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Student Workshops Enrich College Culture

K. Patricia Bouweraerts
Victor Mendez-Medina and Kelley Wong Image

Victor Mendez-Medina, far left, interacts with fellow students at a FLAMES money education event. Career Center Coordinator Kelley Wong teaches a resume workshop.

TMCC's Student Government Association (SGA) has taken note of the many useful workshops for students being offered on Campus about pertinent and practical topics, and taken it to the next level by adding leadership sessions to the mix.

There are typically about three to five no-cost workshops each week at Truckee Meadows Community College about topics not normally covered in traditional academic classes—subject areas as wide-ranging as checking one’s credit rating to writing a resume.

Some sessions may even help with coursework, such as “How to Develop and Support a Thesis,” a mini-class offered by the Tutoring and Learning Center (TLC).

“All workshops at TMCC are free and they’re for all students,” said Nicole Shimabuku, Coordinator of Student Life and Development. “Some departments offer workshops on topics like how to transfer smoothly or on career exploration, and programs or clubs offer workshops on things like how to budget or be a better leader, and many other areas of interest.”

Victor Mendez-Medina is pursuing an Associate of Science Degree at TMCC, and plans to transfer to the University of Nevada, Reno for a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering, emphasizing renewable energy. He enjoys math, and loves to help other students. Mendez-Medina is a peer mentor, helping with workshops presented by Financial Literacy and Money Education by Students (FLAMES).

“Student workshops here at TMCC are the types of workshops that aren’t offered somewhere else, not in a classroom or at a bank,” he said. “The workshops are more personal. With FLAMES workshops, the student mentors know exactly what other students are going through financially and academically, knowing the balance.”

All workshops are now coordinated through the Student Life and Development Office. Other departments and SGA-recognized clubs offering workshops include the following:

  • Academic Advisement, Transfer Center and International Student Services
  • Career Center
  • Financial Aid, Scholarships and Student Employment
  • Financial Literacy and Money Education by Students (FLAMES)
  • SGA Clubs
  • SGA staff, senators and officers
  • TLC, "The Learning Commons"

In the 2015-2016 academic year, a new preprofessional workshop was added by Academic Advisement. This year, SGA is offering new mini-classes on Fridays from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. in the SGA Office (RDMT 122) including the following:

  • Feb. 3: Membership Recruitment, Development and Retention
  • Feb. 10: Bylaws for Organizations
  • Feb. 17: Marketing Basics
  • Feb. 24: Fundraising

Win Free Lunches at the TMCC Cafe

At the conclusion of each student workshop, attendees fill out an evaluation form, assessing the session. Names from the forms are then entered into a spreadsheet, and Shimabuku uses an open-source random number generator to select winners of free lunches at the TMCC Cafe.

“The more workshops you attend, the more chances you have to win,” she said. “Even if you’re not in a club, you can attend that club’s workshop—they’re for all students.”

Drawings are held at least once every two months.

New Marketing for Workshops

SGA members have also developed a marketing strategy to support the departments and clubs providing these workshops. They create a monthly flyer listing all sessions and their locations, and distribute the flyers to bulletin boards. Flyers are also provided to front desks of departments and offices, and handed out at each workshop.

SGA is advertising the seminars on social media and spreading the information through word of mouth. They are being observant to discovering the most effective method to get the schedule into the hands of students, Shimabuku added.

“Students have found workshops very helpful and have given really positive feedback on the evaluation forms that they fill out at the end of sessions,” Shimabuku said. “They many times have written that they didn’t know about the other offerings and would be interested in them.”

For more information about the many free workshops at TMCC or to obtain a schedule flyer, please contact the SGA Office at 775-673-7203.