Getting ready for fall semester with Professor Armstrong

Fall semester will be here before we know it and Professor Sharon Armstrong cannot wait to get back into the classroom for face-to-face in-person classes.

She teaches nursing classes at SC4 and loves sharing her passion for moms, babies and nursing in general with students.

The past year has presented challenges with using the hands-on teaching strategies often found in nursing. “I’m looking forward to direct interaction with students in my advanced assessment class,” said Armstrong. “It’s hard to teach assessment online.”

A career in healthcare is a great choice. Jobs are available in our community, and the training and education received at SC4 can take you anywhere in the United States — or around the world.

Armstrong continues, “Students will be challenged and discover, though nursing is a difficulty profession to prepare for, anything worth doing is worth working hard for.”

Advice for incoming students from Professor Armstrong:

  • Plan to devote the time needed to study and learn.
  • Reach out to your instructors early when you need help.
  • Get a planner or app with a calendar to get organized and plan ahead.
  • Take advantage of the many resources SC4 offers to help you be successful.

Armstrong also shared this about choosing SC4 for your educational journey, “The small class sizes and outstanding individual support cannot be beat — you truly are known at SC4.”

Registration for fall semester is open and classes begin the week of Aug. 23. A list of available on-campus and online can be viewed by visiting sc4.edu/schedule.

Not a student yet? That’s ok. There’s still time. Visit sc4.edu/starthere and fill out your free application today.

Professor Armstrong and the campus community are looking forward to welcoming you this fall!

Getting ready for fall semester with math Professor Paul Bedard

Math is part of the curriculum for all SC4 students, no matter which program they choose. While some students are intimidated by math, Professor Paul Bedard helps math fun as he absolutely loves teaching the subject! He is looking forward to seeing students in person soon and shares some insight to help them get ready for fall semester.

“Face-to-face teaching allows me to see the wrinkle of frustration between their eyes resolve into comprehension,” said Bedard. “I can’t wait to hear them excitedly debating ideas outside my office.”

SC4 offers math courses for all academic programs and skill levels, from review of basic operations, math literacy, foundations of math to intermediate and advanced courses like algebra, trigonometry, calculus, statistics, and differential equations.

Professor Bedard shares that like many students, he initially struggled with math too. His approach to teaching is to help students see math not as a burden but as opportunity. “It’s not about being right or being fast, it’s about opening up, taking a risk, and making the universe give up its secrets.”

For Professor Bedard, teaching is the privilege of being part of so many intellectual adventures, discoveries, and moments of truth. “I love to encourage students to see past their fears and self-doubt and take a leap.”

His advice to new students is to take a moment, breathe, and realize this is the only time in your life when thinking, talking, reading, discovering, exploring, and experimenting will be your main job. “Question everything. Be bold. Have fun. Demand clarity and express yourself,” said Bedard.

One more reason for students to take his class — “I hand out free candy!”

Registration for fall semester is open at SC4 and classes begin the week of Aug. 23. A list of available on-campus and online can be viewed by visiting sc4.edu/schedule.

Not a student yet? That’s ok. There’s still time. Visit sc4.edu/starthere and fill out your free application today.

Professor Bedard and the campus community are looking forward to welcoming you this fall!

Exciting new virtual reality Human Biology course now available

Human Biology (BIO 160) is an introductory class that can be taken by students as a science credit and also is a requirement for some health-related programs at SC4.

Brandis Hubbard, professor of biology, is running a new virtual reality course this fall where students will be meeting with their instructor in a virtual classroom twice a week using Oculus Quest Headsets.

“When I began my teaching career at SC4, I was struck by the number of students that struggled to get to class for various reasons; including travel time, weather, and work or family constraints,” said Hubbard. “I felt VR technology would be a huge asset to these students.”

Students also will have access to the virtual space outside of class times where they will complete lab work by recording themselves in VR and submitting their work via Canvas, SC4’s online classroom platform.

Oftentimes anatomy can be hard to visualize for students – using mostly one-dimensional images within the textbook. The use of models or cadavers can be very helpful but come with their own limitations – like not being able to see the exact movement a muscle makes or how that movement effects/interacts with other body parts.

VR technology allows class attendees to be in the room and interacting with the professor in real time. The technology, while fun and exciting, does a great job of educating a student in a way that even goes beyond being in the classroom.

According to Hubbard, “VR technology overcomes the limitations we find with text images, models, and cadavers, in a fun and interesting way, leading to a better understanding of the material.”  

