Monday, January 31, 2011

Inclement Weather

All MCC evening classes for Blue River, BTC, Longview, Maple Woods and Penn Valley are cancelled for Monday, 1/31/11.

AAWCC meeting postponed

Due to the possible poor weather this week, The Kansas City Chapter of The American Association for Women in Community Colleges (AAWCC) meeting that was scheduled for Feb. 3 will be postponed. The meeting has been rescheduled for March 3 from 2:30 - 4 p.m. at the MCC-BTC Conference Annex, room 104A.

Career opportunity

CO# 11-022 PV Custodian
  • posted Jan. 31, 2011
  • will be removed from the website on Feb. 13 for the initial screening.
  • For more information or to apply: click here.

Flying pies on campus - MCC-Blue River's pie throwing contest

Career opportunities

CO# 11-020 LV Custodian
  • posted Jan. 28, 2011
  • will be removed from the website on Feb. 13
  • For more information or to apply: click here

CO# 11-021 LV Custodian
  • posted Jan. 28, 2011
  • will be removed from the website on Feb. 13
  • For more information or to apply: click here

Penn Valley kicks off roundtable discussions

Penn Valley Interim President Joe Seabrooks kicked off the first in a series of roundtable discussions on Thursday. The small group discussions are aimed at assembling students, faculty and staff to focus on outcomes that:
• Generate strategies for creating an innovative student-centered institution.
• Identify programs and strategies to dramatically improve student success.
• Develop strategies to maximize and leverage our rich diverse community.
The next roundtable discussions are Feb. 4 at 1:30 p.m., Feb. 17 at 2 p.m. and Feb, 18 at 1:30 p.m. All meetings will be held in CC 503.

Congratulations on your degree!

On behalf of the MCC-Maple Woods family - Congratulations!

The following staff, faculty and administrators earned a higher education degree in the fall of 2010:

Rosemary Asta, student services specialist, earned her bachelor's degree in Communication Arts, Theory and Human Relations from Park University.

Chad Montuori, Spanish instructor, successfully defended his disseration "Gendering Migration from Africa to Spain: Literary Representations of Femininities and Masculinities."

Brian Bechtel, associate dean, received his Doctorate of Education in Education Leadership and Policy Analysis from University of Missouri-Columbia. His disseration was titled "An Examination of the Leadership Competencies Within a Community College Leadership Development Program."

Friday, January 28, 2011

Penn Valley to host income tax return program

MCC-Penn Valley will again serve as a site for the IRS-sponsored Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. VITA offers free tax help to hard-working taxpayers with incomes of $49,000 and below who cannot prepare their own tax returns. Certified volunteers sponsored by various organizations receive training to help prepare and electronically file basic tax returns in communities across the country. VITA sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls, and other convenient locations.

The program will be held on Tuesdays from 5 to 8 p.m. beginning Feb. 1 and lasting until April 12. The program will not offer tax return prep on March 15.

This year all sites will have a financial education expert and all participants will receive a financial education packet. The financial education experts will be at the sites to answer basic questions about such subjects as savings bonds, youth savings accounts, budgeting, etc. The packet of information contains basic financial education information to the participants. I have attached the information that is included in the packets.

Chancellor Mark James visits MCC-Maple Woods

Chancellor Mark James visited MCC-Maple Woods on Jan. 25 to have lunch with employees, administrators and students. He talked about MCC's budget looking forward and answered employee and student questions.
James is planning informal lunch discussions with each campus this semester to communicate important information and hear feedback about MCC.

MCC-BTC Enrollment Surpasses 1,000!

Although the Precision Machine lab staff assured us they could manufacture a cake pan in the shape of 1,000, we chose 100 cupcakes instead.
At BTC’s campus inservice from left: Ed McCarty, Cisco Academy Program Coordinator; Peeking from behind balloons, Karen Moore, Dean of Student Services; Dick Decker, HVAC Instructor; Jess Harding, HVAC Program Coordinator; and Mike Thorne, HVAC Instructor.

During the first week of 2011, a singular yet significant change happened at MCC-BTC. Our current headcount crossed the threshold from a three-digit number to four digits. MCC-BTC now has more than 1,000 students!

In the last three years, enrollment has grown by 40 percent from around 750 students in 2008 to nearly 1,060 today. During the same period, more than 2,000 credit hours have been added to the BTC schedule.

“We’ve become a full-service campus over the last couple of years – we’ve added a Learning Resource Center, a student lounge, and a full-time placement coordinator to name a few of our recent developments,” said Tom Wheeler, Dean of Instruction.

Welcome back to the Woods!

MCC-Maple Woods kicked off Welcome Week Jan. 24, aiming to get student back in the swing for an awesome spring semester.

Contests, College Survival Day, a resource fair with campus reps and tasty free food were all part of the festivities at the event hosted by the Campus Life and Leadership office.

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Ellen W. Wolf’s works to be featured in “Transitional Dimensions” exhibit at Carter Art Center

Award-winning 2D and 3D artist Ellen Wilkins Wolf is one of three local artists whose works will be featured in “Transitional Dimensions,” an exhibit that explores the concept of depth within space that is both real and suggested. The exhibit will open Feb. 4 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Carter Art Center at MCC-Penn Valley, 3201 Southwest Trafficway. An artist talk will begin at 6:30 p.m. The show will be sponsored by the Friends of the Carter Art Center.

The exhibit will run until March 4 Tuesdays-Fridays 1 to 5 p.m. and Saturdays Noon-3 p.m.

Wolf,tenured associate professor of art from Northern Arizona University, retired and relocated to Kansas City to be closer to family.

She exhibited extensively in the Southwest and was honored with a cultural exchange traveling exhibit to Mexico.

Her gallery representation included The Elaine Horwitch Gallery in Sedona, AZ, Old Town Gallery in Flagstaff, AZ and The Edith Lambert Gallery in Santa Fe, NM.

During her teaching career she received numerous honors and awards, including outstanding educator awards in both Kansas and Arizona. Recently, she taught art history and studio courses at MCC-Penn Valley, hosted a monthly artists’ group in her studio, gave artist talks to local organizations, taught workshops on mixed media and collage and showed her work in numerous juried, solo and group exhibitions.

