What does ‘Holistic’ mean in Higher Ed?

Oct, 29 2019


The Maricopa Community Colleges promote many programs that offer a holistic approach to education. Holistic support to college students means to focus on a person's physical, emotional, social, economic, and spiritual well-being collectively. From allied healthcare to engineering to arts and humanities, a holistic learning experience means students are given the resources to invest in personal development while they develop the skillset to be competitive in the workforce.

                To isolate a college student without consideration for what may be happening in their lives does not benefit the individual or our community. At the Maricopa Community Colleges, ’holistic’ means that our colleges strive to meet the needs of our students so that they can succeed.

                “The holistic approach looks at multiple ways to address real and potential roadblocks to academic success for students in our district,” shares Felicia Ganther, the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, “An example is the implementation of multiple measures to assess college readiness, providing students various means to show their proficiency in english, math, and reading. Another is the implementation of a Basic Needs website that provides students with internal and external resources for help with socio-economic issues.”

                While the word ‘holistic’ may seem like a buzzword, holistic support is a catalyst for student success. To ensure our students’ needs are being met we connect our community with:

  • Basic need fulfillment including food resources, housing, personal safety, childcare, transportation, after school, and youth programs.
  • Financial aid, payment options, and scholarships to help pay for school.
  • Education from high-quality and involved instructors with additional free resources to supplement course teachings such as tutoring, writing centers, academic coaching, mentoring, study skills workshops, and more.
  • Career services and support and on-the-job experience.
  • Counseling Services and promotion of social wellbeing through connections made on campus in clubs and learning communities.

                The Maricopa Community Colleges are committed to providing quality, accessible education to as many members of the community as possible. Our holistic approach is intended to identify and implement measures that meet the needs of all students regardless of the challenges or lack of opportunities they have experienced.

                We invite our community – diverse in educational background, ethnicity, age, life experiences, and with varying educational and career goals – to join us in creating, empowering, and enriching lives through education.

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