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

Fast-track cohort will start on TR

By Rhiannon Saegert/managing editor

TR Campus will be home to a new weekend college that lets students take two eight-week classes at a time to earn an Associate of Arts degree in 18 months starting this summer.

“It’s geared toward the working adult in many ways,” director of academic affairs Wendy Jasper-Martinez said. “The fact that it’s accelerated should appeal to just about anyone.”

The new weekend college will be a cohort of 30 students all following the same pre-set schedule on TR Campus, Jasper-Martinez said. The next eight-week semester would start when the first semester ends, independent of the rest of TCC’s schedule.

“The new definition of Weekend College is just the cohort,” Jasper-Martinez said. “Weekend college and weekend classes are two different things.”

Cohorts, which are more typical of graduate programs than associate programs, have high completion rates, Jasper-Martinez said.

“That’s what we want to offer, the same success rate that other cohorts have to offer,” she said.

The first cohort will be for first-time college students who have passed their TSI exam and completed orientation. Because of the rigid schedule, there will be no room for developmental courses.

Jasper-Martinez said students in the cohort will have access to the same student support services traditional students have despite their weekend schedules. Director of academic affairs David Pearse said that’s easier said than done.

“That needs to be promised by the district, who haven’t promised yet,” Pearse said. “Saying that this is going to work and getting everybody to promise is going to take some political wrangling at higher levels.”

Pearse said he and Jasper-Martinez will work with other departments to recruit students for the cohort.

“We’ll start recruiting for these students who want to commit for 18 months,” he said.

Students can choose between Friday classes and Saturday classes. Fridays are shorter, consisting of one traditional class and one online class. Saturday classes last all day and consist of two hybrid courses that are half-traditional, half-online.

“We have to have a minimum of 15 in a class for that to make. Theoretically, we could take 30 in each class,” he said. “I can’t imagine there are that many students who want to get into a cohort.”

NE student Robert Urchick took a traditional eight-week chemistry class last summer and said his experience was negative.

“It was horrible. Too much information in a small amount of time,” he said. “It’s different for different people. If they’re taking core classes, it’s going to suck.”

Jared Carter described his eight-week speech class as long and boring.

“Most people couldn’t keep their attention for the three hours,” he said. “They’d be too exhausted.”

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