Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Tips for Summer Semester success





After spending the past few months adjusting to remote or online learning, this summer semester 2020 could feel like “same song, different verse” but with one big exception: You are now an expert at online learning!

But to make things go smoothly here are a few tips to keep you on the road to success:

Make it your space

Create a “school” space: Let’s face it, remote or online learning is not the same experience as being in a classroom. While some of us may be challenged by the transition because we prefer classroom settings, the new format doesn't have to impact your ability to learn. Here’s how you can adapt to make your cool school space work for you: 
  • Lower your expectations for how fancy this space needs to be. Most of us are not working from a fancy home office. 
  • Be creative with your options - think repurpose and resourcefulness. Crates to support your computer monitors or a stable stack of unused books can make the space more comfortable. 
  • Make sure that you find a space that is quiet and well lit. We recommend natural light during the day if possible. 
  • If quiet is not an option, plug in those headphones for maximum focus. 
  • Make sure you have enough outlets so you can keep your laptop and phone charged. There’s nothing worse than a battery dying while you’re turning in that essay at 11:55 pm! 
  • A desk and comfortable chair or lapdesk make balancing school work much easier. Don’t have a desk? Get creative, use an empty dining room table or take over a kitchen countertop. Bring in a foldable table from the garage - we know a few school staff and faculty  who’ve done all of the above.
  • Add your personal touches to the space. Perhaps a small plant (real or fake) and desk decor (repurposed of course). And small toys can be a welcome distraction when you are, um, um, um, searching for the right word!
  • Need supplies? Connect with free stuff groups on Facebook for a no-contact pickup or ask friends or family. If challenged by lack of technology, reach out to your instructor to connect you with our Basic Needs Coordinator who can connect you to resources for students with a variety of needs.
  • Set aside time every day to work on schoolwork. Consider blocking time on your calendar or putting up a sign on your door not to be disturbed so you can focus on your learning. 
  • Once your work is done, get out of that area, close down the shop for personal or other business. If you need to do other work on the computer, try to move to a new area after your study block. 


Eat to win

Fuel Your Brain: While our on-campus options are closed to keep everyone safe we suggest that you make sure you are starting your day with a good breakfast. Your brain can’t concentrate if your stomach is hungry!

We recommend applying these tips, shared by Rutgers University, for eating while studying:
  • Don’t skip meals because of classes and work. Plan your meal breaks, they are important. When in a rush, grab a protein or granola bar or a piece of fruit.
  • Stock up on healthy options rather than junk food. This will reduce the temptation around you. 
  • Be careful what you drink. Avoid unnecessary sugar or caffeine. If you are thirsty, drink water!
  • Choose foods rich in protein and simple sugars to keep your blood sugar levels relatively stable. 
  • Eat from all food groups. The more colorful the plate, the better. And think portion control.
  • Fruits and vegetables should be 50% of your daily consumption. They have natural sugars which the body processes more readily to keep you on the path to health and learning.

Check out www.eatright.org for more details about constructing a healthy diet.

Get me Tech Support!

Leverage tutoring and computer lab resources: Get acquainted with the level of support that's available for tutoring services. You'll find that our learning centers offer appointment-based support even if you aren’t on campus. Here are just a few of the questions they can help you with: 
  • Calculus got you down? Feeling like all those physics equations have you flying off into the wrong vector? Math tutoring is here to keep the numbers orderly.
  • Maybe you want to be the next Hemingway or Delia Owens. The tutoring center can help your sentence structure sing.

And don’t forget, if you need tech support to navigate your transition to remote learning, the computer lab team is available to walk you through any concerns. You can reach them here for virtual assistance with the following: 
  • If you are having trouble accessing Canvas, MyITLab or any other learning resource.
  • Help with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint or Access, Google Meet, Webex or Adobe products
  • Need help resetting a password, zip files, connecting to WiFi, uploading documents and general computer support.


Healthy mind and body


Keep your mind and body healthy:  Even while practicing social distancing you can stay healthy by walking, running, stretching or following our weekly #workoutwednesday videos. As our summer heat moves us all indoors, these free videos will get you moving. Studies have shown that working out releases brain chemicals which can keep your mind healthy as well.

If you have COVID-19 related concerns, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers tips as well.