This past summer she was honored with a solo exhibition in the Regional Gallery of the George A. Spiva Center for the Arts. A charter member of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, she served as a board member of the local chapter 2003-2009.

For more information on “Transitional Dimensions” exhibit, go to or call 816.604.4ART (4278).

MCC-Maple Woods presents Black History Month film series

February is Black History Month, and MCC-Maple Woods will present and educational film series exploring the African American culture from the Civil War period through the 1950s. English instructor Joel Conway will discuss each film and its impact on audiences, both then and now.

These events are free and open to the public. All films will be shown from 6-8 p.m. in the Humanities Building, Room 204.

Feb. 1, 2011
A Raisin in the Sun

Originally debuting as a play on Broadway in 1959, A Raisin in the Sun was the first play written by a black woman, Lorraine Hansberry, to make it to the Great White Way. It was also the first Broadway show with a black director, Lloyd Richards. A Raisin in the Sun follows the Youngers, a multi-generational back family living in Chicago just after WWII. The play explores the implications of becoming more a part of the "white" world and role family plays in times of crisis, financial and otherwise.

Feb. 15, 2011
Unchained Memories: Readings from the Slave Narratives

Born from the Federal Writers Project of the 1930s, The Slave Narratives emcompassed the autobiographical accounts of more than 2,000 former slaves in 17 states. Narrated by Whoopi Goldberg, Unchained Memories features readings fo the personal histories by actors like Vanessa Williams, Ossie Davis, Jasmine Guy, Angela Bassett, Robert Guillaume and Oprah Winfrey.

Feb. 21, 2011
Strange Fruit

Strange Fruit, a documentary filme, chronicles the story of famous singer Billie Holiday and her 1939 recording of the song "Strange Fruit." Originally written as a poem by a teacher to condemn racism and the lynching of African American men, Holiday recorded the song amid fears of backlash. The song became one of the most powerful songs of her generation, and has since been covered by more than 20 artists.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dr. Fred Grogan honored by Lee's Summit Cares

Mayor's Character Breakfast, Jan. 26, 2011

MCC-Longview president Dr. Fred Grogan and 11 others in the Lee's Summit Community were honored Thursday morning at the Mayor's annual Character Breakfast.

The breakfast, sponsored by Lee's Summit Cares, highlights 11 major characteristics in individuals that make them a great asset to the community - such as their perseverance, courage, compassion, etc.

Grogan was honored for his kindness.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Blue River art students' works featured at gala

Original works of art by MCC-Blue River students recently served as table center pieces at the Independence Chamber of Commerce's 90th gala. The students, under the direction of art instructor DeAnna Skedel, gained experience in not only designing the pieces, but working through the entire creative process. From looking for inspiration to presenting their designs to the gala committee, the art students were exposed to a very detailed process.

The final design represented a semester long endeavor which encompassed various elements of design and was reflective of popular architecture found throughout the Independence community.  The students were recognized during the festivities at the gala for their efforts. 
For more information about the art program at MCC-Blue River, call 816.604.6664 or visit

MCC welcomes new employees

Alex Lopez, PV; Charles McMullin, LV; Luann Heacock, BR; Ronald Morris, PV; Chris Page, BTC; Katherine Ranstrom, BTC; Joseph Kern, PV; Ralph Collier, PV; Jason Samayoa, AC

Steve Mayse’s works to be featured in “Transitional Dimensions” at Carter Art Center

Steve Mayse is one of three local artists whose works will be featured in “Transitional Dimensions,” an exhibit that explores the concept of depth within space that is both real and suggested. The exhibit will open Feb. 4 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Carter Art Center at MCC-Penn Valley, 3201 Southwest Trafficway. An artist talk will begin at 6:30 p.m. The show will be sponsored by the Friends of the Carter Art Center.

The exhibit will run until March 4 Tuesdays-Fridays 1 to 5 p.m. and Saturdays Noon-3 p.m.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Career opportunity

CO# 11-019 LV Student Services Technician - FPT
* posted Jan. 25, 2011
* will be removed from the website on Feb. 6, 2011
* For more information or to apply, click here.

Upcoming payment changes for students

MCC students will soon begin seeing this poster on all MCC campuses alerting them to the upcoming payment change.
When students enroll for summer or fall 2011, they will have to do one of three things:

1) pay their tuition in full
2) sign up for the MCC Payment Plan (a $35 non-refundable fee) or
3) have completed their financial aid process resulting in aid being applied to their account.

Special circumstances may apply to students in the A+ program, veterans, and those using tuition waivers or third party payment methods.

MCC featured in upcoming PBS documentary

The MCC Institute for Workforce Innovation continues to receive national attention as it will be featured in an upcoming documentary entitled, Change Agents: Community Colleges in the 21st Century, to air on PBS later this year.

Change Agents examines the role of community colleges in a shifting economy and the demands for new services that meet the needs of both students and employers. MCC was one of five colleges from around the country profiled for unique and innovative approaches to challenges such as shifts in student demographics, globalization, developing technologies and workforce demands. The documentary provides a holistic view of the state of community colleges, including interviews with students, faculty and government officials, including U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

The focus of the MCC segment is workforce development in manufacturing, highlighting the Institute for Workforce Innovation’s on-going relationship with

Penn Valley bookstore now selling bus passes!

Students and employees can now puchase Metro bus passes in the MCC-Penn Valley bookstore. Passes are $50 regular rate and $25.00 reduced for qualified persons.
Persons who wish to see if they qualify for the reduced rate can visit for reduced fare qualifications.

Monday, January 24, 2011

2011 Lee's Summit Arts Challenge brings new artists into the spotlight at MCC-Longview

2011 Lee's Summit Fine Arts Challenge

The 2011 Lee's Summit Fine Arts Challenge is off and artwork from some of the most talented high school students in the R-7 Schools District is on a full display in the MCC-Longview Cultural Arts Center.

