NOTE: Due to potential conflicts with lab finals on the first day of the final assessment period, faculty will work with their department chair and dean to schedule their final lab assessment on a day and a time approved by the department chair and dean.
THURSDAY, MAY 3
6:30-9 a.m. All TTH classes that begin at 6:30 and 7:30 a.m.
9:30 a.m.-noon All TTH classes that begin at 9:30 a.m.
12:30-3 p.m. All TTH classes that begin at 12:30 p.m.
3:30-6 p.m. All TTH classes that begin at 3:30 p.m.
6:30-9 p.m. All TTH classes that begin at 6:30 p.m.
9:30 p.m.-midnight All TTH classes that begin at 7:30 and 8 p.m.
FRIDAY, MAY 4, SATURDAY, MAY 5 and SUNDAY, MAY 6
All Friday-only, Saturday-only and Sunday-only classes meet at regular class times and locations on the last day of the term with the final assessment of 150 minutes administered during that time frame.
MONDAY, MAY 7
6:30-9 a.m. All MW classes that begin at 6:30 and 7:30 a.m.
9:30 a.m.-noon All MW classes that begin at 9:30 a.m.
12:30-3 p.m. All MW classes that begin at 12:30 p.m.
3:30-6 p.m. All MW classes that begin at 3:30 p.m.
6:30-9 p.m. All MW classes that begin at 6:30 p.m.
9:30 p.m.-midnight All MW classes that begin at 9:30 p.m.
TUESDAY, MAY 8
8-10:30 a.m. All TTH classes that begin at 8 and 8:30 a.m.
11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. All TTH classes that begin at 10:30 and 11 a.m.
2-4:30 p.m. All TTH classes that begin at 1:30, 2 and 2:30 p.m.
5-7:30 p.m. All TTH classes that begin at 4:30 and 5 p.m.
8-10:30 p.m. All TTH classes that begin at 9:30 p.m.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 9
8-10:30 a.m All MW classes that begin at 8 and 8:30 a.m.
11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. All MW classes that begin at 10:30 and 11 a.m.
2-4:30 p.m All MW classes that begin at 1:30, 2 and 2:30 p.m.
5-7:30 p.m All MW classes that begin at 4:30 and 5 p.m.
8-10:30 p.m All MW classes that begin at 7:30 and 8 p.m.
2ND EIGHT-WEEK SECTION
Classes meet the first meeting of the last week with the 150-minute final during the last class meeting.
The Class of 2018 will turn their tassels May 12 at TCC’s commencement ceremonies.
Two ceremonies will be held at the Fort Worth Convention Center, one at 11 a.m. for graduates assigned to NE, SE and Connect Campuses and the other at 3 p.m. for graduates assigned to NW, South and TR Campuses, said district admissions and records director Rebecca Griffith.
“All early college high school graduates will participate in the ceremony which corresponds to their campus,” she said.
Both ceremonies will last approximately two hours.
Opportunities for students to celebrate triumphs are rare, and every educational credential earned is a major accomplishment, said TCC’s communications, public relations and event marketing executive director Suzanne Groves.
“It’s also a time for friends and family who supported each graduate to share in the joy,” she said.
This year, the college expects to have over 2,000 graduates participate, which is up from last year’s 1,750 participants, Groves said. But the 2,000 participants are only a fraction of the number of students who will receive a degree and/or certificate.
“In the most recent complete reporting year, TCC students earned more than 7,800 degrees and certificates,” Groves said.
Graduates were assigned a check-in time, which appears on the name card they’re required to have, she said.
“Name cards will be mailed to students no later than Friday, May 4,” Griffith said.
The cards will also have the graduates’ assigned ceremony. They will be mailed to the address the college has on record, she said.
To get a name card, students must submit a Commencement Participation or Commencement Walk-Only Approval Form. The deadline to apply to participate in commencement is May 4.
“See an advisor immediately if you have not yet applied to participate,” Groves said. “Requests after May 4 cannot be honored.”
