Mentors MCCC Information

The mentors pages provide some basic information about Mercer County Commnunity College and suggestions on mentoring. These pages also provide a space for sharing experiences and opinions. Please, leave your comments in the “Leave a Reply” box at the bottom of the mentors comments page. Additional information mentors should be aware of can be found in the students page.


Both Amy and Arlene are lead organizers of the coaching component of the College’s innovative “First 30 Program”. The Program is designed to support student success through the first 30 credits, and the coaching component assigns a member of the faculty/staff to incoming students to guide them through orientation and the successful commencement of their studies.

Students should meet with Amy Vondrak prior to registering for classes. She can recommend the best classes in the students’ area of interest and classes that might help students build basic skills, such as studying and preparing for tests.

Students that had special services at PHS should speak with Arlene Stinson to see about accommodations. The following accommodations are offered at MCCC: extended time for class writing, extendend time for quizzes and tests, use of calculator, and authorization to use audio recorder. In order to get accommodations, students should present their educational and psychological evaluation reports from PHS. Tutors (volunteers from the community) are also available to all students and Arlene can inform students about them.

Meeting and contacting your students

Please, be persistent! Eventually your student will respond!
There are things that we take for granted as part of our lives, but are not so for our students, such as access to a computer and to the Internet. Princeton Public Library has computers available but some of our students also work or have other obligations and making the time to go to the library is not so simple. So although your student might have an email address, it is very likely they do not read email frequently.
Text messaging seems to be the preferred form of communication.

Here is a list of questions and points you might want to discuss with your student:

  • Did you contact Amy Vondrak (see contacts) to discuss with her which classes to take and learn what kind of support Mercer offers? (It may be very helpful if the mentor can also be present at the meeting – there is a lot of information that the student might not understand or not know to ask).
  • Do you have any special needs? If the student took ESL, do they need reinforcement? If the student was in IEP classes at PHS, they might need Support Services at MCCC, in which case they should schedule a meeting with Arlene Stinson (see contacts – dropping off to meet with Ms. Stinson does not work). The student should bring all documentation from PHS (IEP, SOP) but might need to go back to PHS and ask for the educational and psychological reports.
  • Did you do a campus tour?
  • Did you take a placement test? Did you take an ESL placement test, if needed? If the student took the SAT, then their SAT scores can be used for placement instead of the MCCC placement test.
  • Did you register for classes and do you have your schedule? They will have the schedule if they met with Dr. Vondrak.
  • How will you get to classes (transportation)?
  • Help them make a weekly planner, so they will be organized and plan ahead.
  • Do you plan to work during school? If yes, make sure to have time to study as well.
  • Do you want to meet once a week (or any number you both decide), to go over homework and questions?
  • Do you have questions regarding forms to fill out? (such as financial aid).
  • Do you know the differences between high school and college? Here is a table listing the differences.
  • Do you know how to use email? Do you know how to check MCCC email? Do you know how to check your spam folder?

Please remind your students: After the student registers for classes, they need to let Riva know so she can inform Mercer. Once classes begin, Mercer will send us the bill for the classes. It is very important to let the student know that if he or she decides to drop a class (in the very short time they can do so – usually less than 2 weeks after school started – check this date), they should let Mercer and Riva know ASAP, to prevent us paying for the class (which will be deducted from the student’s scholarship).


If the placement test indicates that your students need remedial courses, they will have to take these remedial courses before they can take the English and Math courses that are required for their major.

Below is a description of possible tracks for the remedial classes. This information should be discussed and verified with Dr. Amy Vondrak. Each situation is unique and it could happen that a student does not perform well in the test but actually knows the material – the student might be able to make a case for skipping a remedial class.

Math Remedial Track

  1. MAT-041 or MAT-033 Foundation Math I
  2. MAT-042 or MAT-037 Foundation Math II
  3. MAT-043 may be required for some sciences
  4. MAT-1xx 100 level Math

MAT 033 and MAT 041 are equivalent courses. MAT 037 and MAT 042 are equivalent courses. MAT 033 and MAT 037 are traditional classroom style courses. MAT 041 and MAT 042 meet in a computer lab and instruction is online and self-paced. These are good options for students who have good focus and self-discipline, or who prefer an non-traditional approach. MAT 041 and 042 also can be good because they allow students who can move quickly to get ahead, but if a student get stuck, they work on that topic until they can pass it. In a traditional class if a student fails a unit, the class has to go on – and sometimes it can be very hard to catch up and the student fails the whole semester. But some students strongly prefer a traditional classroom setting.

English Remedial Track

There are multiple variations for English and most are described below.

For students that need ESL courses:

  1. ESL-090 ESL Introduction to ESL Grammar, Reading, and Speech
  2. ESL-011 ESL Speech Concepts I, ESL-013 ESL Reading and Critical Thinking I, ESL-014 ESL Writing Concepts I
  3. ESL-021 ESL Speech Concepts II, ESL-022 ESL Reading and Critical Thinking II, ESL-023 ESL Writing Concepts II
  4. ESL-032 ESL Speech Concepts III, ESL-033 ESL Reading and Critical Thinking III, ESL-034 ESL Writing Concepts III
  5. start college level English: ENG-101 English Composition I or ENG-101 ITLS(International – labelled in red in course schedule

For students that need Intro courses:

  1. ENG-023 Introduction to College Composition I, ENG-033 Introduction to College Reading I
  2. ENG-024 Introduction to College Composition II, ENG-034 Introduction to College Reading II
  3. start college level English: ENG-101 English Composition I or ENG-101 ITLS(International – labelled in red in course schedule)

MCCC has developmental courses in both Reading (ENG 033 and ENG 034) and composition (ENG 023 and ENG 024). Students who place into the lower levels (ENG 023 and ENG 033) need to take both levels before they can take ENG 101 (keep in mind that students who place into ENG 023 and ENG 033 have tested as reading at below a high school level). Usually students take reading and composition at the same time:
ENG 033 + ENG 023
ENG 024 + ENG 034.

After fall semester, for students who narrowly failed ENG 034 or ENG 024 (a student is running just below a C), they might take ENG 036 during the Winter Intersession. ENG 036 is a reading and writing brush up, pretty intense, but enough of an extra push to get a student who needs just a little more work to be ready for ENG 101. Students who pass ENG 036 can take ENG 101 in the spring.

For students who narrowly miss placing directly into college-level English:

If students are about 10 points short of the cut score for ENG 101 they can take the ENG 101 Decision Zone course which has some extra time in it to support students who need extra help. The is a great option and many students do very well with it.

Don’t forget: for all the above cases, please, ask your student to talk to Dr. Amy Vondrak and she will be happy to help students get into the right class for them.

Additional helpful classes at MCCC

Please, note that although these are credit classes they do not count towards the degree the students are working towards. For each major, there is a list of required classes that the students must take.

Public transportation between Princeton and Mercer County Community College

See the students’ page for more information.

Experiences/suggestions from mentors

Read the mentors comments’ page and enter your comments there too!