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News@MCC for Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Save Student Aid: A Message from President Schmailzl

Here at MCC, almost 13,000 students receive federal financial aid in some form or another. Almost 10,000 receive Pell Grants, and this number has been growing each year. Below is a condensed version of a message from the National Association for Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) sent to our college on Oct. 25, 2011.

We are at a turning point on federal student aid funding. Because of our nation's historic economic downturn, we've already seen $30 billion cut from our federal student aid programs. The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, also known as the Super Committee, has until Nov. 23 to come up with a plan to reduce the nation's debt. Federal student aid could very well be on the chopping block and students need your voice to defend the programs that grant access to postsecondary education.

As you know, this is an incredibly challenging time for students all over the country, including those you serve on a daily basis. The recession has driven more students back to campus to improve their skills and job prospects, and a lot of those students have higher economic needs. Meanwhile, federal and state governments have cut back their support. It is critical to preserve what financial aid is still available for deserving students so they can better qualify for the jobs that will help our economy grow.

You see evidence of these situations everyday on your college campus. But Super Committee members and other members of Congress need to hear more-and they need to hear it from as many people as possible.

That's why the Student Aid Alliance, a coalition of national higher education organizations representing thousands of campuses and millions of presidents, students, faculty and administrators has organized a campaign to Save Student Aid. The campaign will reach to out to all campus constituencies, encouraging grassroots involvement. As one of the founding members of the Alliance, NASFAA encourages you to join us in this campaign.

As the Super Committee's deadline nears, we need your help. Please sign our statement of support, expressing the opinion that for our country's short- and long-term economic health, student aid funding must be preserved. This is a simple and easy step to make your voice heard.

If you're interested in getting more involved after you've signed on, you'll see other options for actions you can take by visiting NASFAA's Save Student Aid Facebook campaign.

As you can see, decisions are being made in Washington that will have far-reaching effects on students all over the country, including here at MCC.

Education serves everyone, and it is critically important that we continue to make it accessible for all.

I urge you to join the Metropolitan Community College Board of Governors, myself, others in the MCC community and others throughout the United States in saying to our legislators that further cuts in aid to education will hurt all of us and should not occur. This can be a powerful message, and it is as simple as clicking on the link above and signing the statement of support.

Help us send the message to Washington that cutting student aid to higher education is a bad idea not only for students but for all citizens of the United States.

Randy Schmailzl

Scholarships Available

The October 2011 Foundation and private scholarships are now available. To download the application guide, check out other resources or go to the Stars Online Application System, visit www.mccneb.edu/scholarships.

Dates to Remember
The student application deadline is Nov. 7, 2011.
Students will be notified the first part of December.

For scholarship questions, contact Lisa Stepanek, Scholarships and Administrative Specialist, at lstepanek@mccneb.edu or (402) 457-2772.

Discount Tickets to Omaha Performing Arts Available

Currently enrolled MCC students can purchase discount tickets to Omaha Performing Arts productions. Visit www.mccneb.edu/opa/ to generate a password using your MCC username.

Questions? Contact Rita Eyerly at (402) 457-2203 or reyerly@mccneb.edu.

Writing Center Launches Blog

MCC's Writing Center launched a new blog focusing in writing improvement geared toward students and faculty. Writing Center Underground will contain tips, information, ideas and discussion about writing.

The first blog posting, First Drafts and Second Thoughts, addresses students' anxieties about the writing process and hopes to open a discussion on the revision process that is often foreign to new college students. Additional postings will go up at least once a week.

Visit the blog at writingcenterunderground.wordpress.com.

Register for Winter Classes

If you know what classes you need for Winter quarter, and you are not registered yet, what is stopping you? Registration is as easy as 1-2-3. Here is how:

  1. Know what courses you need
  2. Find the classes in the credit schedule
  3. Use WebAdvisor and choose Express Registration on the student menu to register!

Registration is available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is no further than your Internet connection.