Specifically, within the VR space, students will be able to interact with the human anatomy as if it were a model of an entire body in the classroom but with the added benefit of being able to make some parts transparent (to see the relation to other parts), making “cuts” across the body to see the relationships between parts from a different angle, and most impressively, being able to put themselves in front of and inside of different organs as they are functioning.

One example experience is to watch a beating human heart, remove a layer to see the blood pumping through the different vessels and chambers, overlay the electrical impulses that cause the heart to pump/beat and see how those electrical impulses cause the muscles of the heart to pump blood, all while noticing how the valves work within each vessel or chamber.

SC4 is one of a few higher education institutions using VR technology to teach and  research has shown it improves student engagement, interest, and understanding of the material. “SC4 is proud of Professor Hubbard for her pioneering efforts to bring the latest technological learning experience to our students,” said Ethan Flick, chief academic officer – arts and sciences.

Moving forward, Professor Hubbard hopes to offer VR in other biology courses that are required for health professionals such as registered nurses, medical doctors, and physician assistants.

“I am very pleased to bring this exciting learning technology to the students at SC4,” said Hubbard. “I hope the course will prove beneficial to those training for future health careers.”

Registration for fall semester is now open and seats are limited for the BIO 160-64 VR section. Check out a full list of classes being offered at sc4.edu/schedule.

New to campus, visit sc4.edu/starthere. Professor Hubbard and the SC4 campus community look forward to welcoming you to campus in August.

Getting ready for fall semester with Professor Belleman

We know our students are excited to get back to campus — so is Professor Mike Belleman.

Throughout the pandemic, both teaching and learning have been difficult, but faculty are preparing to get back in the classroom. “The online environment fits a scheduling need,” said Belleman. “Although the in-person classes add a richer conversation to the learning process helping students understand more difficult material.”

The core of teaching for him is seeing students develop ideas and critical thinking as they begin to create their future. “Economics can be fun, no matter what others have told you,” continued Belleman. “Each class is a new learning experience and an opportunity to develop ideas and perspectives.”

His advice to incoming students is to always ask questions. Develop a mindset that you are gathering information that you will use now and later in life — like economics!

Belleman also shared some financial advice, stating “SC4 gives students the opportunity to experience different ideas, opportunities, and potential careers — and for the cost-conscious consumer — the least expensive route to a passion in life.”

Registration for fall semester is open at SC4 and classes begin the week of Aug. 23. A list of available on-campus and online can be viewed by visiting sc4.edu/schedule.

Not a student yet? That’s ok. There’s still time. Visit sc4.edu/starthere and fill out your free application today.

Professor Belleman and the campus community are looking forward to welcoming you this fall!

SC4 campus culture and interaction helped alumnus Christian Jones grow and thrive

Driving through the neighborhood he serves as Executive Director of the Franklin Avenue Mission on the east side of Flint, Rev. Christian Jones sees the immediate realities of loss of jobs and lack of food that happened when the city lost its auto industry employers over the past few decades.

“There are families – men, women, and children – living in absolute, destitute poverty,” Jones said. “Homes are abandoned, burned out, and in some cases even lack running water. If the water is running, there’s little motivation for owners to renovate the pipes to mitigate the lead exposure of their tenants. Most of the schools have been boarded up and abandoned, too.”

The Franklin Avenue Mission serves this community through three key areas: The Franklin Avenue Diner, which served warm, well-balanced meals twice a week during the pandemic (a total of nearly 40,000 so far); the Clothes Closet and Personals Closet, which provide clothing and hygienic products to those who can’t afford them; and the new Luke Clinic will open this fall, providing free mobile prenatal and antenatal health services to mothers trapped in poverty.

Jones’ faith led him to devote his time and energy to the underserved and often forgotten residents of Flint. But his journey began over a decade ago on the campus of St. Clair County Community College.

“I started at SC4 in 2010,” Jones explained. “My father is a criminal justice professor at the college, which played a key factor in my decision to start there. It unquestionably made the most economic sense, and it allowed me to complete my associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees for a fraction of the cost of many of my friends.”

Jones has many great memories of his time at SC4 that go well beyond saving money, though.

“Being a student at SC4 was probably the most important and formative two years of my life,” he said. “It’s where I matured from being a high school kid into becoming an adult member of the community. I met my wife as a student at SC4. Some of the closest friends I’ve ever had were introduced to me as a student and through student activities.”

“I had some anxiety at first as I wrestled with the fact than most of my lifelong friends immediately dove into the idealized university model,” he continued. “But when I realized that many of my new SC4 classmates were experiencing the same anxiety, it created such a beautiful environment that it allowed me to form some of the closest friendships I’ve ever had. It drew us together; we organically became family, and supported each other’s dreams, goals, and aspirations in a way I’d never experienced before, and rarely since.”

