Achievement, Accelerated!

Weekend College Helps Students Get Ahead

In keeping with TCC’s Vision 2015 commitment to make higher education accessible to as many as possible, TCC will launch its new accelerated Weekend College this fall. The accelerated program is TCC’s latest effort to enable students to successfully complete their associate degree so they can enter the workforce quickly or transfer to a four-year institution. With this innovative program, first-time-in college students who qualify can earn an Associate of Arts degree in 18 months or fewer simply by taking courses on the weekends.

“Weekend College is designed to offer a flexible program for working adults...”

TCC Connect President Carlos Morales

Designed to meet the academic needs of non-traditional students, Weekend College appeals to a variety of students: those working full time including single parents and adult students who have never been to college; students who want to complete a degree quickly, then transfer to a four-year program or immediately integrate into the workforce; and, students who prefer a hybrid face-to-face and online model.

"Traditionally, this type of cohort system has been reserved primarily for students pursuing graduate degrees," said Chancellor Erma Johnson Hadley. "We know, however, that students who are self-motivated will excel in Weekend College particularly with the cohort model, which keeps students pursuing a specific course of study together through the completion of their degrees."

Believed to be the first program of its kind in Texas, TCC’s Weekend College will be offered at the Trinity River Campus and will maximize students’ time through the combination of face-to-face and online classes. Students attending on Fridays or Saturdays will spend approximately 25 percent of their time in class and 75 percent working online. Each course is eight weeks in length.

To provide the best-possible student-to-teacher ratio and to create close connections among the students, each cohort has only 24 students. The program will grow with each new cohort added at eight-week increments. Registration and scheduling are streamlined for Weekend College students due to a standardized schedule that encompasses all core classes, as well as carefully selected humanities, arts and sciences that comprise the remainder of the Associate of Arts degree.

Students in the initial cohort will have access to online advising. Other student support services will be available as needed.

In addition, Weekend College will offer an option specifically for native Spanish speakers. The Hispanic Pathways Dual Language English Immersion (DLEI) cohort will mirror the English language cohort, but the first half of the courses will be delivered primarily in Spanish. Students will gradually move toward instruction delivered primarily in English. This option is designed to retain students who may have difficulty due to language barriers in the traditional classroom.

"Weekend College is designed to offer a flexible program for working adults. We anticipate seeing an increase in completion rates for students who often can get sidetracked by life events," said TCC Connect President Carlos Morales. "Based on the solid success rates of similar programs across the country, we expect this new offering to be very beneficial to our students."