What it takes in getting “to a degree” at North Central Missouri College

NCMC Tutoring Center Coordinator Jayne Meservey

What does it take to get “to a degree?” Take a bunch of classes, and pass them? Before I started working at NCMC, that is what I thought. After all, when I have challenges, I solve them and move on to the next challenge. It is not that simple for many of our students. Often a bad grade, or life event, really becomes a roadblock, instead of a hurdle to leap past and move forward. It is harder to get them to let go and move on to that next challenge.

This is not some new issue caused by COVID; it is more of a disconnect that occurs when students are not leaning on available support to get through their courses. One of the available supports in the NCMC Tutoring Center. The Tutoring Center is not just the place students come to talk through their current assignments and plan for the next. Beyond academics, it is a place to reorganize students’ mindsets, enabling them to persevere as they realize they are not in this alone.

It may be surprising to think of a tutoring space as the place students talk about how to juggle childcare, where to get their tires fixed, how to deal with their long-distance relationships, or even to share general cost-saving tips to avoid debt. It’s not exactly a one-stop fix-it place, but definitely, a place students go to find someone to assist in their struggles and help them maintain a healthy mind by leaning on all of the resources at NCMC, as well as their caring support system.

If a student does not have that support system in place, ideas are discussed on how to make changes to gain that strong support. Honest discussions and empathy are key contributors to preparing students to move on “to a degree. The Tutoring Center is a place that facilitates these connections in addition to offering academic help, making the Center an all-around student-focused service.