Jones spent much of his time at SC4 in the Fine Arts Building, participating in The SC4 Players and the student drama club, WSGR radio, and the music club. He also spent many hours in the piano practice rooms, both playing music and using them for studying.

“I think I was labeled as ‘general studies,’ or something like that,” Jones laughed. “But I primarily loaded my schedule with English, theater, and (SC4 Professor) Scott Fernandez.”

He has fond memories for many of the instructors and staff members in the FAB, whether he had them as a teacher or not.

“Stewart Reed, David Korff, Holly Pennington, Lisa Sturtridge, Karen Jezewski, Al Matthews, Paul Miller, Gary Schmitz, Ethan Flick.” Jones paused as he listed some of those who influenced him as a student. “And Alfred Gay, who happened to be an elder at my church growing up. They all passionately fought for and supported the growth of everyone who stepped foot inside that building and their classrooms.”

One instructor was particularly important to Jones, though: Tom Kephart, who taught acting, improvisation, and oral interpretation courses and was the artistic director for The SC4 Players during Jones’ time at SC4.

“He was single-handedly the most important instructor I had across all of my collegiate studies,” Jones explained. “He graciously led by example, taking interpretive risks, showing genuine vulnerability, and giving unwavering support for his students as he challenged us to do the same. He instilled more confidence, empathy, and appreciation for the human experience in his students than any other class I took elsewhere.”

Jones graduated from SC4 in 2012 and was the commencement speaker that year. He transferred to Oakland University, where he finished his Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2014, then moved on to Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, where he received his Master of Divinity degree in 2019.

“When I was placed in Flint after graduating from Concordia Seminary, my wife Krysti and I decided that if we wanted to make an impact here, we were going to stay for the long haul,” Jones said. “Some pastors talk about becoming mega-preacher millionaires, which is foolishness and is not Christianity. As a pastor, I cherish the times when families invite me into their realities to weep, to pray, and to sing songs with them. There is no greater privilege I’ve ever had than to simply be called someone’s pastor.”

Jones has even bigger plans for the Franklin Avenue Mission, including an early childhood education center, a low-income laundromat, and eventually expansion into Flint’s north side. They’re ambitious and service-centered goals, that all began when he graduated from St. Clair High School and walked onto the SC4 campus in Port Huron.

“I wouldn’t be who I am today if dedicated teachers hadn’t put forth their very best personal efforts to see their students grow into game-changers in their communities,” Jones said.

For more information about the Franklin Avenue Mission, visit their website at franklinavemission.com.

Juneteenth Celebration ‘Free-ish’ planned for June 17

SC4’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion invites the community to attend a virtual Juneteenth Celebration ‘Free-ish’ from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, June 17, hosted by AAmos Consulting Group.

This event features speakers discussing the history behind Juneteenth, bridging the gap between the African and Black Community and the Current State of Black America.

Juneteenth is a nationwide celebration of the end of slavery. On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers arrived in Texas and read the Emancipation Proclamation, announcing all enslaved people were free. This was more than two and a half years after it was issued on Jan. 1, 1863, by President Abraham Lincoln.

To reserve your spot, register for the webinar using this link. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

For questions related to SC4’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, email dei@sc4.edu.

COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic at SC4

Sign up now to receive a free COVID-19 vaccination this Friday, April 30, at the SC4 Fieldhouse. All individuals at least 18 years of age can register by completing the online form at: https://communityclinicscheduler.as.me/?calendarID=5424751

This opportunity is open to everyone. Appointments are available between 9 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. on a first-come first-served basis. Participants must bring a driver’s license or other form of identification to their appointment. After receiving a vaccination, a second dose appointment will be scheduled.

Walk-up opportunities may be possible based upon appointment availability. Please contact the health department at (810) 987-5300 with questions. Additional vaccination information can be found on the St. Clair County Health Department website at https://www.stclaircounty.org/offices/health/.

Registration for SC4 fall classes is open — We’re here for you.

Registration for fall classes at St. Clair County Community College is open, meaning it’s time for you to schedule the classes you need to get your degree, transfer to a four-year college or start on your path to a new career.

Fall semester begins on Monday, Aug. 23. And through May 21, there’s no deposit required to register for fall classes!

The world changed this year because of the pandemic, and many students are finding it hard to decide what to do this fall. We understand that, and we’re here for you.

