Miami Dade College
Miami Dade College - Comments and Student Experiences|
Although I've always been a very bright person, I was not a particularly good student in high school because I always felt so under-challenged in an intellectually limiting city like Miami (both in terms of people and genuine academics / high schools). I was throttled into the other extreme when I got accepted to a VERY difficult college, was not doing too well and had to move back to Miami.
Eventually, I went to Miami Dade College and I feel that the education here helped me tremendously. Specifically, I went to Kendall Campus. Don't get me wrong, I often felt infuriated by the immaturity of people who just got out of high school in my college classes. No, Miami Dade College will not hold your hand and make sure you are doing your work or spending the time to watch over you and make sure you succeed in college. The college campus often feels so large and full of commuter students that it can be isolating.
But truthfully, the school works in a way where it provides you the resources and expects you to use them to your advantage. It is an extremely self-directed curriculum. But if you are willing to take the time, patience and maturity to work hard here, it will pay off big time in the long run. In some ways, MDC was still a learning ground for me (like re-learning writing techniques and basic math skills) and I did fumble at times.
But the best part about it is that as a community college, it was built and intended to be that space to learn. It will probably not be used against you if you drop certain classes on-time and retake them at a better time for you with more preparation.
Also, the different departments are receptive to learning and hearing about their teachers. If you're having a problem with a certain teacher, you can talk to their designated English, Math, etc Department. At times, the Advising Office will send you to different parts of the college to figure out things they should know. Even some of the advisors are basically useless and will tell you what classes you need to take although you could just go online and check what you need to take yourself (as well as pick and drop classes yourself online).
I know students attending FIU now that wish they could have finished their bachelor's degree at MDC. They often comment about how FIU is literally just a blood-sucking money monster and how the majority of departments and administrators could care less about the student's input.
At MDC, there are so many different campuses that even if one department sucks, you could just attend a different campus and use to your advantage the better teachers. I also highly recommend using ratemyprofessors.com to check your professors before you sign up for classes. Thankfully, there are just so many different professors that it's pretty easy to avoid the bad ones. Just do your research before you take their class.
I could have probably put in more effort into searching for more people that were like me (and I'm sure they wander around campus every now and then) but it wasn't particularly my interest. I was interested in getting my education, doing my work and learning as much as I needed to in order to pass the class. I think MDC provides a great background for someone who needs to get into the habit of developing solid study habits and can potentially be a big catapult into a positive direction for someone who does.
One of my only pet-peeves is how the college favors students in the Honors College. I remember once walking into the Honors College and asking if someone could help with a college application I was preparing because it was an Ivy League school. The woman working there very snottily replied "We're sorry, we only help HONORS COLLEGE STUDENTS here. Maybe you should check with the transfer office." Of course, any other office at MDC is inept when it comes to that so I basically didn't have anyone to help me.
My biggest suggestion: Do well in high school and transfer into the Honors College here. If you are in high school, transfer into their SAS program to be challenged as you need to be. If you do well in either of these programs and put in the necessary work, you can have a spot at a VERY good college or even Ivy League university. I, personally, wish that I could have done this earlier but screwed up segments of high school and even college to take back the damage. If you feel underchallenged in high school, I HIGHLY recommend either the SAS or Honors College route. MDC puts in 100% effort to help these students and the professors will make a harder effort to help you along with writing good recommendations for you. Take advantage of these efforts if you can.
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