On February 11, dozens of SUNY campuses convened at the Legislative Office Building in Albany’s Empire State Plaza to showcase their individual contributions to their communities as well as SUNY’s collective contributions. SUNY Day is an event where the public, senators, and assemblymen are all welcome to see the latest of what each SUNY campus has to offer. This year’s theme was experiential education.
Generation SUNY is helping to bring you a few of those stories in our SUNY DAY 2013 series.
Monroe Community College (SUNY) is one of the many community colleges in the SUNY system. It is located in Rochester, which is the third largest city in New York state and the county seat of Monroe County. The city leads the world in production of photographic materials, optical, control, and medical-surgical instruments, as well as automotive and office equipment. Representatives from these local industries serve the College in an advisory capacity to ensure that College programs meet the employment needs of the community. Rochester is rich in educational and cultural resources.
At SUNY Day 2013, we had the pleasure of speaking with Ross Micali, Program Coordinator at MCC, about the various experiential education opportunities afforded to students at MCC and how these can lead to post-graduate success. A large co-op program associated with the college is with Disney. The Disney College Program provides students with a semester at Disney World in Florida or Disney Land in California. Not only do they receive 6 credits but “a lifetime worth of experience.”
Service learning also plays a big role at MCC. As part of their curriculum, students go out and perform community service. They are required to keep journals and blogs of their journeys to finding the community’s needs. “At MCC, students participate in service projects that are tied to courses in English, Law and Criminal Justice, Sociology, Education, Marketing, Business, Art and other curricula.”
He also elaborated on the newest addition to the college. The web-based career exploration tool, Career Coach, is strongly encouraged towards students to use for assistance in defining their career paths. With Career Coach, anyone who logs into the MCC website can search a desired occupation and results will include employment trends, courses needed, and opportunities within 15 to 100 miles. “We’re trying to get people aware of everything that we do”, said Micali. “There are things unique to MCC that you may not find someplace else.”