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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

Weekend College kicks into gear

By Montreal Spencer and Shelly Williams

Left to right, Fort Worth ISD students Kelly Reese, Erica Duncan and Melissa Coss participate in a young artists’ apprenticeship class on TR Campus. The course is made up of students from schools all over Fort Worth and is part of TCC’s Weekend College. Shelly Williams/The Collegian
Left to right, Fort Worth ISD students Kelly Reese, Erica Duncan and Melissa Coss participate in a young artists’ apprenticeship class on TR Campus. The course is made up of students from schools all over Fort Worth and is part of TCC’s Weekend College.
Shelly Williams/The Collegian

Students who could not fit classes in their agendas during the week can now take weekend classes.

Currently, all campuses have Saturday day classes. NE and Trinity River are the only campuses to offer Friday night classes, and TR is the only campus to offer courses throughout the weekend.

The main difference between a weekend class and weekday class is each class period meets for three hours instead of an hour or an hour and a half.

TR Weekend College Director Letty Gallegos said that some of the students take courses on different campuses, but weekend courses at TCC help make attending college easier.

“We just happen to be offering the courses that they need at a time that they can take them,” she said.

“Some of the students that I’ve talked to weren’t able to take other classes, so they were able to take advantage of it here.”

Gallegos said about 300 weekend students throughout the district take weekend courses only.

She said the main challenges students faced on TR Campus were finding their classrooms.

“It’s a little different, but I don’t think it’s the same at every campus. We aren’t real familiar with it,” she said. “So we’ve spent a lot of time giving directions. Other than that, there’s not a lot going on.

“I’m excited about it [weekend college], and we’re trying to get other services up as well. I’m a big believer in providing as much as we can for students when they’re here and saving them another trip to have to come back during the week, so that’s what we’re still working toward.”

Mary Williams, NE professor of ESL, said she expected her 6 p.m. Friday class to be catatonic by 8 p.m. Instead, the three hours seemed to rush past.

“We took two five-minute breaks and stayed very busy the rest of the time,” she said.

Williams said the students were engaged as they did a number of group activities, and she left the classroom at 9 p.m. feeling more energized than she had the whole day.

“But I should not have been surprised. Teaching usually is energizing,” she said.

NE associate professor of education Rosa Fuentes said she enjoyed her first weekend class this semester.

“My first weekend class this semester was great. My students were very enthusiastic,” she said.

Fuentes, who has taught a Saturday morning course for about six semesters, said when it comes to teaching she does not have a preference between weekday or weekend.

“My passion is teaching, and I am fortunate to have the opportunity and flexibility to teach during the week or on the weekends,” she said. “Students are a top priority, and I arrange my schedule to meet their needs.”

Williams said classes that meet only once a week present the challenge to students and faculty of covering a lot of material in one sitting, and students must integrate all of it to be ready for the next class meeting.

“It’s easy to go into ‘information overload’ under those conditions and to risk learning little because there was too much to tackle,” she said. “I expect this to be an area to focus on this semester in terms of pacing and review as well as possible study groups.”

Waiting for a Friday night class, NE student Loreliss Bonilla said weekend classes are more convenient for her than classes during the week.

“I work 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday though Friday,” she said. “It’s easier than driving through traffic (during the week) to take night classes.”

Student Sasha Daisy has a Saturday morning class on South Campus and a Friday night class on NE Campus. She said she prefers them more than weekday classes.

“I didn’t like Tuesday and Thursday after work on NE. I want to just go home and rest, and I’ll have all week to do homework,” she said.

TR student Adriana Gomez found herself enrolling in Weekend College because of a difficult family schedule.

“My parents work in the mornings and my sister was going to go to school in the mornings, so I could go in the afternoons,” Gomez she said. “But since this is her last semester and most of her classes ended up being in the afternoons, I kind of have to do it on the weekends.”

Gallegos said Weekend College is a great opportunity for students who work during the week and have other obligations.

“The response I’ve gotten from students is like, what took us so long?” she said.

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