By Anne Francomano/tr news editor
TR Campus student activities is adding to students’ classroom time with campus events tied to learning experiences.
These co-curricular events have ranged from featuring topic-specific speakers and discussion panels to holding a Shark Tank- inspired event and taking historic Fort Worth bus tours.
“Co-curricular activities are more enriching and more engaging for the students,” TR student activities coordinator Eddie Brassart said. “We are always striving to move student activities programming in that direction.”
Some co-curricular programming is predetermined based on federal funding. For instance, in honor of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, which celebrates the ratification of the U.S. Constitution and those who have become U.S. citizens.
Government instructor Jinnell Killingsworth collaborated with TR student activities for a Shark Tank-inspired Constitution Day event, where federal government students presented their ideal constitution and government to a panel of judges.
“The students worked in teams of four or five to pitch their idea,” Killingsworth said. “They needed to figure out how to sell their idea and how to collaborate and designate team roles, which is always challenging.”
Another course using a co-curricular approach is Journey of Discovery, which pairs a federal government class with other classes, such as African-American history, to cover special topics.
“It is a unique course in that it looks at a group of people in the U.S. and how they have been able to overcome certain challenges,” Killingsworth said. “The emphasis is on critical thinking, and using field trips and inviting speakers is a key part of the course.”
Co-curricular learning opportunities are not necessarily attached to a specific classroom outcome, such as a grade, but rather serve to complement classroom material. TR student activities is continuously building relationships with faculty and learning what is being taught in the classroom to develop relevant programming.
“We approach departments in a collaborative way, asking, ‘What can we do together?’” he said.
TCC has also welcomed visits by politicians, such as U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey (D-Fort Worth).
“It can be inspiring for students to see people in roles that they may aspire to one day,” Brassart said.
Student activities has a set budget to work with whether it teams up with faculty or not. The student activities team facilitates the event, providing event descriptions, helping to get the word out, setting up the event and handling locale logistics.
TR student activities encourages faculty to visit with staff members about possible events to plan together.
“One of the largest challenges is getting other people involved and marketing the event outside of the participating classes,” Killingsworth said. “Faculty from other classes can bring their students and bring ideas to plan new events.”
Brassart said students can benefit from getting out of the classroom to hear a different voice in a different setting.
“It’s another way to stir their curiosity,” he said.