Professor

George Marcopoulos “SMC sends so many students on to four-year schools, which is great. But more important for the community are the courses of general interest where anyone and everyone can better themselves.”

In all the years that these stories of people’s lives have been written, one theme has emerged that’s especially poignant and touching. A talented, bright person walks into a classroom and is suddenly overwhelmed with confusion and self-doubts. Words on paper crawl around in random patterns. Memory of lessons becomes a tangled morass. Failure stacks on failure, and the students ask, with great humiliation, “What’s wrong with me?” SMC, perhaps like no other college, has the answers to this life-endangering question.

“The best referrals of students with learning disabilities come from our teachers,” says George Marcopoulos. “Our teachers pay close attention to student work, and they are extremely savvy about things going wrong in a student’s learning pattern. And then those students come to us to get checked out. And it’s not uncommon,” he continues, “for students—when presented with test results—to weep with relief. Just imagine: They’ve struggled all their academic lives without knowing why, so they begin to put all these negative labels on themselves. And when we give them the answer they’ve been looking for, it can be very traumatic. But it’s also, normally, a huge burden being lifted.”

George says that “dyslexia is the problem that most people know about. But there are a host of others like auditory or visual processing. There is help for all of these conditions, and we’re here to provide it in every way. Extra time on tests, books on tape, specialized learning strategies—we have the resources. And if you’ve got a problem, those resources are yours.”

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.