The online version of the forms are no longer available through WebAdvisor, but the paper version can still be obtained in any campus advising office.
Friends and families who come to see the graduates walk can enter the arena an hour before the ceremony, she said. Guests do not need tickets to enter.
The ceremonies will be live-streamed, so those that can’t attend can still watch, she said. Recordings of the live-streams will also be available on TCC’s website after May 12.
“Free parking and shuttle service is available starting at 9 a.m. from the TR Campus and will continue until all who need a ride back to the campus are served, at least until 6 p.m.,” Groves said. “Park in the TR garage, enter the building and follow signs to the pickup point at Trinity Circle.”
TCC’s graduation ceremonies will not feature graduates lined up alphabetically, Griffith said.
“Graduates will walk by degree type,” she said.
TCC has no dress code for what students should wear under the gowns, but due to the amount of walking and standing, Groves recommends people wear comfortable shoes.
Graduates can get their caps and gowns, provided by TCC at no cost to the student, at any TCC bookstore through May 8, she said.
For anyone that can’t pick up their cap and gown by that date, a limited supply will be available at the ceremony during check-in, Griffith said.
“To pick up, a student must be approved for participation,” she said.
Honors cords for those eligible will be distributed at the convention center, and Phi Theta Kappa stoles are available for a fee through the NE Campus PTK chapter or at the ceremony.
TCC is also having a cap decorating contest. Students can post a picture of their decorated cap on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #TCCgrads. Entries will be judged on creativity with an added bonus for those who represent their field of study on their cap.
“The winner will get two Texas Rangers tickets and gear,” according to an email sent by NE student activities.
Students can submit photos of their cap using the hashtag or post the photo to TCC’s Facebook wall until 5 p.m. the day of graduation.
Students can share their graduation stories using the same hashtag. They can also tag the college on Facebook, Twitter and on Instagram, Griffith said. To tag it on twitter, use the handle @TCCollege. For Instagram, use @TarrantCountyCollege.
“Be sure to make your post public so we’re to see it and include it in the contest,” she said. “We’ll narrow it down to our top four and then turn the vote over to you on our social media pages.”
Students can also honor professors, advisors, family members or friends that have helped them along their educational journey with a personalized tribute at alumni.tccd.edu/tributes.
For any questions about commencement, visit www.tccd.edu/academics/graduation/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
NE Campus sociology professor Murray Fortner was selected as one of 10 recipients for the Piper Professor Award, which goes to outstanding teachers from colleges in Texas.
The award recognizes professors for outstanding academic, scientific and scholarly achievement and for dedication to the teaching profession.
Fortner, who students call “Coach” due to his sports-like teaching mentality, considers students his team, and he gives them the tools to achieve success.
“I think, for me, sports is a metaphor about life,” he said. “The objective is completion, is success, and I think that all coaches are good teachers, and all teachers should be good coaches. So beyond the warehouse of knowledge that teachers bring, we should understand the personality of each student and the importance of having the ability to motivate these students like good coaches do.”
Fortner spoke about creating an environment in the classroom that has energy but is also contained and controlled.
“I don’t like a classroom that is stoic,” he said. “I don’t like a classroom that is dependent on PowerPoint. Rather than be dependent on PowerPoint, I’d rather make powerful points.”
NE student Logan Kane said he’s attended other sociology classes, and none could compare to Fortner’s.
“Honestly, there is not that many people in the world who can affect change in the people that they’re around,” he said. “He’s expanded my mind, helped me think about things from a different perspective, and he helped me realize that a lot of my preconceived notions are not right or wrong, but they should be challenged so we can think differently.”
Fortner wants students to move beyond talking about problems and move toward solving them.
“We’re going to sit in this classroom and learn terms and discuss concepts with the value of exchange that won’t be measured until you get outside,” Fortner said. “I’m hoping that you will have a better understanding on how society works because people who have a better understanding are less likely to be exploited.”
Another economic collapse is on the horizon in the U.S. and rather than blaming General Motors or the housing market, the culprit will be the student loan crisis if it continues to go ignored.
