A balanced education
It’s said that the key to a healthy lifestyle comes from balance. Good eating habits along with exercise and plenty of rest have a bigger impact on a person’s health when combined. Similarly, for someone pursuing a college education, balance is also crucial to achieving one’s goals. But outside of the classes, what are other components of a “healthy” college education?
Because more schoolwork is typically done outside of the classroom, the services in an academic support center become important to success. For those with a disability, a variety of accommodations are available (e.g., assistive devices or testing modifications). Additionally, tutoring gives all students the opportunity to review subject material with a professional or peer tutor, which can increase confidence and enhance academic skills.
Another campus location providing balance is the college library. More than just a study space, the library is a gateway for resources beyond a textbook. The options can be overwhelming when it’s time to broaden one’s knowledge about a subject. Helping to differentiate between credible resources and information is where the library takes a primary role, not only with finding physical sources of information (books, periodicals, etc.), but also assisting with the variety of resources available online such as subject databases, electronic journals, and e-books.
In addition to these academic services and resources, colleges offer balance through other offices and programs. Participation in athletics or student activities provides engagement opportunities outside of classes, while other areas help enhance the college experience, too. For example, academic advisors assist students with identifying goals and aligning them to appropriate programs of study. Counseling services are available for dealing with the different personal challenges of pursuing a college credential. Additionally, knowing that learning is best achieved in a safe and secure environment, related programming and education is a regular part of the academic year, and a code of conduct helps to establish expectations for campus behavior while policies and processes exist to deal with school-related issues.
While a new year often brings resolutions towards enhancing our physical lives, many also seek ways to build themselves up beyond a gym. Fortunately, at Marshalltown Community College and other campuses across the country, students always have a variety of supports available to gain that healthy balance in their educational life.
Nate Chua is the Dean of Students and Learning Services for Marshalltown Community College.