Date: Sat, Aug 20th, 2022

Full house takes in Great Falls College Opening Day activities

Opening Day for Fall 2022 at Great Falls College saw a packed house in Heritage Hall.

One of the biggest factors determining the success of a student is mindset.

Dr. Elfie Neber, a psychology faculty member at Great Falls College, recounted her time as an undergraduate student when she told herself a story that she wasn’t smart enough to get better than B grades.

“So, guess what, my first semester I got Bs and Cs,” she told a full house at Heritage Hall on Saturday as part of Opening Day ahead of the start of the fall semester.

Students were able to buy textbooks and take care of other details before the start of classes during Opening Day on Saturday.

Later, when Neber had more confidence, she went back to school and told herself a different story about her abilities and went on to get a master’s and then a doctoral degree.

The difference, she said, was that she had a growth mindset that told her she could succeed even when classes are difficult rather than a fixed mindset that held her back.  

Neber also emphasized effort and accountability.

“I have never had a student fail who tried,” she said.

Opening day serves as an orientation for students to give them study tips and to let them know about resources that are available to them, including Weaver Library, Academic Success Center, faculty office hours, Native American Enrichment Center, the Veterans Center and disability services.

A panel featuring student government leaders, President Emillianna Ayers and Secretary Gary Trotchie, and faculty and staff members emphasized seeking out resources earlier rather than later.

Ayers stressed staying on top of things because the speed of the 8-week block classes, where students take fewer classes at once for a shorter duration, means it is very hard to catch up once students get behind.

Trotchie added that getting involved with student government or clubs means you connect better and faster with fellow students and makes college life more manageable.

Troy Stoddard, director of career and advising services, emphasized getting the college’s app, GFCMSU Mobile in the Play or Apple store, and the new navGFC app at to help keep you on top of things.

Steve Robinett, a computer technology faculty member, urged students to make use of all resources, but he also urged students to be sure to use their instructors as a resource outside of class if a concept isn’t coming to them.  

“The joy of this job is seeing students succeed,” he said.

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Record Number: 792