5 Tips for a Successful Semester

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Get Off to a Great Start

5 Tips for a Successful Semester

Read your syllabus

This is the guide to your course. It is the contract between you and your instructor. The syllabus outlines  the course content, assignments, grading and attendance policies. Read each syllabus thoroughly and refer to it often. Ask questions if anything is unclear to you.

Engage with instructors and classmates.

A classroom is a community. Active participation and collaboration allows you to consider other points of view, learn how to deal with various personalities, as well as compare what your classmates learned from lectures and readings that you may have missed.

Identify and utilize support services on campus

Know what services are available. If you need help ask someone on campus for guidance. Seek help early to avoid falling behind or feeling overwhelmed. A few services available to you are:

    • Tutorial Services
    • Library Services
    • Academic Advising/Counseling Services
    • Student Affairs

Practice time management

    • Make a weekly time schedule – include classroom time, homework, work, and all other time responsibilities.
    • Set daily, weekly, and long term goals.
    • Concentrate on one thing at a time – multitasking does not work for activities involving brainpower.
    • Do not skip class. When you skip class you fall behind and will have to play catch up.  Be aware of healthful activities that help you relax and unwind and carve out time for these on a regular basis.

Take time to de-stress

Be aware of healthful activities that help you relax and unwind and carve out time for these on a regular basis.

Submitted by Denise Shipp, Advisor, West Campus

Awareness of Sexual Assault on College Campuses on the Rise

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The link below is to an article about sexual assaults on college campuses published in Campus Safety Magazine. Members of the SSRT want you to be aware that based on a recent study, twenty percent of female college students and 5 percent of male college students say they’ve been sexually assaulted. Please click on the link below for more information.



 Submitted by Joe McGuriman, Director of Campus Safety

Program on Human Trafficking to be Offered

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The Montgomery County Teen Parent Task Force, in collaboration with the Phi Beta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Montgomery County Community College’s (MCCC) Student Support and Referral Team (SSRT), will host a Straight Talk program about Human Trafficking on Wednesday, Oct. 23 from 6:30-9 p.m.

The program will be held in the Science Center Theater at MCCC’s Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell with video-conferencing to South Hall 221 at the West Campus, 101 College Drive, Pottstown. The program is free and is open to the public, and guests are asked to bring donations of non-perishable food items for a local food bank. For information or to pre-register, email gspena@mc3.edu.

The program, titled “How Can Human Sex Trafficking Affect You and Your Children,” will include a screening of the short film “Chosen,” followed by a panel discussion and Q & A session. Pennsylvania Senator Daylin Leach will join experts to discuss the impact of this modern form of slavery in our communities.

SSRT is a proactive initiative at MCCC designed to assist students deal with issues that may be roadblocks to success in their education and lives. To learn more, visit mc3ssrt.wordpress.com.

(Post written by Alana Mauger, Director of Communications, Montgomery County Community College)

SSRT Begins Fifth Year of Serving the College

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As a new academic year begins, the Student Support & Referral Team (SSRT) begins its fifth year of providing assistance to the students and staff of Montgomery County Community College.  Since the fall 2009 semester when SSRT began, it has evolved, grown and consistently offered the college community services for students in need.

Since its inception, SSRT has averaged 100 referrals per year.  The majority of these referrals come from faculty.  The next greatest source are students themselves who walk in at each campus’ Student Success Center wishing to speak to someone because they need help dealing with various issues in their lives.  Many of them have heard about SSRT and come in to find out if it is a place to which they can turn.  The major reasons students are referred or turn to SSRT are psychological distress, because they are seeking counseling and domestic issues.

Psychological distress covers a variety of things with stress and anxiety being in the forefront of these issues.  Striving for success in college itself is a universal cause of stress and anxiety.  When coupled with maintaining a job, keeping up with one’s life schedule and responsibilities along with things beyond our control, the probability of being stressed and anxious is greatly increased.  This is also where the domestic issues affect students.  Being a student and raising a family, caring for an elderly parent or sick child and experiencing domestic situations that affect one’s ability to properly focus on schoolwork are just some of the issues students face.

