Alumni Spotlight: Avery Hoffman

Current or most recent title and employer?
Merchandise Coordinator at Neiman Marcus Group

How did SC4 help prepare you?
I was in Middle College while I was also still in high school. I also stayed home a year to attend SC4 and graduate from the Middle College program, earning two associate degrees. I then transferred to the University of Alabama. I had already completed all of my prerequisites, so I was able to jump right into my core curriculum for my major.

What do you like most about what you do professionally?
I am able to travel while I work from home.

Did you transfer on and earn other degrees? If so, what degrees and from where?
A bachelor’s degree in human environmental sciences at the University of Alabama.

Alumni Spotlight: Shawnna Apley

Current or most recent title and employer?
Front Desk Agent at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids, MI

How did SC4 help prepare you?
I was able to complete my degree in liberal arts at SC4 through the Blue Water Middle College Program. Since then, I have accelerated greatly in my undergraduate courses. I will be getting my bachelor’s degree in hospitality and tourism management from Grand Valley State University in August of 2023 and have plans to attend graduate school thereafter. SC4 and BWMC helped me to grow my professional endeavors by always encouraging me to think big. I am thankful for the position this College has put me in every day.

What do you like most about what you do professionally?
In my professional work, I am able to talk with guests every day, meet new people and expand my knowledge of the hospitality industry. Because of SC4 and BWMC, I am able to not only work in my field while in my degree but study a subject that I am extremely passionate about. Both of these programs truly accelerated my higher education journey. If I didn’t take classes at SC4 I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Did you transfer on and earn other degrees? If so, what degrees and from where?
I am currently a senior at Grand Valley State University and will receive my bachelor’s degree in hospitality and tourism management with an emphasis in lodging and tourism management in August of 2023! SC4 allowed me to be able to go into my bachelor’s degree program knowing exactly what I wanted and saved me huge amounts of money along the way.

Winter 2023 fast-path courses help students and residents earn credits faster, explore passions at SC4

Registration is open for fast-path winter semester classes at St. Clair County Community College. Seats are available in 12-week classes starting the week of Feb. 6 and eight-week classes starting the week of March 13.

Fast-path classes allow students to earn credits that count toward general education or degree requirements at a quicker pace. Sections are available for classes in topics that include art, business, management, marketing, cybersecurity, English, French, history, mathematics, psychology, political science, speech and more.

Offerings this winter help students and community members expand their knowledge base and uncover passions.

Examples of some specific courses offered this winter include:

  • ART 120-67—Art Appreciation
  • BUS 150-66—Principles of Business
  • BUS 155-66—Principles of Management
  • BUS 186-65—Internet Marketing
  • BUS 252-65—Consumer Behavior
  • CIS 105-65—Cybersecurity Essentials
  • ENG 101-63—English Composition I
  • FR 101-2—Introductory French 1
  • GEO 105-63—Introduction to Meteorology
  • HIS 101-64—History Western Civ to 1715
  • HIS 150-61—History of U.S. 1877 to Present
  • MTH 110-62—Intermediate Algebra
  • MTH 120-65—Introduction to Statistics
  • PS 101-69—Intro to Political Science
  • PSY 180-63—Introduction to Psychology
  • SOC 101-65—Principles of Sociology
  • SPC 101-63—Speech Communication
  • THA 105-61—Oral Interpretation

“Whether you’re a student interested in earning credits toward your degree or transfer pathway faster, or you’re a community member interested in taking a course of interest to learn and grow, our fast-path courses are a fantastic option,” said Jessica Brown, Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Student Recruitment, Advising and Admissions.

A full list of courses and sections is available at sc4.edu/schedule, and new students can learn how to apply and register at sc4.edu/admissions/. Current students can register via the SC4 Portal at portal.sc4.edu.

For more information, contact the SC4 Admissions team at (810) 989-5571 or starthere@sc4.edu.

Joe Gibbons receives SC4 Distinguished Faculty Award

Joe Gibbons has been selected as the recipient of the St. Clair County Community College (SC4) Distinguished Faculty Award for 2022. Gibbons has been a professor of chemistry at SC4 for 31 years.