On Friday more than 100 people packed into the Cultural Arts Center gallery to be a part of the opening event and get a sneak peak at who is going to be the next great artist coming out of Lee's Summit.

"This is such a unique experience for some of these artists as it is the first time they are exposed to what it is like to have their pieces displayed in a gallery like ours," gallery curator Daniel Reneau said.

Although the exhibit's opening night was Friday, the exhibit itself will be open until Feb. 26.

2011 Lee's Summit Fine Arts Challenge

Lee's Summit Arts Challenge
MCC-Longview Cultural Arts Center
Jan. 21- Feb. 26
The Gallery is open Noon-4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

UPDATE: Check out the fun video from the event.

MCC-Blue River asks..."Are you ready for a throw down?"

MCC-Blue River is hosting the second annual Transfer Trivia Throwdown. This event is a competition for Blue River student groups, clubs and organizations to prove what they know; learn a bit more and win some cold, hard cash for their organizational cause!

Up to five student groups will participate. Their challenge is to correctly answer a series of questions about transferring to four year schools. Mark your calendar for:

Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011
12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Blue River Campus Center Lobby

The winning group will be awarded $100 to use within their club, organization, or team!

MCC-Maple Woods service learning students to prepare free tax returns

MCC-Maple Woods is offering free federal and state income tax preparation for moderate- and low-income households in the Metro area. The free tax preparation sessions will be held Wednesdays from 4:30-7:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in the MCC-Maple Woods Computer-Business Room 105 Feb. 2-Apr. 13, 2011. There also will be additional sessions from 1-4 p.m. each Friday in Feb. There will be no sessions March 16 and 19 due to spring break. Household income cannot exceed $49,000 to be eligible for free filing.

Participants should bring the following documents with them: Social Security Card or Individual Tax Identification number (ITIN) for each family member; valid photo ID from Missouri or Kansas; W-2 forms for all jobs worked in 2010; any 1099 forms for other income received in 2010; childcare provider name, address and tax ID number; any other tax-related document you have received; voided bank check for automatic deposit; and a copy of 2009 tax return. All adults listed on the tax return must be present to sign the forms.

The tax preparations are part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Taxes will be prepared by MCC-Maple Woods accounting students who have been trained and certified by the IRS.

Culprit & the Cure begins today!

The Culprit & the Cure email book club for MCC employees begins today, and there is still time to sign up. If you want to join many of your colleagues who plan to complete this program (and earn a wellness medal of honor), visit with one of your wellness reps to sign up. The cost of the book is a mere $3.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Careers Unlimited picks up sponsor, picks up speed

Students at last year's Careers Unlimited exploration and career fair saw hands-on careers through a whole new lens.

Next month, nearly 3,000 high school students will converge on the MCC-Business & Technology campus for the third annual Careers Unlimited exploration and career fair. And for the first time, the fair has a leading corporate sponsor: Cerner Corporation.

The event, which will be held on Wednesday, February 9, at the MCC Exhibit Hall, provides local high school youth an opportunity to explore various career fields in a tradeshow-like format. The event has been growing in popularity among students and employers since its inception in 2009.

"This is a chance for students to browse a lot of hands-on career options they may not have been aware of or to get more information about options they've already been considering," said Careers Unlimited coordinator Katie Cone. "In the last two years, we've found that it's also a good recruiting tool for MCC."
The students will be able to explore MCC's 80 career and technical degree and certificate programs which blend classroom instruction with hands-on skill development.

Students can compete for more than $3,000 in prizes

For the second year in a row, MCC college students can compete in the 2nd Annual Amtrak TRAINSportation (that’s not a typo) Video Contest.

Amtrak is looking for a winning video travelogue from students in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin for the chance to win more than $3,000 worth of prizes including a MacBook Air, a Fuji 3D Digital Camera and travel on Amtrak.

Students can enter the contest by submitting a train travel-themed video by Feb. 28, 2011, here.

Submissions will be judged by industry experts including Andrew Schneider, publisher/editor of Screen Magazine, Lori Rackl, travel editor of the Chicago Sun-Times, and Stephen Harris, director of nonfiction and alternative programming for A&E Television Network. Amtrak plans to use the winning video in future promotional campaigns.

For more information, contest rules, prize details and to enter the 2nd Annual Amtrak TRAINsportation Video Contest please visit the website.

MCC-Maple Woods welcomes new students at orientation

First time students, whether they are fresh out of high school, returning to school after several years away or transferring from another institution, find helpful information and welcoming faces at the beginning of each semester.

New student orientation, sponsored by the campus life and leadership and admissions offices, give students an opportunity to get familiar with the campus, learn what they need to do to be successful in their courses and how to manage their financial obligations.

MCC-Maple Woods hosts 3-4 new student orientation sessions each semester, focusing on different groups for specialized information – re-entry students, traditional students and students receiving A+ benefits.

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2nd Annual Lee's Summit Fine Arts Challenge opening reception TONIGHT

Check out this video from the 2010 Fine Arts Challenge

The MCC-Longview Cultural Arts Center is proud to present its second annual Lee’s Summit Fine Arts Challenge, a high school fine arts competition and exhibit featuring the works of high school students from the three Lee’s Summit High Schools.

Tonight's opening ceremony and awards presentation will kick off the month-long exhibition that has become one of the Cultural Arts Center's most popular events.

“This is a great opportunity for high school students to interact with fellow art students and professional artists here at MCC-Longview,” said Daniel Reneau, MCC-Longview Cultural Arts Center gallery manager.
This year, officials have invited David Harrison, a painting instructor at the Kansas City Art Institute, to judge the competition and selected the top high school artists in Lee’s Summit.

Sandra Van Tuyl’s works to be featured in “Transitional Dimensions” exhibit at Carter Art Center

Sandra Van Tuyl is one of three local artists whose works will be featured in “Transitional Dimensions,” an exhibit that explores the concept of depth within space that is both real and suggested. The exhibit will open Feb. 4 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Carter Art Center at MCC-Penn Valley, 3201 Southwest Trafficway. An artist talk will begin at 6:30 p.m. The show will be sponsored by the Friends of the Carter Art Center.

