Thursday, July 28, 2011

Education is hope

Chef Jeff Henderson speaks to TCC graduates at the commencement ceremony this morning at Dick Conner Correctional Center in Hominy.

I only see them once a year, but in the past three TCC graduations held at Dick Conner Correctional Center in Hominy I can see that the offenders (who are also TCC graduates), have changed. Offenders who didn't look me in the eyes in 2009 smiled and shook my hand today. There is hope in their eyes and their gestures. But that's just a small example of how college has changed, and continues to change, the lives of these offenders.

Chef Jeff Henderson returned to Conner's this morning for the third year in a row, speaking to TCC graduates. He told them about mistakes he has made and how he has worked diligently to turn his life around. From drug dealer to Food Network personality/chef and best selling author, Chef Jeff has set an example for these offenders to follow. He told them there is a better way to live, and education is the road that takes you there.

He went on to say not only is education the key to a better life, it's also something no one can take away from you. He said no matter where you come from, what you've done or what you haven't done, an education is yours forever. So true.

Some of those offenders will probably never leave Conner's, yet they are earning certificates of achievement and associate degrees. Education is not only giving them knowledge, it's also giving them hope. Hope that even though they can't change their own fates, they have the power to influence younger offenders, their children and others to not take the same paths they did.

See what I saw through my camera lens on TCC's Facebook fan page.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Marion Jones speaks about second chances

Talk about inspiring. I just got home after attending the Second Chance Scholarship Dinner that raises funds to help offenders take TCC classes. Marion Jones, former Tulsa Shock basketball player and former Olympian, spoke to a packed house at the Center for Creativity on the TCC Metro Campus tonight. She told about her experience as an inmate, and about how she has turned things around for herself and her family. But most of all, she talked about hope.

This was an absolutely amazing night, and I hope to tell you more about it in a future post. As for now, I've got to get ready for tomorrow. In the morning, I'm going to watch dozens of men receive certificates of achievement and associate degrees from TCC.  To see a clip of Jones from tonight, click here.

Monday, July 25, 2011

International students speak about why they chose TCC

OK. So we know why people in Tulsa come to TCC: convenience, affordability, credibility, amazing faculty, flexible class schedules and more. But why do people in Spain, Korea, France, Russia, China and 60 other countries choose TCC?

The International Student Services office, with the help of some very talented international students, interviewed students speaking in their native languages about why they chose TCC. The result? Multiple videos on YouTube that introduce the world to TCC through the eyes of TCC's international students.

But if you don't speak Spanish or Korean, don't fret! All the videos are subtitled in English. To watch all the videos, click here.

International Student Services: 918-595-7478

Thursday, July 21, 2011

It's a boy!

Accounting Professor Jerrilyn Eisenhaur, far left, throws a mock baby shower with students Todd Streets and Ana Tamasese for infants in need via Eileen Ryan Bradshaw, executive director of Emergency Infant Services.
Accounting students threw a baby shower yesterday with all "proceeds" going to Emergency Infant Services. Want to read more? Read KOTV's report.

First Class correction

Good morning. I wrote yesterday about TCC's new orientation called First Class, but I mistakenly said this class is a one-credit class. I attended a First Class session this morning and learned that it is not a credit class.

But, it still has great value. The new students who attended today found out about financial aid, academic advisement and much more. And, students who attend First Class have the option of taking a one-credit orientation class this fall TUITION FREE.

I'll let you know more about the credit class when I know more. :)

Location:TCC Metro Campus

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Feeling lost? Find your way around TCC with First Class

Where is the library? How do I log in to MyTCC? Where is there a quiet place to study on campus? Who do I call when I can't access Blackboard? When is the College closed for winter break?

College can be overwhelming for anyone, but Tulsa Community College is offering an orientation class to get you ready. First Class is a new one-credit hour course that introduces students to TCC. It's being offered at all four of the TCC campuses this summer, and if you are new to TCC, it is sure to be the best three-hour time commitment you can make before starting fall classes.

To view the schedule and register, click here.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Completely worth it: Five ways to 'stay the course'

We are shooting a commercial for TCC tomorrow, and I am really excited about the message we are sending: Complete your degree or certificate.

Every year, millions of people across the country enroll in colleges and universities only to quit before they complete a degree or certificate. Maybe it's family, health, financial or other issues, but something gets in the way and prevents them from continuing.

I completely understand this situation because I was accepted into a master's program in the spring, took one class, and I'm already wondering if I can continue. It's hard people! But like "they" say, if it were easy then everyone would do it.

How do you stay motivated to completing your degree? Here's what works for me
1. Find a friend or mentor who is adamant about higher education and reach out to him or her for mental and emotional support.
2. Incorporate studying and going to class into your current lifestyle. If you try to give up everything (family time, running, reruns of "Who's the Boss?"), then it probably won't stick.
3. Tell your family how much completing this degree or certificate means to you. Prepare them for the time commitment you will be making toward your goal.
4. Start a bank account just for school expenses. When you have a little extra cash, instead of buying a new outfit or eating at a fancy restaurant, deposit the money for tuition and books.
5. Decide that quitting is not an option. Statistics prove that students who "take a semester off" are much more likely to stop going all together. So even if you can take only one class, do it.

