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Give the gift of education


December 10, 2010
By Robin Shaffer Lilienthal
If you are like me, you are spending a lot of time right now thinking about gifts—deciding who is on your list, what they might want or need, and how much money to spend. You might also be considering the kinds of gifts that you would like to receive. At Marshalltown Community College we are spending time thinking about gifts, too. Not only do we cherish the gift that 2,078 students enrolled in our college this fall, but also we are proud that we gave many gifts back to our community this semester including:

·100 students volunteering with the United Way Day of Caring at seven community agencies.

·The Tiger men’s basketball team partnering with the Marshalltown Education Partnership to sell t-shirts and donate gate receipts that earned $5,000 for the MEP program.

·Several faculty, staff, and students helping monthly at the House of Compassion.

·Fourteen computer technology students teaching 15 Iowa Veteran’s Home residents basic computer, internet, email, and Facebook skills.

·The construction trades program sponsoring the annual Youth Build event where this past weekend 85 local youth built birdhouses, bird feeders, and toolboxes to take home as Christmas gifts.

·Over 50 faculty, staff, and community members will be helping out at the regional qualifying for First Lego League on Saturday, December 11 at MCC.

All of the community service projects that our students and staff have participated in so far are too numerous to list, and we’re only half way through the year, so I’m sure that next semester will yield many other community gifts.

Now, if you’re struggling with what to give that hard-to-buy-for someone this year. I heartily recommend the gift of education. Either a credit course toward a degree or a continuing education special interest class would be a perfect stocking stuffer. Studies demonstrate that students with an Associate’s Degree earn 36.5% more annually than someone with a high school diploma or GED. This amounts to $265,601 more earnings over a lifetime. The rate of return on an MCC educational investment is 57.3%.

Graduates recover all costs (tuition, fees, books, and lost earnings) foregone while earning their degree in less than 3 years! So, at $159 per credit hour consider bypassing the next generation gaming system found at a big box store and consider a gift of education. At Marshalltown Community College we will treasure the gift of your student by offering them an excellent learning experience.

Editor’s Note: Robin Shaffer Lilienthal, Ph.D. is the Provost of Marshalltown Community College, a unit of Iowa Valley Community College District.

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Robin Shaffer Lilienthal



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