The exhibit will run until March 4 Tuesdays-Fridays 1 to 5 p.m. and Saturdays Noon-3 p.m.

A professional artist for the past 14 years, and a Kansas City native, Sandra Van Tuyl uses structures and deserted urban spaces to create emotional language. These dreamlike paintings have been accepted to regional exhibitions throughout the Midwest - from the Williams Wood University in Fulton, Missouri to the Salina Art Center and the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins, Colorado.

MCC-Longview honors staff and faculty who go above and beyond

The MCC-Longview First Learning Year Team once again honored those important faculty and staff members who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that students are successful in their first academic year here.

This year, the FLYT Best Practices committee awarded four outstanding individuals with the award.

The first two recipients, associate dean Marvin Aaron and Dean Beth Lindquist, were nominated individually, but were be awarded together.

They were given the FLYT Best Practices Award, as without them there would be no First Learning Year Team. These individuals have persevered in the face of resistance with good humor and magnanimity to keep FLYT alive and flourishing on our campus.

The next two recipients, Bridget Gold and Becky Foster, were nominated as a team.

They have supported first year students by promoting scholarship, effective study skills, creating opportunities for students to utilize campus resources, and demonstrating teamwork through the use of the learning center and through the teaching of a learning community.

Congratulations to all the recipients!

Past recipients of the FLYT Best Practices award were:

Diane Bailey, John Church, Burke Maxted, and Connie Flick-Hruska, Kim Prosak, Cathy-Hardy Parcell

Mary Abraham, Greg Loftin, Stephen Reinbold, Joan Bergstrom, Greg Loftin

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Inclement Weather

All MCC evening classes are cancelled for 1/20/11.

MCC-Maple Woods students, faculty and staff get busy, dirty during “A Day On”

Crafting, cleaning, cooking, painting – faces and walls – and organizing were all a part of the amazing effort put forth by MCC-Maple Woods students, staff, faculty and administrators during MCC’s MLK Day of Service 2011.

More than 50 volunteers took to the Northland with six service projects to keep everyone busy.

The Student Center was home to craft central, where volunteers made fleece blankets and photo frames for the Northland Children’s Mercy residents. Several volunteers organized and helped unload items at Hillcrest Thrift Store, working the loading docks and helping to tag clothing and organize the larger items. The Hillcrest Transitional Housing facility in Liberty, Mo., got a fresh coat of paint and the food pantry at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church got scrubbed, stocked and organized. Students and staff hosted a carnival for residents of the Heritage Village Assisted Living facility – this is where the face/head painting comes in – and a another group hosted a lunch for residents at one of Synergy’s safe houses for victims of domestic violence.

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Inclement Weather

MCC AC,PV,PIO,BTC,BR,MW,LV,BTC is closed due to inclement weather. See for more info.

Enrollment and Weather

Because of MCC Campus closings today, Jan. 20, 2011, the last date for on-line student enrollment will be extended to Tuesday of next week (Jan. 25 at 11:59 a.m.) in order to accommodate Tuesday/Thursday class enrollment. Campus enrollment would also be allowed until that time so that it matches student self service on-line enrollment.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Nursing will accept applications postmarked on Jan. 20th

The deadline for the Associate Degree Nursing application is Jan. 20. In case the MCC-Penn Valley Health Science Institute is closed due to expected bad weather conditions, applications that are postmarked on Jan. 20 will be accepted.


All MCC locations will close today, 1/19/10 at 4:00 PM. Night classes have been cancelled.

Dual goes digital

MCC has long provided dual-credit courses and online courses, but this semester marks the first time the college has combined the two to offer an online dual-credit course.

As part of a growing partnership with Kearney High School, MCC is testing out this innovative course structure with a pilot English 102 course that began in early January. The course is taught by Jodi Puls, who teaches dual credit at MCC-Maple Woods and full-time at the high school.

Lynn Barron, associate dean of instruction at MCC-Maple Woods, said that more online dual-credit courses are currently being explored.

MCC-Maple Woods Student Ambassadors awarded for dedication and leadership

Student Ambassador Leadership Awards were recently presented for outstanding work and contribution to the MCC-Maple Woods campus for Fall 2010.

Duc Nguyen received the Ambassador Rookie of the Semester Award which recognizes first-time ambassadors for exemplary service and excellent performance during their first semester as an Ambassador. Duc was the videographer for the group and made great videos promoting ambassadors and their events. He will assume the role of Social Chair for the Spring 2011 semester.

Ashley Brimeyer received the Extraordinary Monarch Award. Ashley exhibited high levels of professionalism and leadership along with an above-and-beyond work ethic devoted to developing a positive team atmosphere for the group. Ashley served as the Ambassador Secretary and has accepted the position of Vice President of Internal Affairs for the Spring 2011 Semester.

What does community service mean to you?

Community Service Means Unity

It was a simple question posed by Kim Prosak, MCC-Longview's campus life and leadership coordinator, at the MLK Day of Service event on campus.

But the shocking truth is that community service meant so many different things to the 100 or so that had gathered to turn MLK Day into a day on rather than a day off.

Each person was asked to write down, sketch out or create that it meant to them. For each person who answered there was a different view, a different take and a different bit of artistic flare that proved to be a moving and colorful experience for everyone who participated.

For more photos from the MCC-Longview MLK Day of Service, check out our photo blog over on Flickr. 

MLK Day of Service at MCC-Longview

MCC-Blue River Inservice Updates

The January 18 campus Inservice, facilitated by dean of student development, Jon Burke, delivered timely information and updates about MCC-Blue River’s recent changes and transitions.

Associate dean, Basil Lister shared that Blue River’s enrollment is at 4,129 which equals a 10% increase. This means Blue River has exceeded expectations once again!

Other updates included:

• Cheryl Carpenter Davis, an update on Administrator in Charge processes that will be followed while Dr. Seabrooks is at Penn Valley.