For Gibbons, staying focused on his students and their needs is essential. He is proud of their accomplishments and stays in contact with numerous former students, now calling many of them friends. “It has been a privilege to accompany them on their journeys,” Gibbons says.

In addition to a full-time teaching schedule, Gibbons has served the College in a variety of other ways.

He has taken a leadership role as a department chair several times, currently serving as department chair of SC4’s Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics Division (STEM). In this position, he brings a thoughtful, historical and forward-thinking perspective to STEM departments and disciplines.

Gibbons also has been at the forefront of assessment at SC4 throughout his 31 years of service, leading committees and taking on significant projects to ensure that the information extracted from assessment data is meaningful and leads to improvements for SC4 students.

Also nominated this year for the SC4 Distinguished Faculty Award were Sandra Geliske in radiologic technology, Brandis Hubbard in biology, and Katy McCullough in nursing.

The Professional Development Committee annually coordinates nominations of faculty by their faculty peers for the Distinguished Faculty Award (DFA). As a member of NISOD, SC4 award nominees and winner also are submitted for the NISOD Excellence Award.

​​​​​​​The winner is awarded a Golden Apple and also receives a $1,000 stipend to use toward professional development. NISOD provides medals to all of the nominees and a plaque for the winner.

Scholarships available for SC4 students

St. Clair County Community College is accepting scholarship applications from students who plan to attend SC4 for the 2023-24 academic year.

SC4 has many scholarship opportunities available. Some are geared toward students who plan to study a specific subject, while others are intended for students from a particular town or high school. There are also a number of awards open to students based on academic performance and extracurricular activities.

“Whatever your background, there’s likely a scholarship that you are qualified to apply for,” said Executive Director of Financial Assistance and Veteran Services Josephine Cassar.

Visit sc4.edu/money to apply for available scholarships (after applying to SC4), including SC4 scholarships and scholarships through external sources. Apply for multiple scholarships by filling out just one online application. Many scholarships require a completed FAFSA, which can be submitted at fafsa.gov.

SC4, the SC4 Foundation, community groups and private donors offer numerous scholarships to fit nearly all student academic records, backgrounds and financial situations.

The priority deadline to apply for scholarships is Sunday, March 12.

For details, call the Financial Aid Office at (810) 989-5530 or email financialaid@sc4.edu.

Alumni Spotlight: Kevin Totty Sr.

Current or most recent title and employer?
Philanthropist – Community Foundation of St. Clair County

How did SC4 help prepare you?
Communication, Connections and Community! SC4 is our hometown gem that needs to be shared with other folks around the world!

What do you like most about what you do professionally?
Connect folks to paths of resources where they can tell their story in life.

Did you transfer on and earn other degrees? If so, what degrees and from where?
Bellevue University – Bachelor in Business (one semester left)
ECornell – Certificate in Equitable Community Program
Ordained Minister – International Council of Community Churches

Alumni Spotlight: Heather Scott

Current or most recent title and employer?
Physical Therapist, Concept Rehab

How did SC4 help prepare you?
SC4 was a great stepping stone for me. Attending SC4 allowed me to complete some general education courses while living at home before transferring to Western Michigan University.

What do you like most about what you do professionally?
I love working with the geriatric population! I enjoy helping patients regain their independence while recovering from an illness or surgery.

Did you transfer on and earn other degrees? If so, what degrees and from where?
Bachelor’s of Science in Biomedical Sciences, Western Michigan University
Doctor of Physical Therapy, University of Michigan-Flint

Alumni Spotlight: Andrew St. Coeur

Current or most recent title and employer?
Owner/Chiropractor; Core Performance Chiropractic P.L.L.C.

How did SC4 help prepare you?
SC4 allowed me to take college courses while figuring out what career path interested me the most. SC4 helped me determine what school would be the best to transfer to and made sure credits transferred. I always knew I’d be taking a post-graduate route, so it was a great advantage to study at SC4 while saving money on two years’ worth of credits. I also felt like I had matured personally during my two years at SC4 and felt more prepared when I transferred to MSU.

