Students pitch new ideas to enhance the college experience at MCC-Longview

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In ABC’s hit show Shark Tank, the no-nonsense judges don’t mince words, the competition for funding is fierce and both the judges and the competitors stand to benefit when a good investment is identified. In MCC-Longview’s version of Shark Tank, the judges aren’t as harsh and the competition is less cut-throat, but the benefits for all students are very real.

In a first-of-its-kind Shark Tank-style contest, several groups of MCC-Longview students presented new ideas for enhancing the campus experience to MCC-Longview president, Kirk Nooks, and a panel other campus leaders. The students, who were enrolled in MCC’s first-year student orientation class, developed their ideas while participating in a class project called MCC Makeover.

Students were challenged to makeover some part of the MCC student experience that might increase student success. They brainstormed and researched common challenges students have when it comes to completing college and earning a degree. The project didn’t just help first-time college students gain a deeper understanding about what it takes to succeed in college, MCC-Longview campus administrators learned something, too.

“At the end of the day, we want to do what’s best for our students,” said Karen Goos, MCC-Longview’s dean of students. “Seeing challenges from a student’s point of view is always valuable because it helps us develop good student success solutions.”

The best seven ideas from all College 100 sections were presented to the MCC-Longview Shark Tank. The proposals included installing a bike rental stand as well as renovating the campus gymnasium.

The judges selected an idea developed by students Katherine Boone and Destiny Stanley as the winner. The two students recommended the should college offer College 100 in the evening and the curriculum cover topics specific to the non-traditional student experience.

“Katherine and Destiny presented a great plan for developing a College 100 class specifically for non-traditional students that will be easy to implement,” Nooks said. “As a community college, we want to offer an exceptional campus experience to students from all walks of life, so it makes sense we’d tailor a new student orientation specifically for non-traditional students coming to MCC-Longview.”