• Jeff Eubank will fill in for Sean Kitchell for technology needs and questions. You may reach him at 816.604.6645

• Bob Shrauner, Blue River’s physical facilities superintendant, said the campus recently recycled 9 tons of material. Removing trash cans from the classrooms has proven to be a good idea. “Students did a great job” he said.

Associate dean Karen Goos and her team are working to streamline processes to ensure the best and timeliest responses to student needs. Some changes (in addition to the remodeling) will be new systems, temporary role assignments and more.

The Welcome Center is currently manned with staff to meet a variety of student needs. The goal is a “one-stop shop”, meaning they will centralize services for student and faculty convenience. Questions may be directed to Student Development at 816.604.6558.

March is the anticipated date for completion of the remodeling.

MCC selected for pilot accreditation program

Accreditation is something that every institution of higher learning takes seriously – the ten-year review cycle encourages schools to strive to meet the education needs of the students they serve and prepare them to meet their goals. As it is now, MCC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission via PEAQ – Program to Evaluate and Advance Quality. The campus was last accredited in 2006 and is due for another reaccreditation visit in 2016.

But MCC has been selected, along with other two- and four-year institutions, to participate in a new pilot program from the Higher Learning Commission. Along with other national colleges and universities, MCC will participate in the HLC Open Pathways program. The program was offered to schools with a solid record of accreditation, inviting them to participate in the four-year Academy for Assessment of Student Learning.

The academy will require participating institutions to design a project that meets college needs, appropriate in scope and significance for the institution. During the improvement project, institutions will be subject to regular HLC and peer reviews, and will have access to all the work done by previous institutions undergoing the pilot program.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Countdown to tobacco-free MCC

Effective August 1, 2011, MCC will become tobacco-free. Chancellor Mark James made the announcement at the Chancellor Cabinet meeting on Nov.9, 2010.

This aggressive timeline will be implemented for the purpose of creating healthier campus environments for students, employees and visitors.

Tobacco-free refers to all types of smoking and smokeless tobacco products. Once implemented, all areas of MCC premises and grounds will be tobacco-free, as well as all MCC vehicles being used for MCC business. All students, employees, visitors, contractors, vendors and delivery personnel will be required to follow this initiative.

Employees lose 625 lbs in A Slimmer You!

When The Slimmer You program was launched last fall through the MCC Wellness committee, finding success stories posed as an obstacle - all participants and personal information are kept confidential. But, excited participants came to the committee, eager to talk about both the ease of the program and the results that were achieved.

Preliminary reporting from the program showed a total weight loss of 625 pounds for the MCC participants. The average weight loss was 7.7 pounds, and 12 people lost over 15 pounds!

Because the program was new to MCC employees, many of the participants weren’t sure what to expect. Rebecca Burroughs college relations coordinator at MCC-Longview (pictured above), was in that boat.

“Anytime I can get tips on how I can be healthier, I’m into it,” said Burroughs. “I didn’t really know anything about it because it was a brand new program, but I was really excited when I was picked to participate.”

Successful completers who were interviewed all talked about the ease of the program. “I was focused on making sure I did everything that was required,” Burroughs said. “First the blood work, watch the videos, then do the follow-up blood work. That was all I had to do. It wasn’t hard and I liked the videos.”

Burroughs main goal in completing the program was to be healthier overall. One thing she focused on was her cholesterol numbers. “I’m always trying to make my good cholesterol better. I knew there were some things I needed to be more aware of to try to have better lifestyle habits.”

Already a committed walker, Burroughs continued her walking program throughout the 10 weeks. “I didn’t have any expectations with weight loss,” she added, “but I did lose 14 pounds while on the program and another 2 pounds since the program ended. Even through the holidays!”

A Slimmer You is a 10-week, online program focused on healthy eating, weight management and physical activity. The time commitment is approximately one hour per week. Participants receive a packet in the mail, which guides the participant through the program; a workbook is also included.

Key features of the program include:
· Helping you develop a lifestyle of eating the foods you enjoy, while improving your health and losing weight.
· Addressing habits around eating, hunger and hydration that support weight loss or maintenance.
· Decreasing your risk for Metabolic Syndrome by addressing key risk factors – hypertension, high cholesterol and elevated blood sugar.
· Providing a holistic approach that covers, stress management, health education, exercise and fitness, and psychological and emotional fulfillment.

Another success story comes from B Sanchez, accounting specialist at the Administrative Center.

“I was interested in the program as soon as I received the email,” said Sanchez. “The program, which normally costs of $500, was being provided to us for no fee, as long as we completed the program. And of course it helped that I had to pay back $100 if I didn’t complete. That was great incentive!”

One of the perks to becoming involved with the wellness program is that the calendar of programs accessible is designed by the committee to complement one another. For example, face-to face coaching will begin the first of February. Those who want or need continued guidance can follow their program with a lifestyle coach. Any employee who is a member of the BC/BS insurance plan has the opportunity to meet monthly, at no cost, with a certified health coach, who is trained in psychology and health management.

Also, all the work done in these different programs allows employees to add to their Points to Blue rewards. Completing A Slimmer You adds 7,500 points automatically.

“I feel so great since I started the program, and I had to buy new clothes,” added Sanchez. “The bonus was adding everything to Points to Blue and getting a $250 gift card to shop on!”

Sanchez looked forward to the weekly videos and was able to lose 14 pounds on the program. “The program ended right before the holidays so the timing was great. I was able to make it through from the tips that I learned without blowing the work I had done.”

The next secession of A Slimmer You will run through the summer. Preliminary screenings are planned for sometime in May. Watch The MCC Insider as the details are hammered out and links for enrollment are established.

MCC-Longview staff strikes a pose

The MCC-Longview staff strikes a pose after an exciting day of professional development at the 2011 Campus In-service.

 (photo by Clay Bussey)

Carpenter connects with students, creates opportunities

Dianna Carpenter may not be quick to accept praise for a job well done, but when you ask her what she likes best about working at MCC, she's got a fast and enthusiastic answer.

"I love making a difference in a student's life," she says. "Creating opportunities for students by helping them get on track with their financing for college - that's why I'm here."

