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I am AACC: Stephanie Holton, Student

Student Snapshot

Student Snapshot: Stephanie Holton

Age: 28

Hometown: Lutherstadt-Wittenberg, Germany

Major: Transfer studies with concentration in math and Spanish

Thanks to technology and the Web, 28-year-old Stephanie Holton discovered AACC after a Google search of community colleges in the Anne Arundel area. “I was curious because I knew I was moving to Anne Arundel County and I had never been to America before and I thought ‘I want to go to college,’” she states. At the time, Stephanie and her husband, who she also met through the Web, were both working in Japan. He was reassigned to Maryland in 2005 and Stephanie began to research affordable ways to get her American education. “I started looking into community colleges and I was like, ‘What is a community college?’ I didn’t even know at that time.” After AACC came up as the first Google result, Stephanie explored its academic options and thought, ‘Anne Arundel sounds interesting.’

“They actually had a math degree and something for foreign language,” she says of her two passions. “So I came here, applied right away, was accepted and said ‘OK, I’m going to AACC.’”

Stephanie enrolled in the fall of 2005 as a full-time student in the teaching program for math and later added Spanish. “I like learning foreign languages,” she says and then rattles off the languages she knows: “German—I don’t count English because if you live here you have to speak English—French, a little Spanish, and some Japanese.”

Spring semester she started tutoring after being introduced to it through a classmate who worked for Deborah Webb, Coordinator of Tutoring.

“A good thing about this community college is that you have tutoring services here,” she says. “In Germany there is no tutoring at all; if you go to college and study math, you don’t get any tutoring and you’re expected to know more than algebra. You’re expected to know differential equations and up to Calculus 3, so that was a good thing when I came here because you get tutoring and the instructors really care.”

Stephanie tutors five to six students one-on-one in math, French, Spanish, and German, and devotes up to 15 hours to each student per semester. “Math is the biggest area that we need,” she says and adds that almost every peer tutor at AACC (about 60) tutors math.

She incorporates techniques from her favorite math instructor Dr. Kapoor into her math tutoring sessions. “Dr. Kapoor teaches pretty much everything from elementary algebra to differential equations,” she says. “I’ve tried to take every class he teaches at the college; he’s really good. He really cares on a different level; it’s a cultural thing and I really like him. I like his way of teaching and I’ve taken over a few of his methods.”

In addition to Stephanie’s tutoring and studies, she took on an administrative assistant position to Webb in 2007. “She was always saying, ‘I need someone to help me with this type of work’ and I said, ‘Well, I have time and I have office experience,’ so we decided to do a work study and I started in summer of 2007.”

Although most of her time is spent on campus, her enthusiasm for AACC insinuates that she doesn’t mind at all. “I really love this community college,” she says. “If I could stay here and get my four-year degree I would; it’s so convenient and a comfortable atmosphere.” She sees AACC as a hands-down choice, especially for those who are residents in the county. “Why go to a four-year institution if you can have an excellent education at a lower cost and the instructors actually care over here?” she questions. “At a four-year institution, you’re one of many; here instructors know you by name, they know your grades, they really care, and they follow up on what’s going on.”

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