We have heard firsthand from NCC professors about the transition to online learning and the impact of Foundation contributions on the lives of their students.
“I teach anatomy and physiology and I had students who, after the classes moved online, were taking the class on their cell phones,” Jonathan McMenamin-Balano, NCC Biology Professor and Honors Program Coordinator told us. “They were able to get laptops from the Foundation and successfully complete the class. If the Foundation hadn’t stepped in, the students wouldn’t have been able to.”
As a community college with limited resources, faculty have been resourceful and determined to keep students on track. “Faculty members really came together to try and solve problems that came up. We got it done,” said Professor McMenamin-Balano.
Eli Glatt, Chair of the Mathematics Department, also took advantage of tools provided by publishers to help students. “We worked with the publishers to ensure that students had access to the online platforms that accompany the textbooks. It is really to the credit of the publishers that they gave all of the students in need free access,” Professor Glatt said.
Faculty praised the resolve of students, many of whom have had to care for children or family members, and deal with changes in their work situations, all while trying to keep studying. Dr. Mobin Rastgar Agah, coordinator for the Engineering Department, said, “I found our students to be resourceful. They were able to maneuver through the online course structures and find their way. I commend them for being on top of things, despite the drastic changes in their life routines. I feel confident that perseverance and grit paid off for most of the students.”
Students have also leaned on each other for support. Professor McMenamin-Balano cited a weekly online meeting his Honors Program students organized as an example of this. The group’s weekly meetings eventually turned into a virtual Friday afternoon tea. With the end of the semester approaching, last Friday was scheduled to be the final web gathering, but as Professor McMenamin-Balano explained, “Somebody asked, would it be okay if we keep doing this? I replied, I can’t see why not, as long as everyone keeps making their own tea.”
If you want to help Norwalk Community College students achieve their academic and professional goals, consider a gift to the NCC Foundation