The Struggles of Student Sucess

Melissa Hallock
Professor of CIT Programming

As a professor I make every effort to ensure my students become successful working adults. While the student is ultimately responsible for their own success, a good professor can make a world of difference for the student. Focusing on a college mission statement, can help in that process. A college mission statement can actually provide stability for changes or even cause those changes to happen, and is extremely important. Lansing Community College mission statement exists so that the people it serves have learning and enrichment opportunities to improve their quality of life and standard of living.

My part as a professor is to align myself and my actions with the mission of the college. In doing so, I have helped many individual students in my class. I have been teaching for 10 years so sometimes it is difficult to remember all the different students, but some you will never forget. I had one particular student that struggled every day of the semester. Her brother passed away among many other things she was facing. And, his passing wasn’t easy as he was her younger and stricken by ugly cancer. It was a very long battle before he finally gave in. As we work to support our students and help them to improve their quality of life, there are times when just being supportive and understanding can go a long way. In this case, the student was very bright and needed little help with the work, but in order to pass she needed help with timelines. Considering the student had to fly to Florida twice during the semester and was taking multiple programming classes, she just needed understanding and flexibility, and with me, she got it, and she passed my class with flying colors.

As professors, we have been working in the field for a long time, and sometimes we forget the struggles a student encounters. We need more flexibility, empathy, compassion, and understanding. We need to be able to soften our hard lines and include our students in the thinking process as well as have a good handle on classroom management, personality traits, and a clear understanding on how our students learn so we can give them the best possible training. I also believe that as professors, we need to be encourage our students and share information beyond the curriculum so they understand what is expected of them during interviews and in their career. If we do all these things, we surely can create a successful student, where the student is willing.