Students also come in for referrals to counseling services for various reasons.  They realize they could use extra support and SSRT gives them direction.  Hotlines and helplines, general resources and our “Community Resource Guide” are used to assist students and can be accessed by clicking on the respective tab above.

During these past four years, SSRT has also provided programming for the college and the public, partnered with several community agencies, was influential in securing a counselor for veterans one day per week at the West Campus and offered programs specifically for faculty and staff.  Entering our fifth year of operation, we plan on continuing our efforts for the benefits of our students.

(This post was written by Michael Ondo,Counselor/Advisor)

United Way 2-1-1 Service Connects People, Resources

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People living in the five county greater Philadelphia area can now access health and human services by dialing 2-1-1.

This free service helps people bypass time-consuming searches for the correct non-profit or government service by connecting them with information and referrals.  The service unites callers with various food pantries, employment services, training, affordable housing options, help with an aging parent, support groups and physical and mental health resources.

A part of the Pennsylvania 2-1-1 network, this local 2-1-1 is powered by the United Way chapters in southeastern Pennsylvania.  Besides helping those in need, the service also allows case managers to better support their client base.  Although 3-1-1 services connect Philadelphia residents to “city-wide” services, the 2-1-1 service covers health and human services in southeastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey.

The phone line is open seven days a week from 8 am to 8 pm or 24 hours per day online at www.211sepa.org.

(This post written by Whitney Etter)

How to Make a Referral Page Added

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A new page has been added to our blog.  As part of our continuing effort to get information out to the public, you can now access instructions on making a referral to SSRT by clicking on the “Make a Referral” tab above.

This information has always been available by going through the portal on the college’s website.  Anyone who is a part of the college could do so.  However, parents, friends, co-workers, etc. may want to get help for someone who they know is a student at the college.  High school guidance counselors, after discussing options with their student, may want to let SSRT know that the student will be looking to make a connection once they matriculate to Montgomery County Community College.  The new student may want to contact SSRT.  Now all these people can follow these instructions and make a referral.  By adding this page we feel we have expanded our reach and provided more of an opportunity for our services to be utilized by our students.  We hope you will take a look at it and find it a positive addition.

Bringing Attention to the Use and Abuse of Substances

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Probably everyone in America would agree that drug usage is widespread in our country.  When the subject of drug usage comes up, most of us may only be considering illicit drugs.  However, further consideration leads us to see that there is a huge part of our society also using prescription and over-the-counter drugs.  The use of substances, legal and illegal, has become pervasive in all aspects of our society.  As with just about anything from edible items to credit card usage to substances, the possibility of abusing something is very real.  Today we see people dependent upon illegal drugs, prescription drugs and also over-the-counter drugs.  On Tuesday, February 5, 2013, the Student Support & Referral Team (SSRT) is sponsoring three programs concerned with all of these.

“The Dangers & Consequences of Substance Use & Abuse” is the topic of a program that will be offered from 12:30 to 2 PM in the Community Room in South Hall at the West Campus.  Dickie Noles, former major league pitcher and presently the Employee Assistance Professional for the Philadelphia Phillies will be the speaker.  Later in the afternoon, Mr. Noles will meet with the Faculty at the West Campus to discuss recognizing the warning signs of substance use.  By being aware of the signs, we can be better prepared to refer students for help.

From 7 to 9 PM on the evening of February 5, a panel discussion entitled, “An Open Discussion of Substance Use & Abuse”,  will be held in the Community Room.  Open to the public, the participants on the panel will be Mr. Noles, Beth Folks, Clinical Coordinator at Eagleville Hospital, SGT Michael Markovich, Detective with the Pottstown Police Department, and Robert Frankil, Registered Pharmacist.  Mr. Frankil is the owner of both Skippack and Sellersville Pharmacies.

The programs are free.  Registration for the evening program will begin at 6:30 PM on February 5, 2013.  South Hall is located at 101 College Drive in Pottstown, PA.  For more information or to register ahead of time, please contact Michael Ondo, Counselor, at mondo@mc3.edu.

We hope you willl be able to attend this most informative evening.  please bring a friend and share this information with whomever you feel would benefit.

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