While your brain isn’t a muscle, you can still make it stronger. Here are a few positive mental health tips from the University of Michigan Health Service:

  • Surround yourself with good people. Strong family or community connections can lead to a healthier you.
  • Volunteer your time in a socially distancing responsible way. Helping others can help you feel good.
  • Practice coping skills like journaling, taking a walk or finding something funny to laugh about. Laughter truly is the best medicine.
  • Break up your routine. Doing the same things at the same time can lead to monotony. So stimulate your brain with a different route for your walk or plan a trip for your post-COVID time!

In addition to physical activity and mental health recommendation, CGCC offers assistance to currently enrolled students with identifying difficulties, problem-solving, and decision-making processes related to academic, career, and personal goal achievement. Our counseling faculty do not provide mental health services on campus but can assist with referrals to appropriate community providers as needed. Schedule a phone-based appointment to benefit from support with: 
  • Counseling for academic concerns (time management, college transition, etc.)
  • Goal setting and personal support
  • Career counseling
  • Support during a crisis
  • Resources to help you stay in school
  • Advocacy for students
  • Referrals to campus and community resources 


Put power in the palm of your hand


Scroll over to these mobile tools to make your academic life easier: COVID-19 has taught us all the need to embrace technology to adapt and (hopefully) make life a tiny bit easier on ourselves. There are two key apps we recommend you download and leverage often. 

Canvas
Canvas is your daily space for communicating with your instructors, accessing your courses, downloading and submitting assignments, and taking quizzes. Your instructor will also leverage Canvas to provide you with assignment feedback. This key resource is available for desktop use here - but convenient for mobile use as well. Here’s a quick tutorial to get you started on becoming a Canvas pro-user. Download the mobile app on Google Play or App Store today.



MyInfo 

On MyInfo, you’ll most often use your Student Center on a monthly or semester basis. There you can access your class schedule, outstanding charges and grades. You can also check out your Advising Notes and Degree Progress Report, as well as regularly update your Personal Information Update.  You can see your class schedule, financial aid status, messages, textbook information and more. Download the mobile app on Google Play or App Store today.

Slow down


Take it easy:  Many of you are holding jobs and/or parenting in addition to studying. While you're running from one thing to the next, whether it is your coursework to your job or caring for your family, we recommend you schedule some time to slow down and unwind. Even a 10 minute mindfulness break can help. Here a few ways to slow down: 
  • 2 - 5 - 10 minute meditations: The Calm App is now offering free options for anyone during COVID. 
  • Talk a walk around the block. 
  • Sit out on your patio. 
  • Listen to your favorite playlist. 
  • Call a friend to vent about your homework. 
  • Write a letter to a loved one. 
  • Write a gratitude list. 
  • Spend some time petting your pets (they’ll always be grateful). 
  • Dance like nobody's watching (trust us, it feels great). 
  • Sit still and do absolutely nothing for 15 mins (feels like heaven). 
  • Watch one of your favorite shows (but beware of binge watching past that deadline).
  • Take a long bath.
  • Color or paint. 
  • Read a few chapters in the book you keep by your bedside.


Ask for help


We’re here to help in any way we can. Not sure where to start? Here’s a quick tip sheet to help you locate the best resource to fit your needs. When in doubt, reach out to your instructors - they want to help you succeed and can connect you to specific virtual resources.

Need help? We’ve gathered a list of helpful links for school, home and your well being

Australian fires.
COVID-19.
MEGXIT.
Remote … everything.
Record early heat wave in Arizona.
Murder hornets!
If it’s starting to seem like 2020 is going to be a banner year for chaos, change and stress, fear not. We have gathered a list of resources to help you navigate everything the world is tossing your way. These resources won’t keep the Jumanji murder hornets away, but they should help make your educational path easier during this trying time.

Need help adjusting to remote learning?

Need to contact an academic advisor?

Need help with financial aid?
  • The best way to reach our CGCC Financial Aid office is via email, financialaid@cgc.edu
  • No internet?  No problem - you can also call to leave them a voicemail at 1.855.622.2332 and they’ll call you back.
  • You can also use the Virtual Enrollment Services Team number at 480.351.2221 to text them for help.

Need help with financial resources?

Need help finding a job?