Carpenter, an account collections specialist in student payment services, is the Administrative Center's employee of the month for January. Now beginning her eighth year at MCC, she works with students who have defaulted - or are at risk of defaulting - on their financial aid, loans or payment plans. She finds satisfaction in helping students understand their options and providing guidance to get them back on track with their finances so they can continue attending MCC.

Though Carpenter has been working in education for 17 years, her current role is a lot different from her previous job, where she worked one-on-one with special needs students in the Lee's Summit School District.

"I sometimes miss having that kind of direct contact with students, but in my role at MCC I do still get to connect with students and offer them the resources they need to succeed," says Carpenter. "I have a passion for education and I think customer service is really important in my role and throughout the college."

That commitment to student success and satisfaction is evident to her peers.

"She is always willing to help, whether it is a co-worker or a student," said a colleague who nominated her for the employee of the month award. "She always has a smile and a positive outlook and she will go the extra mile it sometimes takes to resolve a problem. MCC is lucky to have an employee like her!"

MCC-Maple Woods takes on “best practices” at spring inservice

To meet the rising challenges of more students, less money and the need for constant innovation, MCC-Maple Woods dedicated spring inservice to looking at best practices in education, from accreditation to connecting with different kinds of students to employees managing their own practices to better serve their departments and themselves.

Cynthia Proctor, Math, Physics and Communications division chair, shared that MCC has been selected, along with other two- and four-year institutions, to participate in a new pilot program from the Higher Learning Commission for reaccreditation, which is due again in 2015-2016. Along with other national colleges and universities, MCC will participate in the HLC Open Pathways program. The program was offered to schools with a solid record of accreditation, inviting them to participate in the four-year Academy for Assessment of Student Learning.

All work conducted for the Open Pathways program will lead to a less mammoth undertaking during reaccreditation visits in the future – electronic files will be required, along with periodic updates, to keep the process streamlined and accessible, resulting in less cost, less labor cost, and a more streamlined process for MCC.

Serving the needs of different groups of students, from traditional high school graduates to returning veterans to those returning to education after many years in the workforce is one of the greatest challenges any institution faces. Andy Forester, evening and weekend coordinator at MCC-Penn Valley and chaplain for the United States National Guard, helped faculty and staff understand some of the needs of veterans returning to school after active duty and some of the challenges they face when transitioning back to civilian life.

Kim Fernandes, Kathryn Barker, Mary Northrup, Mary Ann Blitt, Ayanna Bridges, Crystal Johnson, Jessica Halperin and Kenneth Snell all gave presentations on how to best serve our students and ourselves for the next semester.

Welcome back to MCC-Maple Woods, student faculty and staff – we look forward to an exciting semester!

Reaching out to bring alumni in

Since 1990, more than 320,000 people have attended MCC. That’s a lot of alumni. That’s a lot of success stories.

To reconnect with these former students, MCC marketing has launched a campaign called 320 thousand that encourages people to get back in touch with MCC by visiting With a goal of developing a comprehensive database of former students in order to re-engage them with MCC, the campaign encourages people who visit the site to register online as alumni. Registrants will then receive invitations to attend MCC events, participate in volunteer activities, support the MCC Foundation and network with other alumni, among other opportunities.

The call is not limited to people who earned a degree or certificate from MCC, though, says MCC marketing coordinator Monica Stevens, who is managing the recruitment campaign. Nor is it limited to people who attended MCC within the last 20 years.

“We want to hear from anyone and everyone who has attended MCC – from the person who took a single class here in 1948 to the person who has earned several associate’s degrees while attending multiple MCC campuses,” said Stevens. “So many of our former students have great stories to tell and we want to hear those stories.”

If you are a former MCC student, visit the 320 thousand web site to see how you can become part of this growing network of proud alumni. And if you have family or friends who have attended MCC, send them a link to this article so they, too, can join the movement!

Upcoming Meeting - American Association for Women in Community College

Members from the MCC community will lead discussions about the benefits of joining The American Association for Women in Community Colleges (AAWCC). The AAWCC focuses on “community service, scholarship opportunities for all students, and activities related to professional growth and development.”

The details for the meeting are:

Date: February 3, 2011
Time: 2:30 pm -4:00 pm
Where: Business and Technology Center, Conference Annex 104A

Everyone [from every segment of the MCC system] is encouraged to be part of this the dialogue. If you have questions, contact Jenny Steen at 816.604.6758 or visit the AAWCC website here.

Source: AAWCC website

Join the Culprit & the Cure email book club program

The Culprit & the Cure email book club is a 7-week program designed to take MCC employees through the book The Culprit and the Cure and help employees become more responsible for their own health. The program begins on Jan. 24 and runs through March 11.

In order to complete the program, you will need to:
*Purchase the book for $3 from your wellness committee rep (listed below)
*Give your email to your rep
*Respond to 10 out of 13 emails sent to you throughout the program
*Complete a short program evaluation at the end

Employees who complete the program will earn a wellness medal of honor.

The program focuses on having a long, healthy life, adopting a healthy diet (nutrition) and being regularly physically active (exercise). Click here to view the weekly email program.

To enroll in the program, please contact your committee representative:

AC: Michelle Schmiedeler
BR: David Owens
BTC: Peggy Gann
LV: Gretchen Blythe
MW: Sheila Juenger
PV: Darrell Phillips

Choose your health, join the club!

A Day "On" for MCC-Blue River

Yesterday, MCC-Blue River joined thousands across the nation to celebrate the MLK holiday with service.

A group of students, staff and faculty joined Blue River’s Campus Life & Leadership Coordinator, Amy Slater, in volunteering at the Rainbow Center, Hillcrest Transitional Housing, and the Community Service League in Eastern Jackson County.

During the Blue River Inservice, Amy reported that the team did everything from placing clothing on hangers to shoveling snow.

Panera Bread and Lamar’s donuts supported the volunteers with kind donations of food and refreshments.

The Examiner covered the team’s efforts in yesterday's edition . Read the article here.

“Retirees also joined in” joked Blue River’s Barb Schaefer during Inservice. She and a group of volunteers created fleece blankets and donated them to Children’s Mercy Hospital as their act of service. They created 21blankets and Schaefer went on to praise their generosity as well as those that supplied materials.

