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Smart Family Tips for Families of MCC Students

My student does not know what to major in. What should s/he do?

SFT: Some students know almost since kindergarten that they want to be a nurse or a teacher or an artist or a police officer. Most do not. And that could be a good thing ... did you know that after graduation your student could be applying for jobs that didn't even exist when they graduated from high school? What's more, how many kindergarten students actually even know about careers like sous chef or event planner or biochemical engineer, but the world sure needs them!

MCC is a wonderful place for students to start to explore careers, try some on and see if they fit, or decide on a path that will take them into a professional occupation. And you can help by prompting your student with some of the following Smart Family Tips suggestions:

  • Recommend that your student visit Counseling & Career Services in Edison Hall room 100 to research various fields and to take a career exploration test. Have them make an appointment with a career counselor by calling 732-906-2546.
  • Suggest that your student explore the resources available online on the web pages of the Counseling & Career Services department. Watch a few of the over 350 videos clips of career highlights or research careers on the career counseling page, and more.
  • Volunteering is a great way to gain some real world experience that can help determine whether a field "fits" your student. Often, volunteers can gain experience in areas that entry-level employees cannot, and volunteering makes a great addition to their resume. All that, and it benefits the community too! MCC's Democracy House is our award-winning Center for Civic Engagement, and offers many opportunities for students to volunteer. Learn more about Democracy House.
  • Suggest that your student join clubs in areas they may be interested in. MCC holds a Student Activities Fair in the first or second week of every Fall and Spring semester. Students from many clubs provide info to interested students - have your student go shopping for a club or activity!
  • MCC faculty members maintain connections with their fields and professions, and are a great source of information to students.

My student seems to be having difficulty in a course. What should we do?

SFT: There are a number of things your student can do, but its important that the student take the action. Our suggestions:

  • First ask: is your student leaving enough time for study & course preparation? In college, its important that students plan for three (3) hours of study/prep for every one hour in class every single week. Many students initially underestimate how much time they need, and may commit themselves to working too many hours at a part-time job or other non-school related activities.
  • Does your student have a quiet place to study?
  • Once you covered those bases, suggest that your student start by talking to the professor of the course for tips and suggestions.
  • Students can try to set up a study group with other students in the class. Even a short meeting before or after class can make a big difference.
  • Does your student need accommodations? If so, have him/her make an appointment with a disability counselor in Counseling & Career Services by calling 732-906-2546.
  • Suggest that your student visit the Library in the Instructional Resource Center (IRC), where our knowledgeable staff has many resources to offer, including 24 hour Ask A Librarian service. Librarians are also available at the New Brunswick and Perth Amboy Centers.
  • For one-on-one assistance, students can contact the Peer Tutoring Center
  • Making an appointment with a counselor Career and Counseling Center will give your student a private setting in which to discuss specific academic strategies with a professional counselor.
  • Remind your student to watch Campus Cruiser throughout the semester for announcements of academic workshops available to students. Counseling & Career Services offers workshops every semester on Test-Taking Skills, Note-Taking Skills, How to Succeed in Math and more.
  • Finally, be aware of important dates in the semester and how they relate to your student's academic progress. For example, occasionally circumstances may dictate that the student should drop a course, especially if the alternative is to fail it. Students should know 1) that there is a deadline for dropping courses and 2) exactly when that deadline is.