Need tutoring?
  • All CGCC students now have access to TutorMatch, a new option within the cool BrainFuse online tutoring platform.  TutorMatch allows you to connect with the same awesome CGCC tutors that you used to work with in the Learning Center and Writing Center, now in a virtual format.  Here’s a description of how it works: connection.cgc.edu/2020/03/schedule-virtual-tutoring-support.html
  • Once you’re familiar with how it works, bookmark BrainFuse for easy access: cgc.edu/brainfuse

Need to know what to do with your textbooks?

Need help with health, housing or food security?

Need help paying the bills?

Need help getting around town?
  • Valley Metro buses and trains are running reduced schedules because of the ongoing safer-at-home orders. To see the updated schedule: https://www.valleymetro.org/

Need more help?

Need a break or a way to find some peace?

Friday, May 22, 2020

It’s your time to celebrate - you did it!




















You made it happen!

We know that completing your certificate or degree wasn’t easy. For many of you, you balanced work, family and school to reach this point. For all of you, the spring semester was one for the books as everyone around the world dealt with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent stay-at-home orders.

And while that was stressful, you can proudly say you took what was thrown your way and came out on top.

Now it’s time to celebrate - safely and with social distancing of course! There is no one-size-fits-all way to celebrate your achievement. You might want a simple dinner with your family or maybe a Zoom call with your distant relatives and relations. Regardless of what you choose, humans need to celebrate the big moments in life even if they look a little different from what you might have planned before. Do it your way!

At Chandler-Gilbert Community College, we celebrate you! Here’s a look at how we honor you now:

Go out and make the world a better place! We are proud of you!

And while you’re out there in the world, don’t forget to stay in touch. We want to hear about all of your new adventures. 

Follow us: 

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

First-of-its-kind AA in Arts Degree with Emphasis in Counseling and Applied Psychological Science


As the beloved Fred Rogers used to tell the children watching his show: “Look for the helpers. You will always find people helping.” A more apt prescription for our times couldn’t fit.
Helping people deal with the sudden changes brought on by COVID-19 laid bare the need for more “helpers” and Chandler-Gilbert Community College - along with Mesa Community College - are ready to  train you to be one of those “helpers” for our community. 

A first-of-its-kind in the nation Associate in Arts Degree with an emphasis in counseling and applied psychological science will launch in the fall 2020 semester, creating a pathway to positively impact your community. 

In Maricopa County alone there are nearly 200 openings a year for trained counselors. Are you ready to make an impact?

What can I do with this degree?

This new AA program will set you up for careers as clinical, counseling and school psychologists; counseling psychologists; educational, guidance, school and vocational counselors; substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors; marriage and family therapists; mental health counselors; rehabilitation counselors; and psychology teachers.

How does it work?

The program will provide the first two years of a four-year curriculum and is designed so you can transfer directly into Arizona State University’s bachelor of science in counseling and applied psychology program. The program will include counseling theories, skills, career and lifespan development, ethics and research methods and multicultural competence. 

Will I be license ready?

No, but the new program will prepare you to enter an undergraduate degree program and eventually graduate studies in counseling or counseling psychology. Graduates may however qualify for entry-level roles as social and human service assistants or psychiatric technicians at hospitals, rehabilitation centers or work in other behavioral healthcare delivery roles, supporting counselors and mental health professionals. For more detail on undergraduate and graduate-level coursework needed for licensing, please see the American Counseling Association for specific details. 

How do I apply?

Text our Virtual Enrollment Team for support with any questions you have. You can text us at 480.351.2221, and we can help you navigate the college admissions process and provide support as you explore which programs might be right for your academic future.

Take advantage of scholarship opportunities - The Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation has 100s of scholarships, and you can apply to all of them with just one application.

Graduates with at least a 3.25 unweighted high school GPA can also join our Honors Program and receive the President’s Honors Scholarship. This scholarship covers tuition and the registration fee for up to 15 credit hours during your first semester at CGCC. You can renew the scholarship up to three additional semesters by maintaining that 3.25 GPA at CGCC.

Monday, May 4, 2020

6 Tips for Graduating Seniors During COVID-19

















High school students across the country are planning their next steps after graduation. We know you are facing many uncertainties during this time, so we want to provide you some tips to help you decide the pathway that’s best for you. 