Access Missouri award amounts to increase

Governor Jay Nixon announced last week an increase in award amounts for students receiving Access Missouri scholarship funds, the state’s largest need-based student financial aid program.

Award amounts will increase from $275 to $470 at public two-year institutions; from $950 to $1,010 at public four-year institutions; and from $1,900 to $2,160 at independent four-year institutions.

What does that mean for MCC students? The additional funding will increase our student eligible funds from $209,149 to $357,739 for the fall semester. Cindy Butler, director of student financial aid stated that MCC can double that to approximate that we will see $715,478 for the year. MCC has 1,524 students who receive these funds.

Commissioner of Higher Education David Russell said, “We base award amounts on estimates of how many students will be eligible. At the time award amounts are set – usually mid-summer – we do not know how many of those who are eligible will actually apply and attend college. We have traditionally taken a conservative approach to awards for the fall semester, making adjustments as needed later in the academic year.”

The state has provided more than $275 million in Access Missouri scholarships since the program was created in 2007. An average of 45,000 students with the greatest financial need have benefited from the scholarship awards each year.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Campus closed Monday, adjusted business hours Tuesday

MCC campuses and business offices will be closed on Monday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

On Tuesday, Jan. 18, the business offices will be closed because of inservice during the following times:
8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Blue River and Penn Valley
8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Maple Woods
8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Business & Technology and Longview

City of Lee's Summit honors MCC-Longview

In a special session of the City of Lee's Summit City Council, MCC-Longview was one of a short list of  Lee's Summit organizations and institutions honored by Mayor Randy Rhoads.

The special recognition was part of the Lee's Summit Celebration at City Hall that recognized some of the major achievements and accomplishments of the college, chamber of commerce, parks and recreation department and others.

Rhoads recounted MCC-Longview's 2001 College of the Year award and also spoke highly of the Writing Across the Curriculum program, which has become a natioanl model for its success.

Also recognized at Thursdays's meeting was The R-7 Public School District, Downtown Lee's Summit and the Historic Preservation Board.

To see the video from the City Council meeting, be sure to check out the Lee's Summit City Council website.

Career opportunity

CO# 11-016 LV Student Employment Services Assistant - FPT
* posted Jan. 14, 2011
* will be removed from the website on Jan. 30, 2011
*For more information or to apply:

A Blazing Season Ahead - Blue River's Trailblazers

MCC-Blue River men’s soccer team is looking to build on their Region 16 Championship success through recent and upcoming signings of very talented local and regional student-athletes. Highlighting the list of signings are two players that earned 2010 Examiner 1st Team Honors, Cody Braden of Blue Springs High School and Jeremy Sagastume of William Chrisman High School (pictured above).
In addition to being a 1st Team Selection, Cody Braden was named the 2010 Examiner Player of the Year, Class 3 All-Kansas City 1st Team and Class 3 All-State Honorable Mention. He had 7 goals and 11 assists for the Blue Springs Wildcats. This is the second time in three years Coach Owens has signed the Examiner’s POY. The last time was in 2008 (Yacine Hamchaoui of Van Horn HS). The article on Cody’s award can be accessed at

Jeremy Sagastume’s 17 goals and 12 assists also earned him Middle 7 Offensive Player of the Year and Class 3 All-Kansas City Honorable Mention. Additional area commitments to the Trail Blazers program are: Beto Alvarez, Blue Springs South (2010 Examiner Honorable Mention), Justin Schaefer, Lee’s Summit (Class 3 All-Kansas City Honorable Mention) and goal keeper Austin Prindle, Ray-Pec.

Due to the Trail Blazers 2010 success, athletes from outside the metropolitan area are interested in attending MCC-Blue River. Coach Owens recently signed three high quality soccer players from Smith-Cotton High School in Sedalia, MO. They are: Tommy Lor (2010 Class 3 Central Region and All-District 9 1st Team), Dakota Shepard (2010 Class 3 All-District 9 1st Team) and Justin Biesnicks (2010 Class 3 All-District 9 Honorable Mention). Each player signed on the January 6th and is looking forward to challenging the local players for playing time in 2011. The coaching staff is immensely excited about the potential of next year’s recruiting class.

The 2010 team was Region16 Champions. What can next year’s team achieve? We’re optimistic!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

2011 is looking good for MCC-Blue River's theatre troupe

Theatre Director - Anne MahoneyMCC-Blue River theater instructor and program director, Anne Mahoney, is excited about the upcoming spring semester and some wonderful possibilities for her theatre students in 2011.

Fresh off their fall production of “The Brave Little Tailor,” an adaptation of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, written by Brian Guehring, Mahoney is thrilled to announce that their adaptation has been entered into the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) scheduled later this spring. The KCACTF is a national theatre program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide.

MCC-Blue River’s production was entered as an associate production. As part of the troupe’s participation in festival activities, the performers and crew received

MCC-Penn Valley ID cards, bus passes available at bookstore

Student ID cards for MCC-Penn Valley students are now available at the campus bookstore. Students can get their ID card anytime the bookstore is open. Cards are processed for free for the first time, or if your card has expired. Students must submit a photo ID and a class schedule to receive their card.

If a student needs to replace a lost card, the cost is $5. To pay for the card, first visit the Penn Valley business office and then bring your receipt to the bookstore.

Monthly Metro bus passes may also be purchased at the Penn Valley bookstore for $55.

Shorter lines anticipated at MCC bookstores

College bookstores across the city are expecting long lines as student’s line up to get their text books and supplies for the upcoming spring semester. While lines are a common problem during the first days of school, MCC has been working on ways to make the student experience better.

One of those ways is the implementation of new shipping deals. Students who ordered text books from MCC’s online bookstores were able to take advantage of free shipping to their homes. MCC began offering free shipping on all text books and materials ordered through the online bookstore from Dec. 20 through Jan. 5.