If you have any thoughts you'd like to share about staying motivated to complete your degree, please share!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

MathPath is full, but don't fret!

Apparently, lots of you out there are just like me when it comes to retaining (or not retaining) math. The MathPath classes I told you about last week (click to read) are totally full.

But worry not! If you didn't get enrolled and would like to brush up on your math skills, there is a math refresher course Aug. 1-4 in the mornings at TCC's Northeast Campus. Just like MathPath, this class will help you remember those math equations and formulas you learned way back when. This class will get you ready for your first or "first in a while" math credit class, such as College Algebra.

Find out more about this free class by calling 918-595-7200.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Congrats to TCC Metro PBL winners!

TCC has some great student organizations, and the Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda on the TCC Metro Campus is one of them! The group just got back from a national convention in Orlando, and they won tons of awards, including first place in Largest Local Chapter Membership in the Mountain Plains Region. Way to go!

Here are the team's other reasons to brag:
Second place: Largest Local Chapter Professional Division Membership (Mountain Plains Region); Melody Massey, Financial Services; Justin Owen, Retail Management;
Third place: Largest Local Chapter Membership (National);
10th place: Buchanan Lewis – Economic Analysis & Decision Making; and
Recognition: Sarah Mathews, Who’s Who in PBL, first place, Oklahoma; Gold Seal Chapter – TCC Metro Campus; 14 Student Members - Membership Mania Awards.

Great job, guys!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Deaf culture course: Everything hearing people want to know but don't know how to ask

Why do the Deaf describe themselves as a “culture”? Why do some Deaf people talk, others sign and some talk and sign? What is the best way to try to communicate with someone who is Deaf?
Get your questions answered by someone who knows first-hand about the Deaf community: Glenna Cooper. Glenna, who is Deaf, teaches a class at TCC called Deaf Culture and History. Glenna uses American Sign Language to communicate, but an interpreter voices her lectures. Therefore, you do not need to know sign language to enroll in her class.
If you are curious about what life is like in the Deaf community or you would like to understand the Deaf culture better, let Glenna fill you in.
Class time: 5:30-8:20 p.m. Thursdays this fall

Thursday, July 7, 2011

MathPath: Remember what you forgot before you forget to remember it

I don't know about you, but when I look at math problems, even problems that 10-year-olds are working, I immediately realize how much I have forgotten in the 16 years since I took College Algebra. I got an A in that class in 1995, but today I can barely add two plus two without using a calculator.

Come to find out, I am not alone. Tons of people who come to college, especially those who have sat out of school for a while, forget math skills. Many of them are surprised that even though they made A's in high school math, they come to TCC and have to take zero-credit math classes because of the skills they've lost. And sometimes, students must take multiple zero-credit math classes before they can enroll in a three-credit math class. That's right: These are classes that students are required to take that don't count toward a degree or certificate.

The math faculty at TCC have come up with a way to reduce or eliminate the need to take these zero-credit classes in order to save students time and money. They are offering a continuing education class this summer that is a math prep class called MathPath. By reviewing math skills with students before they take the math placement test, students are more likely to be ready to take a math credit class, such as College Algebra.

Saving time and money? It doesn't take a genius to figure out that this is a good thing.
Info: 918-595-7742

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Is July 4 the beginning, middle or end of summer?

To me, the Fourth of July marks the middle of summer. The beginning of summer is TCC's graduation ceremony, and the end of summer is when tomatoes in my garden start to taste bland (usually late October). That may seem like a long, drawn out summer to some, but since summer is my favorite season, I like to pretend it lasts longer than it actually does.

So, how do you count summer's beginning, middle and end?

Friday, July 1, 2011

'Going back' to college

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to "go back" to college? Maybe to start a new career or finish that degree you started way back when?

Hollywood is visiting this notion in a new film being released today: "Larry Crowne." Tom Hanks’ title character Larry gets laid off, but then he reinvents himself by heading off to community college. (Fun fact: Tom Hanks went to community college when he was younger. Here is a link to other well-known community college alums include Halle Berry, George Lucas and Clint Eastwood.)

So, if you were to go back to school where would you start? I talked to Tulsa Community College advisor Christopher Davis, and he suggests these “FIFTY” tips:
Financial Aid – fill out the FAFSA early, as the Financial Aid process can be time consuming. Follow up with the Financial Aid Office and submit any documents or forms they require from you.
Identify your needs – Are you pursuing a bachelor’s degree or are you interested in a certificate of achievement? Do you need tutoring in math? Make the most of your time (and money) while in college.
Find help! – Whether you need assistance filling out financial aid applications or enrolling in the correct classes, don’t hesitate to ask for help. See an advisor or a tutor or ask a friend or fellow student for help.
Timeline – Plan ahead, be patient and allow plenty of time for admissions, advisement and financial aid processes. Check the Academic Calendar and avoid putting off enrollment until the last minute.
You – Be realistic about your expectations and course load. If you work or have children, consider how much time you can commit toward attending class and studying outside of class. It’s better to take fewer classes and get good grades than enroll in too many classes and do poorly.
To ask questions about going back to school, visit or call 918-595-2010.