1. Determine if you want to continue onto a university after COVID-19
If so, accept their admission and choose a deferred admission. This will allow you to enroll at the university in a future semester without having to apply again. Be sure to contact the admissions department at the university to ensure that any scholarships you were awarded will still be applicable if you defer your enrollment or enter as a transfer student.

2. Consider taking a “Visiting Year” at your local college - like CGCC
During a visiting year, you’ll take 30 general education credits at a community college before enrolling at a university. Not only will this reduce the total cost of your degree, but you’ll also be able to maintain the momentum from high school by continuing your education. 

Why CGCC?
- Our low $85/credit hour tuition will save you money while progressing towards your degree.
- We’re bringing courses to you as all of our summer 2020 classes will be delivered in an online format. When we resume in-person classes, you can choose to continue online or hybrid classes or take in-person classes at our beautiful Pecos or Williams campuses.
- Ease into college classes by taking a reduced course load.
- Take advantage of our flexible start dates to better fit your schedule.

3. Choose a school where your credits can transfer elsewhere afterward - Our partnerships with AZ public and private universities allow you to transfer with ease. This allows you to begin your college career at CGCC and seamlessly transition to a university to complete your bachelor’s degree. 


4. Choose a school with lots of virtual resources - Like us! We have tutoring, technical support, ask a librarian, enrollment teams, etc. For a list of updated department contact information, click here.


5. Text our Virtual Enrollment Team for support with any questions you have. You can text us at 480.351.2221, and we can help you navigate the college admissions process and provide support as you explore which programs might be right for your academic future.

6. Take advantage of scholarship opportunities - The Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation has 100s of scholarships, and you can apply to all of them with just one application.

Graduates with at least a 3.25 unweighted high school GPA can also join our Honors Program and receive the President’s Honors Scholarship. This scholarship covers tuition and the registration fee for up to 15 credit hours during your first semester at CGCC. You can renew the scholarship up to three additional semesters by maintaining that 3.25 GPA at CGCC.
For a full list of our summer courses, click here
To request more information about becoming a CGCC student, click here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Your Spring Grades & Summer Courses

























Like colleges and universities across the country, including most in Arizona, MCCCD is temporarily adjusting our grading policy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic response.

Except for courses or programs that require letter grades due to accreditation, dual enrollment, or other factors, all Spring courses continuing after April 9, 2020, will be converted to “P/Z” (credit/no credit). If you are in good standing at the end of the class, earning at least a “C,” you will receive a “P” (credit). You will also be given the option to receive the letter grade that you earned as well, more information about that process and the specifics “P/Z” (credit/no credit) is below.

Receiving a Letter Grade

If you are comfortable with your performance in a course and you prefer a letter grade, you must contact your instructor. You must contact your instructor using Maricopa email or Canvas messaging no later than one calendar week prior to the end of your course in order to request a letter grade in your course, otherwise, the P/Z grade will be posted to your transcript.





  • If you are taking multiple courses, you may choose to receive a letter grade in any one class or all of your classes.
  • If you do not inform your instructor that you wish to receive a letter grade, you will automatically be graded “P/Z” (credit/no credit).
  • Whether you choose “P/Z” or a letter grade, you must complete the semester in your classes to receive a grade and credit for the course. 


About Pass/Fail Grades


  • “P/Z” grades will not be calculated in your Maricopa GPA.
  • AZTransfer has revised transfer policies for courses taken during pandemic response. For these courses, credits earned with a grade of “P” may be counted toward graduation, toward the AGEC (Arizona General Education Curriculum), and will transfer for program credit at our Arizona State universities, GCU, University of Phoenix, and others. If you plan to transfer outside Arizona, check with your transfer institution regarding 
  • “P” grades will not satisfy course or program requirements where the requirement is a grade of “B” or higher.


Withdrawing

Even with the availability of “P/Z” grades, you may feel you are unable to continue with a class and wish to withdraw. We want to support your academic progress and hope you will stay with us to complete the semester. Please speak to your instructor about your wish to withdraw. You may be eligible for a tuition credit or partial refund.

  • Once you connect with your instructor, contact our enrollment team here so that a representative can help you determine how withdrawing may affect your academic plan and/or your financial aid/scholarships/veteran benefits.


