New English class designed to retain students

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Originally posted at: http://sccchallenge.com/new-english-class-designed-to-retain-students/

New English class designed to retain students

Jennifer Roche, Student Writer
May 31, 2012

Abraham Lincoln said, “Determine the thing that can and will be done and we shall find a way.”

This quarter, Southeast Community College offered a new English course designed to provide students with the skills they need to be successful at the collegiate academic level.

The goal of the English 0999, College English Studies course, is to help students improve their reading and writing skills for other college courses.

The 7.5 credit course, offered for the first time this quarter, is designed to prepare students for the reading and writing that will be expected at the college level.

In addition, the course will develop students’ critical thinking skills and teach them how to use Internet technology for research purposes.

The course meets Monday through Friday for lecture from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m., with additional time in the computer lab from 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.

Instructor Kara Gall said, “One of the most important thing this class offers students is the opportunity to develop critical thinking and writing skills that they need as they advance in their academic careers.”

“When we met initially to discuss the class proposal we wanted to accomplish several things,” Gall recalled.  “We wanted to find a way to connect students to campus. We also wanted to provide students an opportunity to finish their courses with the skill set necessary to advance.”

In addition, she said, “Our goal in this class is to minimize a student’s exit points. We want them to have the tools they need in order to do well in their courses so that they don’t fail or drop out.”

While the course may be intimidating to some, Gall said, “There is also a lot of support from myself and the students in the class.”

Like anything that is new, there have been occasional bugs to be worked out.

“We talk a lot of things out,” Gall said, “and [students] have been really flexible when things don’t work out.”

The biggest benefit Gall says is how much the students have worked together to support one another.

“The students have worked really well together and are always willing to help each other out,” she said.  “It is so exciting to me when they are able to share ideas with one another.”

The course is part of a program that is grant-funded for three years.

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