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

Campus-exclusive classes cause traffic headaches for students

By Jalyn Sneed/reporter

When Yosimar Hidalgo leaves his Fort Worth home to go to school, he passes TR Campus and drives 23 miles farther to reach SE Campus for his culinary arts classes.

“Trinity River is just down the street from where I live,” Hidalgo said. “It takes less than five minutes to get there. It would be a lot easier if classes were just down the street. It would save time and gas.”

Yosimar Hidalgo drives 23 miles and passes TR Campus to reach his classes on SE Campus. Illustration by Paulina Perez/The Collegian
Yosimar Hidalgo drives 23 miles and passes TR Campus to reach his classes on SE Campus.
Illustration by Paulina Perez/The Collegian

While TCC offers a wide range of specialty programs for students to concentrate in, these programs are only offered at certain campuses. As a result, some students may have to drive an extra-long distance to their classes.

While the drive is already long enough for Hidalgo, the traffic doesn’t make it any better.

“There’s a lot of traffic on [State Highway] 360 and I-20,” he said. “Without traffic, it takes me 45 minutes to get here. With traffic, it takes me about an hour and a half.”

Ashleigh Rocker is enrolled in South’s teacher education program. While the program is offered on both South and NE campuses, Rocker said SE Campus would be closer to her home in Arlington.

“In the mornings, it takes me about 20 to 25 minutes to get here,” she said.

Although the drive to South often goes smoothly, the real hassle for Rocker is the drive home.

“I always hit the traffic on the highway when I get off work,” she said, who’s an employee on campus. “I get off work at 5:15 and 5:30. By that time, the traffic is really backed up on I-20.”

The driving distance also affects her outside-of-school schedule.

“I also have to pick up my daughter from day care in Arlington,” she said. “With the traffic, it takes about 40 minutes to get home.”

While Rocker enjoys South, she admits the drive would be less hectic if her program was offered closer.

“SE Campus is in Arlington, and so is my daughter’s day care,” she said. “If the program was there, then there wouldn’t be as many highways. I wouldn’t have to drive all the way to Arlington from Fort Worth.”

Brittany Walker works on NE Campus for the radio/television/film program. As a TCC graduate, she remembers what it was like to drive a long distance for classes.

Walker recalls how the long drive also threw off her non-school schedule.

“I had to schedule things an hour after school because of the driving distance,” she said. “It sucked because doctors don’t get off until like, 5 or 6. I didn’t get out of class until 6 and 9.”

Walker found herself running into traffic during her drive, which made the situation frustrating.

“It took me 25 to 30 minutes to get to NE,” she said. “Sometimes I got traffic in the mornings off of Highway 121. I usually left school during the rush hour.”

Despite the long-distance driving, Walker said she enjoyed NE as well as her current job in RTVF.

“A teacher here pushed me into radio and made me interested in this program,” she said. “I do enjoy this program a lot.”

Shereah Taylor, South Campus education coordinator and assistant professor, says she sees a benefit in the programs being only on certain campuses.

“I think if the program was spread, then there wouldn’t be as much connection with students,” Taylor said. “It gives me an opportunity to learn about my students.”

Despite the driving distance for some, Taylor said that there is still a “minimum amount of students involved” in the South teacher education program.

“Since our classes are also offered online, students who don’t live close have the opportunity to enroll,” she said. “But there are still those students who want a face-to-face setting. For those students, we try to offer classes in the day and in the evening.”

Although Hidalgo admits he was disappointed at first with driving all the way to Arlington, he’s happy with the program.

“The drive situation is very inconvenient,” he said. “But I really wanted to take the program, and I guess with school you have to make sacrifices. You have to do what you have to do. I like my class, so I’m good.”

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