The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

TCC receives federal funding

By Terry Webster/reporter

Every first-time student at Tarrant County College will be assigned an academic advisor under a new $2 million U.S. Department of Education grant.

Each of TCC’s five campuses is expected to benefit from the grant, which will tailor programs specific to a campus’ needs, said Jacqueline Macki, director of TCC’s Office of Grant Development.

The Strengthening Institutions grant provides $400,000 per year for five years to assist first-time students and increase academic persistence and graduation rates, especially for black and Hispanic students. New faculty training and new staff will also be implemented to help increase student success.

Part of increasing success for all students involves creating a personal connection with them, officials said. And that’s where individualized attention from an academic advisor can help.

“In the past, all a student had to do was go through new student group advising and then register,” said Joy Gates Black, vice chancellor for student success. “Now, they will be assigned an advisor to meet with them several times a year and on an ongoing basis.”

The advisor will help first-time college students stay on track by pointing them to various resources such as the learning assistance centers. If a student starts having severe academic difficulty, the advisor can even work with faculty members to make sure the student stays in the class and succeeds.

Research has shown that individualized attention can help increase a student’s chance of successfully completing college, Gates Black said.

Other goals under the grant include the following:

• Increasing the percentage of A, B or C grades for students in remedial education courses.

• Increasing faculty and staff knowledge in how to help students reach their academic goals.

• Increasing graduation and transfer rates.

The grant award was a blend of timing and other initiatives already under way at TCC, according to Gates Black.

More specifically, it’s linked to TCC’s involvement in the national Achieving the Dream program. The data-driven program helps identify issues that deter success for low-income or minority students.

More than 130 institutions in 24 states and the District of Columbia participate in the Achieving the Dream program, which reaches more than 1 million students nationally.

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