The purpose of Real Talk: MDC is to provide MDC students, particularly minority and/or non-traditional students, a safe space to discuss social issues including issues that they experience in higher education. Effective higher education not only provides theory and pedagogy, but should also provide practical opportunities for students to be engaged and exposed to social issues. This initiative can be implemented in community colleges across the nation who serve a diverse student population or are interested in diversifying their current student population.
Our student body is composed of a majority minority population whom face a breadth of social issues and/or personal issues. Many of our students are also first time in college or first generation college students whom often don’t have the “college knowledge” necessary to navigate higher education. Often, non-traditional students feel that they are not part of the conversation and that their voices and opinions are not worthy. Miami Dade College feels driven to provide all students with the opportunity to promote integration and not tolerance. It is at the core of our mission to provide all students with meaningful opportunities.
The Real Talk: MDC sessions would provide students a safe space to not only discuss the issues they experience, but to also seek practical solutions and coping mechanisms. The majority of sessions would be led by student leaders so that students could find comfort in sharing and engage each other. These sessions would provide students the opportunity to dismantle and challenge stereotypes and stigmas that they have experienced and the opportunity to encounter new perspectives. When students become a part of the conversation they become part of the movement.
Real Talk: MDC Series (Sample Topics)
- My first-time in college experience
- First-generation Students: Who can guide us?
- LQBTQ Awareness: How to deal with bullying or lack of empathy at my institution?
- Students with disabilities: How to ensure that your needs are meet
- Yes, I Can: Empowering students to successful college completion