Accelerated course helps FDTC students get credits they need
By Melissa Rollins, Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pursuing a college degree can be a long and expensive process, especially if someone is starting with any kind of deficiency, the most common being in math and English. During the recent Florence Darlington County Commission for Technical Education meeting, commissioners learned about a way the college is working to help ease that burden on students.
Dr. Suresh Tiwari, Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs, said that the college will begin offering an English ALP (Accelerated Learning Program) course in the fall.
“When you think about it, developmental math courses are all sequential and so are English classes,” Tiwari said. “So, if you start at the lowest level of developmental (courses), you’re looking at probably four semesters before you can get into a college level class. To us, that seems onerous. To us, it seems like we should be able to do better.”
Tiwari said that, without losing any opportunities for learning and comprehension, this program will allow students to speed up the process of getting to the classes they need to graduate.
“We should be able to accelerate their journey so that in, perhaps two semesters, they would be able to get into college level classes,” Tiwari said. “We have been able to accelerate it while at the same time achieving competencies in those courses.”
Similar programs are being used around the county, Tiwari said.
“We borrowed this experiment from Baltimore County Community College in Maryland,” Tiwari said. “They have been doing this experiment for six, seven years or so with great success. According to their model, we take a developmental English course and we pair it with a college level English course. So, English 100 and English 101 would be paired together.”
Students would be eligible for the English ALP based on their placement test scores.
“A student who is scoring at the English 100 level would be encouraged to enroll in 100 as well as 101,” Tiwari said. “The idea is you take 2/3 of your student body from 101 and the remainder of your student body from 100 and you put them together in the same learning environment. Through peer interactions, the synergy develops that allows students to succeed in college level courses.”
The English 100 and 101 courses in the ALP would run back-to-back and would be taught by the same teacher so that students receive the help they need. Because the courses are separate courses, even though they are paired together, a student would only need two other courses to have a full semester load of four classes.
Interested students should see their advisor for more information and to enroll. Books will need to be purchased for each course though some texts may be used in both. The class size for English 100 is limited to 10 students.