Though the final numbers are not in yet, the free shipping program seems to be working. Preliminary numbers show that what used to be a 20/80 ratio now looks to be about 75/25, with 75% being the number of books shipped. MCC-Maple Woods shipped 485 orders last week. Beth Austin, MCC-Maple Woods bookstore manager is excited about the free shipping because it will help eliminate line processing and cashier hold up.

Rental Texts
The text rental program, which began at MCC in 2009, didn’t originally allow rentals to be ordered through the online bookstore. That old process contributed to even longer lines and hold ups in the book stores. It was a hassle for students who purchased the majority of texts online, because they still had to come to campus to get their rental texts. That has now been streamlined through online orders.

Rental books offer students greater savings. Some texts can cost as much as $250. Reinhard Weglarz, director of management and auxiliary services at MCC said, “Through the rental program, the student never gets stuck with a book that we won’t buyback.”

Students picking up rental books at campus bookstores will be triaged through a different line, (if they have no other purchases). The bookstores have been staffed differently than before to handle the volume with much more efficiency. “Students can sign for rental books and leave,” said Weglarz.

“To help reduce line reduction during peak times, the bookstores have implemented the ticket system, like at the DMV,” said Selin Gaona, MCC-Penn Valley bookstore manager. “Our computers now check financial aid information when students pick up their ticket [for online orders]. These changes are going to make people more satisfied because the lines are anticipated to be shorter.”

Changes on MCC employee paychecks

On Dec. 17, 2010, President Obama signed the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Authorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4853).

Part of the act, which is being referred to as the payroll tax holiday, provides for a two percentage point payroll tax cut for employees, which reduces the employee portion of the Social Security tax withholding rate from 6.2% to 4.2% of paid wages. This went into effect on Jan. 1. (The employer rate of 6.2% remains unchanged).

This holiday is currently approved for one year. The cut in taxes should allow each employee to see an increase in their net pay if they currently pay in to Social Security. The difference will be reflected on your first paycheck of 2011. Additionally, the new benefit rates will be reflected on that check.

New Federal Tax tables should be updated in Peoplesoft within the next few weeks.

HSI will close today, Jan. 13, at 2 p.m.


Another chance to earn up to $11 per hour - MCC-Blue River

Once again, the MCC-Blue River Upward Bound Program is looking for Youth Activities Program Assistants to work with our high school students at Fort Osage, Truman, Van Horn and Raytown.

If you have a high school diploma with a minimum of 1 yr experience working with youth, you can earn up to $11 per hour working with our program participants.

Duties include:

· Tutoring in the areas of math, science or Spanish
· Chaperoning during weekends
· Assisting office staff in organizing and coordinating program activities

For additional information please contact our office at 816-604-6432 or visit us at the Arts and Science Building suite 112. Stop by the Upward Bound office for an application.

MCC's MLK Day of Service embodies our mission to serve (and thank) communities

As volunteers at MCC-Longview gathered in the early morning of last year’s MLK Day of Service, they were asked one question: Who would they thank for making a difference?

Who, to them, made the biggest difference in their life?  It was a simple question that yielded as many different answers as there were people in the room.

It was a chance for the 150 or so gathered that morning to reflect not only on the great accomplishments and service of Martin Luther King Jr., but also that of countless others that had influenced their lives in way both big and small.

At the MCC-Longview MLK Day of service, organizers not only want volunteers to focus on helping their fellow community members, but also want to give them a chance to reflect on how those organizations and institutions are helping them and the greater metropolitan area.

 "It is so important for the students, faculty, staff and administrators to come together to give back to the community,” said Kim Prosak. campus life and leadership coordinator at MCC-Longview. “It not only helps kids, senior citizens and organizations in the MCC- Longview service area, but it also does so much for the MCC-Longview community itself.

This year the scope of that focus is even wider as more volunteers have signed up to once again spend their day off volunteering and working with some of Lee’s Summits most notable charities and not-for-profit organizations.

As last year’s volunteers prepared to work for the day at various locations around the city, they took with them the pink index card where they wrote down who they would thank. Those cards, Prosak said, would be a reminder that someone helped them along when they needed it most and it was time to return the favor.

“It is so rewarding to see everyone work side by side for the greater good," she said.

It is not too late to sign up!
Go to to sign up for a service project.
Join your fellow faculty, staff and students for this great event

MCC-Blue River - National Day of Service

MCC-Blue River is preparing for it’s second annual Day of Service to commemorate the national Martin Luther King holiday officially observed on Monday, January 17.

This is an amazing opportunity to celebrate the holiday with your heart.

Next Monday, MCC-Blue River Students and employees will volunteer at the following local nonprofit organizations: Hillcrest Transitional Housing, Community Service League and the Rainbow Center.

Other Blue River MLK service opportunities are also available, including making quilts for Children’s Mercy Hospital. To participate in this activity, contact Barbara Shaefer via email Barbara Schaefer or by telephone at 816.604.6568.

If you’re interested in working with the nonprofit organizations listed above, contact Amy Slater in the Arts and Sciences building, room 113: or you may call her directly at 816.604.6635.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

MCC-Longview at sea on the USS Missouri

To the untrained eye it might look like just another mess hall on the USS Missouri, an Iowa-class battleship.

But if you look close enough you will see someone from MCC-Longview has a bit of school pride.

MCC-Longview Lakers on the USS Missouri

From Wikipedia:

The Missouri was ordered in 1940 and commissioned in June 1944. In the Pacific Theater of World War II she fought in the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa and shelled the Japanese home islands, and she fought in the Korean War from 1950 to 1953. She was decommissioned in 1955 into the United States Navy reserve fleets (the "Mothball Fleet"), but reactivated and modernized in 1984 as part of the 600-ship Navy plan, and provided fire support during Operation Desert Storm in January/February 1991.
Missouri received a total of 11 battle stars for service in World War II, Korea, and the Persian Gulf, and was finally decommissioned on 31 March 1992, but remained on the Naval Vessel Register until her name was struck in January 1995. In 1998, she was donated to the USS Missouri Memorial Association and became a museum ship at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

MCC-Longview Lakers on the USS Missouri

It just goes to show that The Lakers are everywhere.