Importance of Getting Involved at a Commuter College

3 years 6 months 2 weeks ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 October 20, 2017 9:56 AM October 20, 2017 in Community - Education Beat

MCALLEN - Creating a college atmosphere at a commuter school, has its challenges. Director of Student Activities and Wellness, Eli Nguma, knows from personal experience.

"If you have dorms, the students are always there. You can do events in the evening because the students are there. So for commuter colleges it's a challenge. You typically have to do your activities in the afternoon, while they are still here because a lot of students they take off," he said 

For freshman Ivan Izaguirre, attending South Texas College was a no brainer. The local campus was the best financial option, however when it came to on-campus sports and clubs, he worried.

Izaguirre was involved in athletics in high school. The former athlete replaced his involvement in sports with clubs at STC.  He said Gear Up taught him the importance of balancing academics and extracurricular activities.  

Research from the National Center for Education Statistics shows student involvement outside the classroom leads to a higher success rate. The data details sports and clubs teach lessons on teamwork, responsibility and a sense of culture and community. 

Nguma believes clubs, intramurals, and on-campus events reinforce lessons taught in the classroom. He encourages students to get involved in their first year, even if it's just one organization. 

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