Monroe Community College, where I teach, welcomes students from all over the world, and our student center displays flags from countries they represent. The vibrant colors in these flags mirror the vibrant experiences our international students bring to the classroom.
The large number of international students we serve is just one aspect of the rich diversity of our student body. Because our doors are open to anyone who meets basic minimum admission requirements, those who are unprepared for college at other institutions can find a home here, but that’s only a tiny piece of our openness. We invite people from the community to take anything from a course or two to a full degree program, full-time or part-time, to satisfy their curiosity or improve their career opportunities. The best and brightest from top area high schools may choose to begin their college education here, saving money and living at home before transferring to competitive schools and earning advanced degrees. Individuals with physical or intellectual challenges often find more support in their differences here than at other places. Veterans and those currently serving in our nations military have a place here where their situation is understood and respected and they can work around their military demands. The teaching faculty share in this diversity as well; many of my colleagues started as community college students because it was the most congenial place for someone with their cultural or educational background, and came back as teachers to nurture others coming to college from a different place.
All this diversity makes a community college an exciting environment. Teachers know that when we talk about things like child rearing practices or healthcare delivery systems or economic assumptions, there are probably people in the classroom who see those issues from a very different perspective. Students, and teachers, learn to see the world from a broader viewpoint than they might get elsewhere. Our international students are a valuable part of that broader perspective.
In response to the WordPress Photo Challenge: Vibrant