Access to the greatest vehicle for economic opportunity has become more costly in both time and money, which poses a huge problem for this country going forward.
In 1968, a student working 6.2 hours a week at minimum wage would earn enough to pay the average annual tuition and fees of $385. Of course, this was when education was considered a public good and not a private investment.
Now more students must borrow money to finance their education, and the number of those who can’t keep up with payments on loans after graduation is increasing. Since 2003, U.S. tuition and fees have increased 91 percent. Since 2004, U.S. student loan borrowers have increased by 92 percent and the number of borrowers defaulting on loans rose 125 percent, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
This is a national crisis. In fact, 44.2 million Americans have student loan debt, which accounts for $1.48 trillion of the country’s debt.
Of that debt, 11.2 percent of the loans are delinquent or in default, which is higher than the foreclosure rate at the height of the mortgage crisis eight years ago.
Student loans have become a limiting cycle of debt many can’t find their way out of. Not only does defaulting on student loans impact a person’s credit, making it more difficult to purchase homes, cars and rent apartments, it’s also impacting their ability to pay them off.
In 20 states, including Texas, defaulting on a student loan can result in the suspension of a person’s professional license. Nurses, teachers and other professionals who need state-issued licenses to practice can be stripped of their ability to work. This only further compounds the difficulty in repaying loans. That rule has got to go.
For the U.S. to be successful, it needs to replace those leaving the workforce with those that have the necessary qualifications and education.
With more jobs demanding at least the completion of a bachelor’s, if not a master’s, the way higher education is viewed has to shift.
Former presidential candidate and current U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders was onto something regarding free college. How to go about doing that is up to government entities, but serious consideration should be given to investing more into higher education and dropping the cost of college to a more manageable price.
People also need to be better educated about the potential impacts of student loans, the different kinds of loans available and what is required when it comes time to pay them back.
Indiana University found students buckled down, graduated faster and borrowed less when they sent letters to students with facts about their loans. It had such an impact that Indiana officials required all colleges receiving state aid to send similar letters to students. Texas and federal lawmakers should consider doing the same.
Financial literacy is vital for future success. The more aware students are of their options and future implications of their choices, the better they can plan and prepare for their future, which could save them from crippling debt.
A college education is an investment and sometimes borrowing money has to happen, but it shouldn’t result in crippling consequences. For us to reach our full potential, we must allow students and families to meet theirs.
The future of Texas and America depends on how we respond to this crisis and hopefully we do so before it leads to another economic downfall.
College is an opportunity for students to learn skills and knowledge to prepare them for the real world, and the most poorly utilized method by teachers is the group assignment.
Let’s not kid ourselves: Group assignments are the worst. Being put in a group where each member participates equally is akin to winning the lottery in back-to-back drawings.
Working well with other people is a skill students should cultivate.
Each individual in a group brings different strengths and weaknesses that ought to yield a positive experience. But the reality is members of a group fall into one of two simplified categories: active or passive.
Active members work to complete the assignment while passive members either don’t care or expect other members to finish it.
The size of a group and types of its members allow for many permutations. The variation of a single active member with the rest being passive is frustrating or fantastic depending on perspective.
A group’s project may receive a high grade, but this isn’t necessarily reflective of how well the group worked together or how much each member contributed.
Teachers have ways to mitigate these frustrations for group assignments like allowing students to pick their own groups or giving individual grades. Both options are not without their own flaws, though.
Students selecting their own groups might only benefit some and not all because it’s still dependent on the ratio of active to passive members in the class.
Individualized grades for a group assignment can hold each member accountable for their effort, but this system relies on students to report how much each member contributed.
Active members are stuck in an awkward social scenario where they must rat out any passive members if they want to lower their grades for some sense of fairness.
The challenges of working with classmates in a group should theoretically apply to a professional environment, but it’s not apples to apples. The motivation in each environment differs because receiving a good grade is not the same as receiving a paycheck.
And if someone isn’t doing their job in the real world, then at least it’s possible they’ll get fired.
