MTC Spring Enrollment Up 10.8% for Spring Semester

(Marion) Marion Technical College started Spring Semester today with an increase of 10.8% in students. MTC has a total of 2,624 students, up from 2,367 in January 2019. The students come from Marion and more than a dozen other counties.

Bob Haas smiles
Dr. Bob Haas

“It is great to be the college of choice for so many students,” said Dr. Bob Haas, Chief Academic Officer and Chief Strategy Officer at MTC. “Students know they can find small class sizes, hands-on learning and degrees that lead to in-demand careers.”

MTC serves 953 students through the College Credit Plus program who are earning college credit at no cost to them or their families. They are saving $1,032,115 in tuition just this semester. They also are provided textbooks at no cost.

In an effort to help all students save money, MTC has offered 41 courses using quality open educational resources (OER). These openly-licensed materials allow students to avoid textbook costs. So far, 3,842 students have saved $463,479 in textbook costs.

Dr. Lori Barr smiles
Dr. Lori Barr

“Students in these classes can start with all of their learning materials from day one, giving them what they need to succeed,” said Dr. Lori Barr, coordinator of the OER Initiative. “It also gives professors flexibility to find the best materials to teach their concepts instead of being tied to one textbook.”

Marion Tech offers more than 60 majors and programs as well as certificates and transfer options. Many Marion Tech students are entering the health field, including the new surgical tech program in response to local employer demand. Other programs include business, information technology, and public service. Several programs and majors are offered exclusively online, including health information technology and real estate.

At $185 a credit hour, Marion Tech is an affordable option. The average class size is just 24 for lecture classes and 17 for labs.

Students learn how to do an ultrasound in class.
Students learn how to do an ultrasound in a lab.

The public can support MTC students by stopping by a new Marion restaurant and ice cream shop, Topped, on Jan. 9 and 15% of the sales will benefit MTC Foundation scholarships.

Next Stop: London and Paris

(Marion) If you’ve always dreamed of a trip to London and Paris, now is the time to cross that dream off your bucket list. Students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members are invited to join the first Marion Technical College Study Abroad Trip set for spring break in March 2020.

Picture of double-decker bus in London

“For students who have never left Marion, to take them to England and show them all of the history and culture, it’s amazing!” said Professor Tola Sanusi who is leading the trip. The business faculty member grew up in Britain. “I’m excited to take them where Meghan and Harry live, to dine on fish and chips, to see where the English language started, to explore thousands of years of history.”

Picture of Tola Sanusi
Professor Tola Sanusi

The tour will include many notable locations, including the Tour of London, the British Museum, Stonehenge, and the Louvre. Check out the full itinerary here.

“The whole purpose is to find a way to help students expand their boundaries,” said Dr. Ryan McCall, who is also attending the trip. “Many of the local employers that hire MTC grads are international companies. This trip provides an opportunity for students to explore other countries and experience new things at a reasonable cost. Breaking down the barriers of high travel costs that might otherwise eliminate opportunities like this was important to us in planning the trip.”

At a previous college, McCall had taken students on trips, “A dozen students had never flown before. At the beginning of the trip, they stuck to me like baby ducklings. When we returned, they had the comfort of world travelers,” Ryan recalls.

In addition, this rich trip provides many other benefits.

“You understand history at a different level. You understand other cultures. The best way to get to know someone is to spend time in their land. I think that’s one of the great things about travel,” McCall stated. “It’s good to experience not being a native speaker and how to figure out how to communicate.”

Students will see sites and experience different standards and expectations.

Photo of Dr. McCall smiling
Dr. Ryan McCall

“Most of Europe doesn’t eat quickly and leave. They dine. They don’t expect a tip. You have to ask for the bill,” McCall shared. “American portions are much more massive than European ones. You have the opportunity to both appreciate and question our norms.”

For Sanusi, a new American citizen from England, the tour is personally fulfilling.

“It’s exciting to take students who have never left Marion to England. It’s a great honor to be able to show them my home,” Sanusi enthused.

Registration for the trip ends on September 29. The tour includes airfare, many tours, breakfasts, and dinners. Chat with Sanusi and others excited about the trip on Facebook.