  1. Know what courses you need
    If you do not know what classes you should take, make an appointment to meet with an academic advisor to develop your educational plan. You can also access your Degree Audit/Program Evaluation on your WebAdvisor account.
  2. Find the classes
    Search the class schedule by starting at MCC's homepage: www.mccneb.edu. Scroll down to Enrolling in Classes, and select Credit Schedule – Winter. Here you can browse the offerings by several different factors. (Hint: if you do not find a class you are looking for, expand the search criteria.) As you decide on the specific classes you want, jot down the synonym (listed in the second column of the schedule).
  3. Use WebAdvisor and choose Express Registration on the student menu. If you are not sure how this works, watch and listen to the video tutorial found on your WebAdvisor page.

When you are done registering, make sure you go to My Class Schedule and verify that you are registered in the classes you wanted.

That is all there is to it, but if you have any questions as you are going though these steps, you can get help. You can refer to the video tutorials on WebAdvisor, call MCC at (402) 457-2400 or stop in Student Services and ask for help using WebAdvisor.

Toys for Tots Collection

The U.S. Maine Corps distributed boxes to MCC's locations to collect new, unwrapped toys for their Toys for Tots program running mid-October through Dec. 19.

Drop-box locations:

  • Applied Technology Center
  • Elkhorn Valley Campus
  • Fort Omaha Campus, Bldg. 8
  • Fort Omaha Campus, Bldg. 10
  • Sarpy Center
  • South Omaha Campus, Connector Building

For more information, visit www.omaha-ne.toysfortots.org.

Walk-in Wednesdays at FOC

Need to see an advisor but don't have an appointment? Scheduled appointments are always in the student's best interest and allow students to schedule appointment times with a specific advisor at a time that's convenient, but sometimes students need to see someone sooner than the next available appointment time. That's where Walk-In Wednesday at FOC can help.

The Fort Omaha Campus Student Services office offers Walk-In Wednesdays for students to meet with an academic advisor without an appointment. On Wednesdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., academic advisors serve students on a first come, first serve basis. It is important to note that walk-in sessions may be limited in time based on volume of students waiting and/or complexity of the issue. If additional time is required, a follow-up appointment will be scheduled.

Appointments are always encouraged and are especially important for students who want to work on developing an education or graduation plan, complete financial aid appeal paperwork or discuss a change in major or educational goals. Appointment times are generally scheduled for 30 minutes and are available Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call (402) 457-2400 to schedule a time.

Look for Walk-in Wednesdays to be added at other MCC locations in the future.

Lutheran Family Services Needs AmeriCorps Volunteers

AmeriCorps is a national service program providing individuals an opportunity to participate in a year of service-learning. AmeriCorps members engage in direct service and capacity-building to address unmet community needs. In exchange for their commitment, AmeriCorps members are eligible for a living stipend, health insurance, childcare and an education award. Members also gain valuable experience and build new skills.

Lutheran Family Services (LFS) AmeriCorps members serve in program areas including mentoring, youth enrichment, community development, health outreach, life skills education, immigration and refugee services and volunteer recruitment. LFS AmeriCorps is seeking individuals to serve in a variety of programs. In particular, LFS AmeriCorps is seeking candidates with Karen/Burmese bilingual ability as well as candidates with Nepali bilingual ability to help facilitate programs serving refugee and immigrant populations. Recruitment postings can be found on www.careerlink.com.

AmeriCorps is open to U.S. citizens, nationals or lawful permanent resident aliens age 17 and older. For more information about AmeriCorps, benefits and requirements and available positions, contact Charlie Olsen, LFS AmeriCorps Program Manager at (402) 346-6100 or visit the LFS AmeriCorps website at www.lfsneb.org/community/americorps.asp.

Native American Heritage Month Events

MCC is hosting several events recognizing Native American Heritage Month. Find a list of all of the events at www.mccneb.edu/publicaffairs/html/native_american_month_2011.html.

Read It and Eat Culinary Conference

The Omaha Public Library is inviting the public to an event celebrating culinary in Omaha. MCC Culinary Arts students that took part in creating the Season with Sage cookbook will take part in a student panel discussing the cookbook's production. The event will also host lunch and a cookbook exchange and several speakers. The event is free and open to the public.

