A semester of new experiences

Photo by Andrew Hartnett

by Annie Beurman

Reporting Correspondent 


The first semester for any incoming student can have its challenges. With the spring semester coming to an end, several Cavaliers reflected on their first semester at the college.

Student Aubrey Heer enjoys the greater timespan between classes and how students don’t have to attend as many classes in college as they did in high school. While she regrets falling behind on some of her assignments and recommends that future students avoid this, she’s glad she made some new friends during her time at the college.

“It’s a great school and there are a lot of nice people here and make sure you know how to manage your time well and work hard,” said Heer.

Student Melissa Sanders cited the ease of getting between classes and the online tool Desire2Learn (D2L) as things she enjoyed during her first semester. While she did struggle with more difficult classes like anatomy, she was happy to become CPR certified.

“For me, advice to any college student is to really try and put your schoolwork … at number one, because I always think of my GPA,” Sanders said.

Student Brandon Fordiani, who is attending the college after a stint at the University of Oklahoma thinks he should have come to JCCC first.

“I was in a lecture hall in pretty much every single one of my classes,” he said. “… The classes are pretty small here. … I like that a lot.”

While the college was a great improvement for Fordiani when it came to tutors, class sizes and resources, he did note a significantly different social experience.

“It seems like there’s not a lot of interaction between students,” said Fordiani. “At the University of Oklahoma, everyone was friends, but here everyone kind of keeps to themselves. It’s almost like high school but without any social interaction.”

Students aren’t the only newcomers to the college. Assistant Professor of Sciences John Patrick Harty will be finishing his second year at the college at the end of the semester.

“After graduating from Kansas State, I taught part-time at Emporia State for one semester, then [at] the University of Wyoming for six years and the last year I was teaching part-time at the community college in Colorado. … Things were done differently this way here compared to what I’ve experienced elsewhere.”

Harty is grateful for such a positive experience and the great students he has taught.

“One of the things I really like about JCCC … would be the fact that they do have exchange agreements with several universities such as college in the Netherlands … as well as a university in Xi’an, China. … I’ve been quite blessed with travel and that’s something I would like to continue doing.”

He recommends that teachers go through the training he experienced for the college since it greatly helped with his transition.

“For students, I would emphasize getting to know not only your professors … but also get to know your classmates. … One of the great things about college is getting to meet some of your peers and some of the friendships that you’ll build over this time period.”


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