My College Success Network Completers Celebrate
05 August 2021
Many of us are familiar with the African proverb, “it takes a village to raise a child.” The truth is, it “takes a village” to achieve just about any meaningful change. This is where the My College Success Network comes into play for many Harford students who need additional support and resources to navigate the world of higher education. With a “village” of academic coaches and advisors, the students who complete the My College Success Network program develop academic success strategies while increasing motivation and persistence. Data indicates that students who complete academic coaching earn higher grades and are retained at higher rates than those who do not participate in the program. While the MCSN was created to address achievement gaps in graduation and retention between students of color and Caucasian students, all students, regardless of ethnicity, are welcome to participate.
In a year when most everything was difficult, uncertainties loomed and challenges were evident in the new virtual environment, these students rose above it all and succeeded. The program recently celebrated the unique and challenging year with an “end of semester” celebration that included several of the faculty and staff members who played a part in assisting the students in achieving their goals. Although virtual, this year’s MCSN students were more than happy to join the affair and present their self-reflective final projects that included videos, poems, essays, and art pieces to commemorate their year and personal growth.
Opening with a short video clip of the song “This Day” from the movie Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey, the hopeful, encouraging lyrics spoke to everyone: “Your best is yet to come; the only thing that matters is right now; this is our moment, let’s own it.” Dr. Felder, HCC’s president, then spoke about her own experience as a college student and reminded everyone of her goal to continue to remove barriers for students so they can go further and achieve more on their educational path. She told students to use every opportunity that comes their way and to “be willing to outwork everyone else.” Following up on these sentiments was Vice President for Student Success Dr. Jacquie Jackson, who spoke about persevering during the pandemic. She also proposed a challenge to the MCSN students: “I challenge you to expand your horizons. Be bold, go big!” Additional remarks were made by Academic Coaches Jennifer MyersSmith and Jenny Jakulin, and Associate Vice President for Student Development Jennie Towner who also thanked the various divisions and departments at Harford for all of their support.
Each MCSN student chose their own way to express the theme for this year: “How did I get here?” Ashley Hurte shared heartfelt words about her first year as a student at Harford. Annette Boxley read her original poem about life lessons, her accomplishments and failures, and spoke about where she finds herself now in her higher ed journey. Dania Rodriz prepared a “Dear Diary” presentation about her challenges and facing them head on. Jacoury Goode created a humorous video in which he documented his recent career exploration. Olivia Reynolds presented a touching selfie-style video that included an original poem about personal growth. Rounding out the presentations was Kevin Gloster, who unveiled his artistic talents with his painting consisting of personal iconic symbols that represented his educational journey. Kevin also spoke about his success with the program and shared his accomplishments which included earning a 3.6 GPA and being awarded the Donald J. Waldon, Alpha Phi Alpha Scholarship. “The programs and events offered by the My College Success Network helped mold me into a more confident and courageous student and person through useful and necessary information about careers and scholastics,” Kevin told the group.
The My College Success Network team of academic coaches and advisors take great pride in both the variety and quality of support they provide for their students. Programs initiated through the Network include Soar2Success, Academic Success Coaching, Student Success Advising, and Strengths Through Support Group Sessions. By assisting students throughout their time at Harford, the mentors maintain the goal of guiding them towards graduation and making sure they will have accomplished what they set out to do.
My College Success Network
For additional information on this program or any of our other academic support services, visit Advising, Career and Transfer Services or call 443.412.2301.