This week’s blog showcases an interview with Sarah Collins, a senior and Music Education Major at AMC. Sarah is very active on campus and is the President of the Music Education Club, Publicist and Pit Director for the Zecconian Players and a former SGA Senator for the School of Visual and Performing Arts
Here’s what Sarah had to say:
Why did you choose AMC?
When I was in high school looking for colleges, my band director suggested AMC because of its strong music program. He got me in touch with the band director at the time and we really hit it off. I came for my audition for the music program and met many of the professors and knew it was the right fit for me.
What did you like about AMC when looking into this school?
One of the best aspects of AMC is that it's a small school where you're not a number, but you're a person. During my time here at AMC, I have been able to get specialized help on various subjects due to small classes and professor availability. I also like that when I came for my audition, the professors and students alike wanted to get to know me and came right up and introduced themselves. Once I officially decided to come to AMC and when I came back, the professors and students remembered me. That's what's important to me.
What are your favorite aspects about this school?
One thing that I really like about this school is how involved the students are with the Student Government Association (SGA) and all the clubs we have on campus. I have been a very active member of the SGA and have worked with various people around campus to make this school the best it can be.
Recently, the school redesigned the library and we now have an Information Commons above the library to study and use the computers and printers. It has been a great addition to this school to give us more opportunity to study and do homework.
Anna Maria College is a great choice for continuing your education. It offers a variety of majors within six different academic schools: Business, Fire and Health Sciences, Justice and Social Sciences, Education, Humanities, and Visual and Performing Arts. The class sizes are small so you are able to get to know your professors and receive more individualized attention.
Anna Maria College also offers 17 Men’s and Women’s athletic teams and a diverse group of clubs one can join. More importantly, students go to college to further their education and to gain the knowledge and experience to start a career. AMC has the programs and resources to assist students successfully enter the workforce. The College also has a Fifth year option for students to obtain their master’s degree.
Another positive is Anna Maria College’s affiliation with the Higher Education Collaborative of Central Massachusetts. This organization allows students to take classes at 11 other schools for no additional cost, which means you can take a class of interest to you that might not be offered at AMC.
Finally, AMC is a great choice because you will get a great education and it will set you up for a successful career.
When I was a senior in high school and looking at colleges, there were a number of factors that were important to me. The first, and one of the more important factors was that I wanted to go to a smaller school. I didn’t want to go to a college where I was just a number in a huge lecture hall. I wanted a school where my professor would know my name and face, and where I could get help if I needed it.
Another factor was the athletic department. I was a member of the golf team in high school and I wanted to play in college. Anna Maria College helped me achieve that goal, and I have had a great time with my fellow team members.
I was also looking for a school that had a variety of majors to choose from because I was unsure if a degree in business was a good choice for me. Because AMC offers so many choices, I was able to take business classes and criminal justice classes to see where I fit best. I decided that business was the right major for me.
Next week I will discuss why I think you should choose Anna Maria College.
During the first few days of the new year, the news reports were replete with articles and stories about Colorado becoming the most recent state to legalize the sale of marijuana. Washington legalized the sale of marijuana several months ago. It appears that Alaska, Oregon and California may be next.
I now understand that my view is in the minority. Gallup reported in the Fall that a majority of Americans (58%) support legalizing marijuana. A decade ago, only 32% were in favor; in 1969 (Gallup’s first poll on this question), only 12% supported legalization.
I am against this trend. I am also against legalizing gambling. And I wish the laws about alcohol and tobacco sales were stiffened or at least enforced. But lest you think this blog is simply about morality and ethics, my reasoning is fundamentally educational.
A recent op ed piece by Ruth Marcus from the Washington Post alerted me to recent studies published by the American Medical Association (AMA), the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the National Academy of Sciences. The results are alarming.
According to the research of the AMA, “heavy cannabis use in adolescence causes persistent impairments of neurocognitive performance and IQ, and use is associated with increased rates of anxiety, mood, and psychotic thought disorder.” College students exhibit these behaviors more and more and they always impact their ability to be successful academically.
The AMA report also provides data revealing that marijuana is the most common drug associated with drugged driving, especially with drivers under 21. Further, use of cannabis “is related to later substance abuse disorders.”One of the reports I read in early January emphasized that the new Colorado law (and the Washington law) restricts the sale of marijuana to those over 21. But the research from the National Institute on Drug Abuse details what those of us on college campuses already know. According to their studies, nearly half of all children have tried marijuana before graduating from high school. In fact, 16.5% of eighth graders have tried marijuana. Even more concerning, only 40% of 12th graders believe that there is a risk in regular use of marijuana (that percentage was 58% only two years ago).
The study published by the National Academy of Sciences is more detailed. The study was completed in 2012 and involved the study of over 1,000 New Zealanders from birth to age 38. The most salient findings are as follows:
- “Persistent cannabis use was associated with neuropsychological decline broadly across domains of functioning, even after controlling for years of education.”
- “Long term cannabis users saw an average decline of eight IQ points."
- “The decrease in IQ was linked only to those with adolescent marijuana use, not those who started in adulthood.”
We can have the debate about the impact of alcohol, gambling and drugs on social behavior. We can have the debate about the rights of people to use these substances. But there is no debate that the use of marijuana (and alcohol and gambling) impact student academic success.
We try to educate students about these risks. Legalization just makes it more difficult. I vote “no.”
(As always, your comments and questions are welcome.)
As a senior at Anna Maria College with one semester left, you can imagine there is a lot on my mind concerning the immediate future. One might say that this time in a senior’s college career can be very stressful, but I’m glad to report that a lot of the stress has been taken away because of how AMC prepares its students for the future. Since I was a freshman, my growth at AMC continued each year as I met new challenges that forced me to find new solutions. I went from being a general member of the activities board to eventually becoming a member of the student government association executive board. I learned a lot in and out of the classroom that I know I couldn’t have learned anywhere else and I am glad to be leaving this institution with the knowledge I obtained.
For about a year and a half now I have been determined to find a career in higher education, as well as receive a master’s in higher education administration; I am ready to do both. My final semester will include a lot of applying and waiting, applying and waiting, but at the same time it will be exciting beyond belief! It’s hard to imagine how four years of your life can go by so quickly, the friends you make, the people you meet, the people you lose, and the things you learn.
While being a student at AMC I have had the pleasure of working with many professors and staff in order to get the most out of my education. A number have had an instrumental impact on me that has helped me to become who I am today. When freshman come to Anna Maria College they are told how helpful the small community life style can be but they don’t really know how beneficial it is until they have actually experienced it. I have experienced it over and over again, and while I am sad to leave, I am excited to use what I have gathered at AMC and apply it to the rest of my life in whatever direction it may bring me.