Frequently Asked Questions from Families

Q:  How can I help my student make the transition from High School to College? 

A:  Understand that students making transition from high school to College are often both excited and nervous.  Encourage your student to prepare by reviewing the MCC website, attending an Open House, and participating in New Student Orientation.  Having a sense of what to expect (such as higher academic standards, the need for personal time management, and learning navigating one’s own schedule) can ease the shift.

 

Q:  What should I do if my student experiences academic difficulty?   

A:  Many students find college-level work both rewarding and challenging.  If they are stuck or feel overwhelmed by the material, MCC has several helpful resources.  Encourage your student to reach out to their professor first.  Professors hold office hours and their contact information is usually right on the syllabus.  Your student can also schedule a tutoring session through the Academic Center for Enrichment (https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/ace/).

 

Q.  Who can I contact if I am concerned about my student’s mental health?

A:  We are glad that you are attentive to your student’s wellbeing.  Some stress, particularly during exam time, is common. For this, we recommend strong study skills and time management strategies, which may include reducing hours at a part-time job (https://www.educationcorner.com/effective-time-management.html).  For more serious concerns, your student may wish to connect with their primary care physician or mental health provider.  If it impacts their studies, they can consult with an MCC Wellness Counselor who can advise them further.  As always, in an emergency contact 911.

 

Q:  Where can my student find support for online learning?

A:  Admitted students may self-enroll in the Learning Online Boot Camp through their MyMCC portal.  More tips can be found at https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/Online/student_tips.aspx

 

Q:  Why can’t I access my student’s billing information?

A:  Federal privacy laws restrict access to student records.  Yes, this is true even if you are paying the bill!  A student can choose to share this information directly with family members or they can provide written consent to the college on a FERPA Release form, which is available from several departments, including Student Accounts.

 

Q:  How can I reach my student while they are on campus?

A:  If your student has a cell phone, you could reach them that way. However, most professors ask students to turn their ringer off during class. In the case of an emergency, you could reach public safety on either campus.

Public Safety, Bedford: 781-589-0234 

Public Safety, Lowell: 781-589-1384

 

Q:  Where does my student go to get an IEP?

A:  Disability support services are available to students that have documented disabilities. The accommodations and services provided through an IEP are not necessarily the same as the accommodations provided at the college level. This may require an adjustment for students and their families.  Students should connect with the DSS office for more information or to make an appointment (https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/disabilityservices/).

 

Q:  Is it ok for me to contact my student’s teachers to discuss academic progress or concerns?

A:  MCC requires a signed release for a family member to contact their student’s professors.  Even with the release, it is strongly discouraged.  College students are expected to become independent learners and self-advocates.  Families can encourage their student to reach out to their faculty as needed and schedule appointments or visit office hours.

Q:  How do I help my student socialize or feel less isolated?

A:  Middlesex Community College offers a variety of opportunities for students to meet people – in person and virtually.  These include clubs, organizations, campus-wide events, service opportunities, tutoring, and much more. Your student can find this information on the MCC website, through the Engage Platform, the MCC App, and through their MCC email where they will find the Student Newscaster twice per week.

Q:  How involved should I be in helping my student choose a major?

A:  Discussing your student’s future with them will be a very helpful part of their identity search.  Some students know early on what they want to study and others take time to explore.  Encourage your student to visit the Career Development website and take the free Focus 2 career assessment to help them discover some good matches with their interests and future plans (https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/careerservices/default.aspx).

Q:  How much time should my student be studying each week?

A:  Middlesex Community College recommends 2 hours of study for each hour in class per week for a 15-week semester.   For an online 3-credit class, a student would need to dedicate about 9 hours per week. The amount of study time depends on other factors, including the type of assignment and the student’s learning style.  Ultimately, it is your student’s responsibility - not yours - to make sure their work is done and they are studying enough.

Q:  What is a helicopter parent and how do I avoid being one?

A:  Family behaviors such as helping students do everything or speaking on behalf of their student can interfere with a student’s development and actually encourage neediness and enable dependency. At Middlesex, we value parents and families as an important part of their student’s educational journey.  We see families as partners in the support of a student’s growth and success.  Being engaged in their learning is a good thing!  Ask them questions about their studies, listen to their stories, encourage them to be their best, and let them try to overcome barriers on their own (mistakes are ok!).

Q:  Will my student’s MCC credits transfer to another college or university?

A:  All credits listed on a student's transcript are subject to transfer to other colleges and/or universities based on articulation agreements with other institutions of higher education and the Massachusetts Transfer Program.  For specific questions about transfer of credit, please encourage your student to see an academic advisor.

Q:  Is there an attendance policy at MCC?

A:  One of the most critically important factors that impacts student success is attendance.  MCC students will encounter attendance requirements in most of their courses, including those online and synchronous.  If a student will be late or absent, they should contact their professor in advance to let them know even if the absence will not be excused.

 

Last Modified: 10/19/20