Many students are looking to find changes in the College Preparatory courses and the committee is trying new changes. Although many students feel College Prep. courses are a waste of time, the TSI committee (Texas Success Initiative) had an initial meeting and is trying new course requirement changes to benefit more students.
College Prep. courses began at Tyler Junior College in 1982. At that time, the course number designated the developmental education courses for the first time on campus. Prior to 1982, these types of courses were offered as special sections in regular courses for those students who needed extra help.
Although these courses count for or against a student’s GPA on campus, they are not included in a transferring GPA.
The changes being made are for “the student’s success,” said Butch Hayes, TJC Provost.
The TSI committee met and made four significant changes to these courses.
Instead of students needing a C to graduate, a D is acceptable for graduation.
“My concern about allowing students to pass to the next level with a D is students may not be ready for the next level,” said Linda Bellington, instructor of College Prep. Mathematics.
Teachers can no longer give a student an I.P. (in progress) for the class therefore a teacher must give a student an F for the class.
At the completion of the college prep. class, students will be recognized in a ceremony.
“Recognition is good because students come to TJC and have made progress, and that’s one step closer to their goals,” said Bellington.
All College-Prep. class syllabuses will include an announcement that students can retake test to place out of their class at any time for $15. If they pass, they may stop attending the class and will automatically receive an A for the class instead of having to drop and waste one of their five allotted drops.
Teachers are also encouraging students to test out by taking the THEA test. This spring semester, the math department offered tutorial classes to help students prepare for the test.
Lisa Harper, Dean of College Prep., said the changes that have been made so far were introduced by the Provost, presented to and voted on by the Academic Standards Committee, then communicated and activated by her. The changes made are in effect and will affect this spring semester, as well as the semesters that follow.
“Although I do not agree with College Prep. classes, I think these changes will encourage students to get the work done and get out,” said Whitney Flewellen, Math 0303 student.
The changes that have been made are “to help students be successful; not for the teachers, but for the student,” Hayes said.