It’s hard to believe that this fall marks the start of my eighth academic year as president of Tallahassee Community College. Time flies when you’re doing meaningful work and each year becomes more exciting to me as students, sometimes, accompanied by their parents, begin their academic journey toward their career goals.
This fall, we will have more students marking their first semester in college than we have had in many years. To them, the single greatest piece of advice I can offer is to ask – ask for help, ask for advice, ask early and often. TCC has so many resources available to our students, both with our faculty in the classroom and with our amazing staff outside the classroom, that we want to make it hard for our students not to succeed. Students, this is your school and we are here for you.
For those students returning back to our campus, welcome back and congratulations on your persistence. Getting a college degree takes grit and determination, and many don’t ever make it. I am proud of your hard work. Keep going.
There are three pieces of advice I want to offer both our new students and our returning students:
- Show up to class, every class, on time and ready to learn – Though life often gets in the way, showing up is half the battle. The more you show up, the easier everything else will fall into place.
- Do the work – There are no easy paths to a college degree. Work hard and make it happen.
- Ask for help and ask for feedback – Feedback is essential to getting better. You will only get out of this what you ask for.
I hope all our students will also take advantage of the many types of financial aid we offer. Student loan debt is a serious issue in this country, something we are very mindful here at TCC. It’s why we keep our tuition low – one of the lowest in the state – and we award millions of dollars in scholarships and grants each year. Loans should be your last option. Please be sure to complete our scholarship application each year. The deadline for spring scholarships is September 8. Apply here.
Regardless of whether this is your first semester or last, regardless of your path here, your race, religion, gender, disability or anything else, we’re glad you’re here. All are welcome at TCC.
Have a great semester!