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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

NE program provides job, college prep experiences

NE+program+provides+job%2C+college+prep+experiences

By Matthew McConathy/ reporter

NE student Michael Famighetti enjoys learning and being with other students training for college-level classes. 

He is one of 40 students in Pathways, a transitional program that enriches students with hands-on college prep and job skills for the real world workforce.

English instructor Rebekah Mercer looks over an assignment with student James Long, who is part of Pathways, a transitional program on NE.Katelyn Townsend/The Collegian
English instructor Rebekah Mercer looks over an assignment with student James Long, who is part of Pathways, a transitional program on NE.
Katelyn Townsend/The Collegian

NE coordinator Yolanda Bryant said she lives by a personal statement — “the greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it” — encouraging her students to be the best.

Pathways focuses on three areas for its students: enrichment, college and career.

“We prepare students to enhance their abilities and become self-sufficient and prepared into the workforce,” Bryant said.

The college transition program prepares them for course studies, writing and communication skills. Courses include Health and Wellness, Technical Writing, and Beginning Windows. The career program focuses on workforce related topics and communication skills.

“We’ve learned about body language and communicating with others in the workplace,” Famighetti said. “[We’ve] learned about famous people such as Obama, Putin and their social gestures and how they make eye contact, shake hands and greet each other.”

The enrichment program focuses on helping students learn and develop basic and enriched math and reading skills.

“I’m learning about PowerPoint, 10-key entry, Microsoft Word, Excel,” said Pathways student Jamie Hill. “And I love my teacher, Ms. [Terry] Ephraim.”

Students in the Pathways program are prepped for job skills or aided in transitioning to college. Originally started in 2001, the program grew and currently has 40 students enrolled.Katelyn Townsend/The Collegian
Students in the Pathways program are prepped for job skills or aided in transitioning to college. Originally started in 2001, the program grew and currently has 40 students enrolled.
Katelyn Townsend/The Collegian

They learn about the workforce by writing resumes and learn social skills through mock interviews.

“My goal is to help them be successful in their jobs or in college by learning how to be a better writer,” said TR English adjunct instructor Rebekah Mercer. “As you know, just about every challenge at work or at school requires good written communication.”

The parents are involved with the program and discuss with instructors how students can improve and how to work with the students at home. The students perform a dance for their parents at the end of the semester.

After-school activities also include PALS (Preparing Advocates for Leadership and Support), a group meeting of students to teach leadership and responsibility.

The students vote for elected officials in the club and participate in sports programs.

“I swim for Special Olympics and practice acting,” said Pathways student James Long.

Instructors said they enjoy their students and work with them to achieve their goals.

“Students have a very positive attitude for the most part and enjoy new challenges,” Mercer said. “They’re also very helpful and forgiving with each other, which is something we all could use more of.”

Pathways originally started in 2001, then called CLASS, which focused on career, life, academics, skills and success. Jan Miller started the program for students with disabilities.

After she retired, the program changed with added classes and learning programs.

The program has grown to around 40 students.

“I’ve met different types of friends with disabilities,” Famighetti said. “[We] can make it, whatever we put our minds to.”

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