Not that long ago, the idea of exploring space was something people could only imagine through television or film.
Growing up and watching Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century made me long for a day where I could don shiny neon outfits, cause a ruckus on the floating space station I called home and, most importantly, have Protozoa call me a Supernova Girl.
However, the reality of living in space or colonizing another planet is impending. Tesla owner Elon Musk established his own company, SpaceX, with the intent to get to Mars for colonization. And business magnate Richard Branson started Virgin Galactic.
In an era where NASA’s budget has been slashed considerably, having incredibly wealthy businessmen funnel their money into space exploration seems like a godsend at face value. What it really means, though, is space exploration will be dictated by money and the whims of people who don’t have scientific discoveries prioritized.
Last February, Musk sent a $100,000 Tesla car to space where it currently is free-floating above the Earth. It was supposed to be for a rocket test that was successful in not blowing up the car or the dummy spaceman strapped inside. It was good the car didn’t blow up, but it just leaves a bad taste in one’s mouth about the fiscally irresponsible stunt. Would NASA have done something like that? They sent a golden record with Voyager in 1977. Was it that obnoxious then?
In this respect, space very much is a new frontier and as humans, it’s only natural to explore the unexplored, the uncharted. It’s how this country expanded west. But, colonization on this planet didn’t work out in many aspects. How will it be any different out in the wildly unpredictable space? It already sounds like the average human couldn’t afford it with Musk quoting the moving price for an individual above $100,000 initially back in May 2017.
Even more than that, ethically, we have no claim to Mars. Earth can naturally support human life. Colonizing would require us to change the landscape of a planet like Mars.
We have one planet. If we can’t take care of it, why do we deserve a second planet to try again?
TCC is in the process of hiring an architecture firm to design repairs and improvements to buildings on NW Campus, moving closer to the time that campus scaffolding could be removed.
The scaffolding has been up for over a year and was set up following storm damage in March 2016 after subsequent building and facade assessments, said vice chancellor for communications and external affairs Reginald Gates.
“The scaffolding is to ensure everyone’s safety as repair and renovation work continues on the campus,” Gates said.
A request for qualifications was made to engage a design team to work with the college’s real estate and facilities department for the planning and design for repairs and improvements to buildings campuswide, he said.
“This work will take time, as the design and ultimately construction will take several years to complete,” Gates said.
More than 20 firms have applied and will be interviewed by the district’s real estate and facilities team, said NW Campus president Zarina Blankenbaker.
She said she expects a selection to be made during the summer, and then the chosen firm will begin its work.
How many buildings will be affected will be determined after the plans and designs are completed, Gates said.
“Timelines will be established within the design work,” he said, adding that the cost of the project will also be determined through the work.
As for where the money will come from to cover the cost of the work, Gates said TCC’s board of trustees will determine that once the designs are completed.
Some students have accepted the presence of the scaffolding and fences while others are eager for them to be taken down.
“It’s ugly, and it looks like trash,” NW student Victoria Sandberg said.
NW student Nicole Rodriguez, who’s been a student since before the scaffolding went up in spring 2017, said she’ll be happy to see it go.
“It’s kind of gotten in the way because the shortcuts you would take you can’t take anymore,” Rodriguez said.
NW student Robert Myers also remembers what the campus was like before the scaffolding went up and how people reacted when it did during his second semester.
“Everybody complained, but they think, ‘It is going to be brief,’” Myers said. “And then, my third semester, everybody’s like, ‘Come on! Get this over with!’”
Like many NW students, Zachary Bryan said he doesn’t know why the fences and scaffolding were and still are set up around the campus.
“When I started here, it wasn’t present,” he said, “I just walked around.”
Bryan is in his fourth semester on NW and said the scaffolding and fences have been up for so long now that he’s “just kind of accepted it.”
Valerie Gameson, a first-semester NW student, didn’t know why it was up either, but one of her instructors told her about the storm that damaged the campus. She said the scaffolding makes her nervous to walk around.
“I kind of try and stay away from it honestly, but there’s some areas that you can’t,” Gameson said.