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 offers weekend coursework to reach busiest demographic

By Angela Brown/ reporter

The idea of a college degree can sometimes seem unattainable for many working-class adults with families. For some, not having the time plays a tremendous factor. 

TCC began offering Weekend College in fall 2014 for students interested in getting their associate degrees in 18 months.

“Weekend College is designed for the busy adult who wants to get in, get their degree as quickly as possible and get out,” Weekend College director David Pearse said.

Located on TR Campus, the accelerated program is 75 percent online. On-campus classes meet once a week, either Friday night or Saturday morning for five hours. The program is set up with two classes offered for seven weeks, followed by two more classes for seven weeks. Students will total 12 credit hours per semester, which qualifies them as full time.

“Students attend school five semesters or less,” Pearse said. “If a student decides to take other courses, they could graduate even sooner.”

Transfer student Myriah Mulligan is working toward a second degree while also employed full time.

“Taking weekend classes is the best option for me,” she said.

Students can speak with advisors through TCC Connect to review their degree plans to get the best experience possible from the program.

“You are going to cut time in half, and there are a lot of businesses that will not allow you to be promoted without the documentation that says you are a college student,” history instructor John Williams said. “The cons of Weekend College are time and discipline. How much can a person learn in such a short amount of time? It takes an extremely disciplined student to succeed in this program.”

Weekend classes are also offered to students who may need only one class and choose to take it on the weekend. The program is not exclusive to those who take weekend classes only.

A student development session is offered both days to provide students with information on learning styles, note taking, textbook highlighting, scholarship applications, transcripts and university transfers. The student development course is optional, and students are encouraged to bring a lunch.

Two obstacles many students face in traditional courses are the cancellation of a class and the lack of seating. These two things never happen in Weekend College, Pearse said.

“There is a closed enrollment available only to Weekend College students,” he said.

Thomas Peterson, a husband and father, works full time and is taking advantage of Weekend College to pursue a degree in education. Peterson, soon retiring from the police department, is taking advantage of what the program has to offer in every aspect.

“Weekend College has given me the convenience of working at my own pace,” he said. “It is at a faster pace, which is good because my life is faster.”

The advantage of taking two classes per semester is also a plus, Peterson said.

Balancing work and family responsibilities is what a student will experience taking classes on the weekend. Students will become core-complete in 12 months as they progress to an Associate of Arts degree in 18 months.

“Students who stay in the Weekend College program are successful, and getting good advice is the key to that success,” Pearse said. “Students receive the best education possible, and many maintain a 3.0 average or above,” he said.

The program was designed with the fast pace in mind, so the district selected courses that worked in an accelerated and hybrid mode to give students “the best learning experience possible,” Pearse said.

Mulligan appreciates the format.

“I like that you are not committed to going every single day and staying for the longer class,” she said. “The professors compared to others are more understanding of your situation so they tailor the workload and classes to that.”

Students who want to become part of Weekend College can email weekend.college@tccd.edu or call 817-515-1650.

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