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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

TCC wins best online community college

TCC+wins+best+online+community+college
February 12, 2020 | Dang Le | managing editor
Connect Desk
Executive administrative assistant Maria Romero chats with instructional aide Haylee Piland at the front desk of Connect Campus in the West Fork building of TR Campus.
Photo by: Tiara Gavis/The Collegian

TCC was awarded 2020 Intelligent’s Pick for best online community college by intelligent.com, a ranking resource to help students determine their education planning.

“TCC Connect Campus staff is ecstatic about this recognition!” Connect president Carlos Morales said. “This accomplishment is a reflection of their hard work and commitment to student success.”

According to intelligent.com, their ranking criteria is first based on whether the college is nonprofit and fully online, then they will look at program strength, online readiness, student engagement, cost, and then tally the score from zero to 100.

After assessing over 286 universities and colleges and comparing 333 education programs nationwide, intelligent.com selected Tarrant County College as the leader of the top 60 list, racking a total score of 99.80 out of 100.

Even though this is the first time TCC receives an Intelligent Pick honor, the Connect Campus was recognized multiple times, ranking fourth out of 188 in 2014 and 10th out of 173 in 2016 based on the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

Before the Connect Campus, responsible for eLearning, Dual Credit and the Weekend College program, opened in 2014, students had access to online courses, but fully online programs were not offered.

TCC Connect is not only a virtual campus. Currently, they are hosting many activities and organizations in person. Photo by Tiara Gavis/The Collegian

“The demand for online courses has been present in the college and our Tarrant County Community,” Morales said. “The TCC Connect Campus mandate is to expand access to higher education while widening the options students have to include online and accelerated programs.”

Currently, TCC also offers online academic advising. Students can find the service on myTCC Blackboard main page. Then, they can discuss with the academic advisers using the ivy.ai chat tool.

While students are most familiar with face-to-face advising, misunderstandings certainly happened. However, Connect Campus tries multiple ways to keep the errors as low as possible.

“Certainly words can be misconstrued and taken out of context, but online advisers strive to ensure to align with 3G8P [TCC’s 3 goals and 8 principles] and ensure a student ready college,” Connect academic adviser Jeffrey Ramirez said.

“If there were to be a misunderstanding, the student has many options: either come back to chat, email, call or visit an adviser in person.”

However, while receiving many accolades and recognitions, the Connect Campus still runs into issues when it comes to coordinating events and organizations due to it being a virtual campus.

“Due to the uniqueness of online students, [the] majority of them have full-time jobs and commitments to take care of their families,” said intercultural student engagement and academic success coordinator Qing Bai. “If it is possible, we also try to host workshops online instead of in person.”

In the future, Bai is looking forward to including more technologies and tools to improve ways of communicating with students.

As Connect Campus heads to 2020 as the best online community college, Morales is looking forward to continuing making improvements.

“These faculty and staff collaborate daily to develop flexible offerings for our students that afford them the best academic experiences,” Morales said.

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