for coming back to Morton College and being an inspiration for students.

This year’s inductees were: Jim Peternik, Class of 1970 (Grammy-Award winner). Joseph Sisco, Class of 1939 (Served under four presidential administrations). And Paul Sisco, Class of 1947 (54-year career in print journalism and broadcast T.V.)