You’ll notice that many of our classes are back on-campus this fall, while we also have many online options available. We’ll continue to be cautious, of course, but we believe that a return to something closer to normal is possible.

So how do I register?

If you’re a current student at SC4, or you have already gone through the steps for enrollment, you can register online through your student Portal or on the SC4 mobile app.

Not sure which classes you need to take? Have questions about degree and certificate programs, class selection or other concerns? New college students and those transferring from other schools can set up a phone or virtual advising appointment by visiting sc4.edu/advising.

If you’re not quite ready to register and want to get an idea of what’s out there, you can also browse available classes for the fall semester by visiting sc4.edu/schedule.

Not a student yet? Or maybe you haven’t even applied? There’s still time. Visit sc4.edu/starthere and fill out your free application today.

When you start here, it’s a smart decision that will help you go anywhere. SC4 students benefit from affordable tuition, flexibility, a high-quality education, a vibrant campus community, and faculty and staff dedicated to maximizing student success.

If you have other questions related to registration, email enrollment@sc4.edu.

SC4’s Lambda Mu Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa receive awards

The national Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society (PTK) recognized SC4’s Lambda Mu Chapter with the Distinguished College Project Award during PTK Catalyst 2021, the Society’s annual convention, which was broadcast live from Orlando, Florida, from April 8-10.

Only 51 of PTK’s chapters worldwide received the Distinguished College Project Award this year. The purpose of the College Project is to establish or strengthen a supportive relationship between the chapter and college administration. Lambda Mu’s project, “Tips for Success in Online Learning,” compiled online learning advice offered by SC4 faculty, staff, students, and alumni. The advice was edited into 30 “tips” and shared online.

Successful completion of the College Project is one of the criteria needed to be a Five-Star Chapter, a status the Lambda Mu Chapter maintained for the 2020-2021 academic year. Lambda Mu is also a REACH Chapter, which signifies a membership acceptance rate of over fifteen percent.

Additionally, the Blue Water Alumni Association (BWAA) was recognized as a Five-Star Alumni Association for 2020-2021. BWAA is the PTK alumni chapter for the St. Clair County area.

The Lambda Mu Chapter was also honored with the following awards at the PTK Michigan Regional Convention 2021, held virtually March 24 to 26:

  • Distinguished Chapter Officer Team – 3rd Runner Up: Tara Brown, Lisa Green, Lillian Nelson, Rachel Schmaltz
  • Honors in Action Theme 4 Award: Expressions of Truth – 1st Runner Up
  • College Project Award – 1st Runner Up
  • Angela Heiden, SC4 PTK Advisor, was honored for thirteen years of service

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is the largest honor society in higher education with 1,285 chapters on college campuses in the United States and internationally. More than three million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 134,000 students inducted annually.

If you’d like to be a part of an award-winning chapter, both the Lambda Mu Chapter and the Blue Water Alumni Association are currently looking for new members and officers for the 2021-2022 academic year. Contact PTK Advisor Angela Heiden at aheiden@sc4.edu for details.

Jessica Brown completes Cornell University Diversity and Inclusion training

Jessica Brown, SC4’s Director of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, has been working diligently to develop a comprehensive and cross-functional emphasis on critical issues in relation to our campus community.

To build her skills in this area, Brown recently completed an eight-week certificate course from Cornell University on Diversity and Inclusion. “It was essential to dive deeper into my knowledge and recognize as an individual how critical it is to understand the multifaceted layers of DEI and what I must know to educate DEI in all communities,” said Brown.

Lessons learned during her training have increased her insight and exposure to key techniques, tools, resources, and theories that have expanded her knowledge about DEI to benefit the SC4 internal and external community.

The college created the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion last June to advance the college’s efforts in providing educational access and support for all.

Diversity is the presence of differences that may include race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, language, (dis)ability, age, religious commitment, or political perspective. Equity is promoting justice, impartiality and fairness within the procedures, processes, and distribution of resources by institutions or systems. Inclusion is an outcome to ensure those that are diverse actually feel and/or are welcomed.  

In a short time, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion has sponsored speaking engagements, professional development seminars, a book reading discussion series, a podcast series, and other events. Understanding the racial, economic, and social inequities that impact our students, faculty, staff, and community members are key to advancing DEI initiatives at the college.

“I learned to examine the true meaning of trust, fairness, and inclusivity, the tools to identify implicit biases, and actively listen to concerns that impact the institution’s success and productivity,” said Brown. “No one is an expert when it comes to DEI, and all of us must have a willingness to learn to be healthy citizens for ourselves, the future generation, and the community.”