Retention through intensive engagement
The Weekend College at Tarrant County College was instituted in the fall of 2014. The program is an accelerated, hybrid program designed to allow students to complete their associate’s degree in 18 months or less by attending classes one day a week on the weekend. Due to recruitment and retention efforts, we have now surpassed 3,300 students filling over 6,400 seats. By keeping the students on track for an accelerated completion, there is no wasted time, effort, or finances for the students. Weekend College students take only the required 60 credit hours to receive their degree and can be completed in 18 months or less by attending classes five hours per week.
The Director of the Weekend College is in constant communication with the students. This begins during the advising session which each student attends prior to being enrolled for the first time. After the classes begin, the director sends weekly emails to the students discussing student success initiatives, success strategies, and upcoming sessions. The Director meets with each class, every week to ensure all students are present and engaged in the class. A student development sessions is held each week to provide further information on completion and success.
Twitter, Facebook, email, text messages, Guidebook, Contxt, and discussion boards are used to ensure is fully engaged and participating in the learning activities.
Explain project results
As a Hispanic Service Institution, Tarrant County College focuses on an open admission policy and a linear path towards graduation. While many students can get lost after the recruitment process, our Weekend College students are more engaged, guided, and encouraged.
Why it should be considered best practice?
Best practices are described as strategies for success that are consistent, broadly applied, and replicable. The Weekend College began with four classes and 69 students. These practices were applied to all of the Weekend College offerings and we now offer 56 different sections each semester, with over 500 students each 7 week session.
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