Post Classifieds

A chat to promote communication

By Aaron Cleavland, Times Staff Reporter
On December 4, 2012

MATC's executive vice president and provost, Dr. Vicki Martin, met with students and staff in an open forum style discussion at the West Allis Campus Tuesday, Nov. 11, creating an unprecedented opportunity to open the air for the concerned and curious alike.
Accompanied by the West Allis campus vice president, Al Pinckney, Martin dedicated an hour of her day to taking any and all questions anyone had in regards to MATC.
Martin spoke on the reason for this chat, saying that upon looking at the number of employees she serves, roughly 2,200, she began to see a huge challenge in communication. "It was shocking to hear that number, and [I thought] it might be difficult to reach out to everyone," a sentiment which turned out to be an apt point as the main topic of discussion among students and faculty alike was communication.
The first comment was in regards to faculty not being able to access information they may need to relay to students. No one seemed to know how to find out crucial goings on around the school as it happened. They had various means of finding the information but desired more of a one-stop destination for everything they need to know as it happens.
Next, a student who was redirected to the forum from another office with concerns about getting the tutoring he needs at hours that cater to his full-time work, full-time school schedule was promptly directed to a student counselor, Tom Wichert, who was sitting in on the session.
The conversation again revisited the topic of communication as Laquita Sims, a nursing student, told her story of running into any number of dead ends when it came time to petition for core nursing courses.
Wichert was all too familiar with the disconnect between the student and school during this crucial time as he said simply, "Petitioning is extremely complicated here." He paused, then went on to say, "Secondary admissions tests as part of the petitioning process are a mystery. On our end, there are at least 15 different things that have to be coordinated before petitioning [begins]."  He added that after miraculously coordinating this process to completion, if for some reason one thing isn't correct, a majority of the process has to be redone and usually ends in the student waiting a semester to start the process over. Martin added, "Believe it or not, this is better than it ever was. You used to have to wait five years just to petition."
There was a moderate amount of talk about MATC-wide growth in the near future as well. Not just because of government provided grants but because of the demand for it from the student side, things like truck driver training, accounting and food manufacturing will be developed in the near future, and welding will enlarge its capacity as the Mequon Campus will expand its offerings in that regard.
The next chat with Vice President Martin will take place Wednesday, Dec. 19 at the Mequon Campus and will once again be open to anyone interested. It should be noted that an opportunity like this does not present itself on a regular basis and if anyone has questions, comments or concerns, this is the best possible way to be heard.

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