What do you like most about what you do professionally?
What I love most about my profession is being able to help people. Musculoskeletal problems affect us all at some point in our lives and sometimes it can be a serious problem that compounds over time. I really enjoy being able to team up with patients, to help them move better and to educate them on exercises or stretches that can reduce the chances of another flare-up in symptoms. While running a practice can be a demanding undertaking, it always feels worth it when patients start feeling better and achieve the goals they set on their first appointment.

Did you transfer on and earn other degrees? If so, what degrees and from where?
I graduated with my Associate of Science from SC4 in 2009 and then transferred to Michigan State University. In 2011, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology in 2011. I moved to the National University of Health Sciences, just outside of Chicago, in 2012 and graduated with my Doctor of Chiropractic in 2015.

Alumni Spotlight: Amanda Slaten Frasier

Current or most recent title and employer?
Assistant Professor, East Tennessee State University (ETSU)

How did SC4 help prepare you?
I actually first attended SC4 when I was in middle school through a program that allowed me to take summer enrichment classes to earn college credit. I took courses in computers, chemistry, and philosophy. I later dual enrolled while I was a high school student. No one in my immediate family had graduated from traditional high school, let alone attended college. I was always a good student, but I did not have anyone to talk about college with or to help me navigate the process. I graduated high school with a high GPA and lots of AP and college credits, but my only plan after graduation was to work at a Denny’s. A friend later convinced me to enroll at SC4, and I am so grateful I did. I earned my associate degree a year later and transferred to a four-year institution. Attending community college was fundamental to my later academic, personal, and career success. Community colleges like SC4 can break down barriers to achievement. I am so grateful I grew up in an area that had a program as robust as SC4.

What do you like most about what you do professionally?
Education is so important to me. I grew up in a rough home environment and education has allowed me to attain things I never would have dreamed of otherwise. I recognize the potential education has to elevate others, and so I have made a career around it.

Did you transfer on and earn other degrees? If so, what degrees and from where?
I went to Central Michigan University and earned a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education with double majors in English and History (2007). I became a teacher and earned my National Board Certification (2012). I also picked up a Master of Library Science degree from East Carolina University (2011). In 2012, I was recruited out of the classroom for a research fellowship at Michigan State University. I earned a Ph.D. in Educational Policy through that program (2017). I have pennants from every school I attended hanging on my office wall at ETSU, including one I had custom-made for SC4.

SC4 signs new agreements to help students easily transfer to four-year institutions

To kick off National Transfer Student Week, St. Clair County Community College (SC4) today announced new transfer agreements that will make it easier for community college students to seamlessly transfer to four-year institutions to complete their bachelor’s degrees. SC4 has entered into agreements in the areas of general applied science, applied business, healthcare and information technology.

SC4 is one of 25 community colleges to enter into the new transfer agreements with 10 four-year colleges and universities across Michigan. Collectively, the agreements include 529 associate degree programs offered by community colleges and 44 bachelor’s degrees at four-year institutions.

“The majority of SC4 students transfer to four-year institutions,” said Dr. Deborah A. Snyder, president of SC4. “These agreements, in addition to others already established here at SC4, will help provide more seamless pathways for our students, which will minimize loss of credits and potential debt.”

National Transfer Student Week focuses on eliminating common transfer barriers and recognizing the diverse student needs and identities within transfer populations. Michigan community colleges are working to break down barriers by creating additional options for current students as well as associate degree holders that are already in the workforce to continue their education.

“Employers increasingly see the need for their associate degree-trained employees to return to college for a bachelor’s degree,” said Erica Lee Orians, executive director of the Michigan Center for Student Success at the Michigan Community College Association. “These agreements provide a simplified pathway with multiple university partners across the state to ensure that students can earn a bachelor’s degree.”

Participating four-year institutions will accept the full associate degrees, meaning there will not be a course-by-course evaluation for transferability. Additionally, these four-year institutions will accept credit for prior learning that was previously applied to the associate degree, which is a benefit for students with life experience in their field.