Before You Withdraw


  • Withdrawing from class(es) can adversely affect students who receive special funding and eligibility circumstances, such as athletes, Veterans, and students receiving federal student aid, scholarships, grants, loans, or accessing employer education reimbursement plans.
  • Students who withdraw from a course will receive a grade of “W” (withdrawn, passing) or “Y” (withdrawn, failing) on their transcripts and must repeat the course in its entirety to receive credit for it.


Summer Classes Online

Maricopa Community Colleges have been taking many preventative measures to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Because we cannot predict when current restrictions for our communities will ease, all Summer 2020 courses will be online/alternative delivery only.

We're Here to Help

We know this is a very challenging time, and we’re here to support you. We are adding more information to the Student FAQs and Community Resources regularly.

Can’t find the information you need online? Submit your questions through this online form so we can update the information for everyone.





We are all in this together and the Maricopa family is here for you. Even though we all are facing unprecedented circumstances, it is our goal to assist you in as many ways as possible -- both personally and academically.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

At Home Tips and Activities for Parents



















Parents, are you struggling to find the balance between work, school and time with your children? We’ve gathered some tips from the CDC to help your family stay healthy and continue learning during this time.

We also want to help keep your children entertained while you're completing your schoolwork.  Click here to download a Cody Coyote coloring page. Check back as we add more activities for you and your children.
Click here to download the full-size coloring page.

















































Keep children healthy


Watch your child for any signs of illness

  • If you see any sign of illness consistent with symptoms of COVID-19, particularly fever, cough, or shortness of breath, call your healthcare provider and keep your child at home and away from others as much as possible. Follow CDC’s guidance on what to do if you are sick.

Watch for signs of stress in your child

  • Some common changes to watch for include excessive worry or sadness, unhealthy eating or sleeping habits, and difficulty with attention and concentration. For more information, see the “For Parents” section of CDC’s Stress and Coping.
  • Take time to talk with your child or teen about the COVID-19 outbreak. Answer questions and share facts about COVID-19 in a way that your child or teen can understand.
  • Go to CDC’s Helping Children Cope with Emergencies or Talking with Children About COVID-19 for more information.

Teach and reinforce everyday preventive actions

  • Parents and caretakers play an important role in teaching children to wash their hands. Explain that handwashing can keep them healthy and stop the virus from spreading to others.
  • Be a good role model—if you wash your hands often, they’re more likely to do the same.
  • Make handwashing a family activity.
  • Learn more about handwashing and other everyday preventive actions.

Help your child stay active

  • Encourage your child to play outdoors—it’s great for physical and mental health. Take a walk with your child or go on a bike ride.
  • Use indoor activity breaks (like stretch breaks or dance breaks) throughout the day to help your child stay healthy and focused.

Help your child stay socially connected


Ask about school meal services

  • Check with your school on plans to continue meal services during the school dismissal. Many schools are keeping school facilities open to allow families to pick up meals or are providing grab-and-go meals at a central location.
  • Read our East Valley Community Resources blog for a list of school districts offering free meal pickups.


Help children continue learning


Stay in touch with your child’s school

  • Many schools are offering lessons online (virtual learning). Review assignments from the school, and help your child establish a reasonable pace for completing the work. You may need to assist your child with turning on devices, reading instructions, and typing answers.
  • Communicate challenges to your school. If you face technology or connectivity issues, or if your child is having a hard time completing assignments, let the school know.

Create a flexible schedule and routine for learning at home

  • Have consistent bedtimes and get up at the same time, Monday through Friday.
  • Structure the day for learning, free time, healthy meals and snacks, and physical activity.
  • Allow flexibility in the schedule—it’s okay to adapt based on your day.

Consider the needs and adjustment required for your child’s age group

  • The transition to being at home will be different for preschoolers, K-5, middle school students, and high school students. Talk to your child about expectations and how they are adjusting to being at home versus at school.
  • Consider ways your child can stay connected with their friends without spending time in person.

Look for ways to make learning fun

  • Have hands-on activities, like puzzles, painting, drawing, and making things.
  • Independent play can also be used in place of structured learning. Encourage children to build a fort from sheets or practice counting by stacking blocks.
  • Practice handwriting and grammar by writing letters to family members. This is a great way to connect and limit face-to-face contact.
  • Start a journal with your child to document this time and discuss the shared experience.
  • Use audiobooks or see if your local library is hosting virtual or live-streamed reading events.
source: CDC

Additional Resources