Saturday, Nov. 5
11 a.m.–4 p.m.
W. Dale Clark Main Library
215 S. 15th St., 4th Floor

Reminder: Winter Quarter Tuition Is Due Nov. 7

You can pay your tuition by:

  • Logging in to WebAdvisor to pay online.
  • Stopping by Student Services cashiering.
  • Mailing a check or money order to Metropolitan Community College, Attn: Student Accounts, P.O. Box 3777, Omaha, NE 68103-0777.
  • Calling Student Accounts at (402) 457-2405.
  • Setting up a FACTS Payment Plan at www.mccneb.edu/currentstudents/facts.asp.

Veteran's Celebrating Education Week

MCC is participating in Veteran's Celebrating Education Week with multiple events. Visit the South Omaha Campus Nov. 7-10 and take part.

Nov. 7
Military Kitchen Trailer Unit
Get a free hot dog and chips with a student i.d.
10:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
Mahoney Building parking lot

Nov. 8
Civilian Support Team Disaster Relief Demonstrations
See demonstrations every hour on the hour in areas of disaster relief provided by the Army National Guard in partnership with Metropolitan Community College's Criminal Justice, Health, Information Technology and Science programs.
9 a.m.–3 p.m.
Mahoney Building parking lot

Responding to Brain Injuries in Veterans Returning from Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom
8:30 a.m.–4 p.m.
(registration required)

Nov. 9
Responding to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Needs of Veterans Return from Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom
8:30 a.m.–2 p.m.
(registration required)

Nov. 10
Veteran's Celebration Day
Join Metropolitan Community College in recognizing military veterans. CMSgt. Gary F. Sparks, Nebraska Air National Guard member and MCC instructor, will present the keynote address.
10–11 a.m.
Industrial Training Center, Room 120

For more information on Veteran's Celebrating Education Week, visit www.mccneb.edu/publicaffairs/html/veterans_education_week_2011.html.

Financial Literacy Fair

As part of Money Smart Week, TRiO is hosting a Financial Literacy Fair. Agencies, businesses and instructors will provide financial literacy information and handouts on services provided. Money Smart Week is a public awareness initiative of the Nebraska Financial Education Coalition, a nonprofit created to help Nebraskans of all ages improve their level of financial literacy.

Tuesday, Nov. 8
10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Fort Omaha Campus
Bldg. 10, Commons

Wednesday, Nov. 9
10 a.m.–2 p.m.
South Omaha Campus
Connector Building, Commons

Omaha Asian Teen Summit (OATS)

Omaha-area Asian teens and college students are invited to a free summit aimed at empowering future Asian-American leaders. The conference includes sessions on networking skills, leadership and team development, career exploration and a cultural celebration luncheon. The keynote speaker is Dr. Roderic Hewlett, Dean of Bellevue University's College of Business.

Saturday, Nov. 12
9 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Bellevue University
Marge H. Durham Student Center
1000 Galvin Rd. S.
Bellevue, NE 68005

Self Defense Class for Women

The MCC Police Department is offering a self defense class for women. The class is free of charge and open to any female MCC student or employee.

Saturday, Nov. 12
South Omaha Campus
Connector Building, Room 247
8:30–11:30 a.m. (morning session)
12:30–3:30 p.m. (afternoon session)

Tuesday, Nov. 29
Elkhorn Valley Campus
Room 114
8:30–11:30 a.m. (morning session)
12:30–3:30 p.m. (afternoon session)

For those interested, email djfriend@mccneb.edu to reserve a spot in one of the sessions. The sessions are limited to 20 participants. If these sessions fill, additional ones may be offered.

For more information, visit www.nsdi.org/safe.htm.

Weekly Green Tip

Dust your light bulbs and change them-to compact fluorescent-only when they burn out. You'll increase energy efficiency and light output, and because electricity production generates pollution, you'll also help promote cleaner air. If every American home changed out just five regular light fixtures or the bulbs in them with more energy-efficient compact fluorescent ones, we'd keep more than one trillion pounds of greenhouse gases out of our air-equal to the emissions of eight million cards. That's $6 billion in energy savings for Americans. – The Green Book

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