Support Student Learning & Success
According to American College Testing (ACT), making the transition from freshman to sophomore year is difficult for one in every four college students, who leave before achieving a degree or completing their college education elsewhere. Because TCC prioritizes student retention, completion and graduation above all else, the College continues to invest in developing, sustaining and expanding those programs and services that will help students overcome obstacles and achieve success.
In the last several years, TCC has expanded its number and availability of learning labs, tutoring centers and mentoring programs to help students who require additional assistance keep pace with the rigors of college coursework. Many students, however, will not avail themselves of these services…but they will seek help from their peers, particularly in more difficult STEM courses. This dynamic served as the catalyst in 2013–2014 for the introduction of Supplemental Instruction as a pilot program at Northwest and South campuses. Through Supplemental Instruction, students who have successfully completed one of the classes on the course list with an A or B get the opportunity the following semester to facilitate peer-assisted study sessions. These students go to every class, then coordinate study sessions with the other students in the class to help work through difficult concepts, learn better study habits, take better notes, or whatever else they might need to succeed in the class. After the pilot program proved successful, the TCC Board of Trustees approved funding to implement a District-wide Supplemental Instruction program beginning Fall 2014. The expanded program targeted 112 sections with 3,223 enrollments across 31 courses. The results were consistent with those of the pilot program: 75% of the SI participants were successful in SI-supported courses compared to 59% of non-SI participants.
Chancellor's Emerging Leaders
Also under the heading of providing students with the support they need to succeed, the fourth class of the Chancellor’s Emerging Leaders program completed their first year at TCC. In partnership with Wright Resource Group, the Chancellor’s Emerging Leaders program provides leadership training to First Time in College Students in developmental education courses. The 2014–2015 class of 40 students completed the year with a 79.0% course success rate, while the comparative population finished the semester with a 66.4% success rate.
To this same point, because of the diverse backgrounds and life obligations of TCC’s students, the College’s ability to provide flexible instructional delivery makes all the difference for people who may need a different path to that certificate or degree. This was one of the many catalysts for the creation of TCC Connect and in just two shorts years, TCC now offers 15 fully online programs, including 5 associate degree programs and 13 certificate programs in the areas of business and office technology. Similarly, Weekend College—TCC’s newest offering through which full-time students can earn an associate degree in 18 months or less while only attending class on the weekends—clearly resonated with a population of students needing flexible instructional delivery. In its first semester, 274 students had registered for Weekend College; one year later, TCC is at capacity this fall with six more sections to total 26 sections of 24 students. In December 2015, TCC will have its first two graduates from the Weekend College program, with the remaining students from the first cohort graduating in May 2016.