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Class preps students for life

By Victoria Marshall
TC News Reporter

This semester was the first to introduce a new class called, Learning Frameworks. It was designed to help students coming into the school prepare for college. The course is a branch of the College Success initiative that began six years ago.  The original College Success class was not accredited and required for students who tested into intermediate developmental courses.

David Gafford, Assistant Professor for Psychology/Drug and Alcohol Abuse Counseling, said,” That College Success class has always been designed to try and help the student, not physically help them with these obstacles, but give them the thinking, attitude, and ability to face these problems and come up with these solutions and work through them”.

The class offered tips for students on how to stay motivated and steps for setting and reaching both their long and short term goals. Rather than telling the student what to do in a difficult situation, it gives students the information they need to make those decisions. Students are encouraged to have multiple plans in case unexpected events occur so they are able to take care of their responsibilities at home and in school.

“Probably the biggest obstacle, not just young people, but students either coming back or coming into Texarkana college don’t understand how much effort it’s going to take to be successful,” said Gafford.

“The professors at Texarkana College want them to succeed, but we cannot want it more than they do.”

Hailey Jones, Nursing major, is returning to Texarkana College after eight years. In that time out of school, she had a family. She said school and her family life are hard to balance and she has to relearn information she forgot.

Like Jones, Gafford came back to school a little later in life. He enrolled at TC at the age of 30 in the summer of 1996. At that time, he took a 12-hour load of classes and worked a full-time job and two part-time jobs. Being without a wife and kids while he was in school made it easier for him to concentrate on his work and classes, but it was still a struggle.

Family support was important in Gafford’s success in school, but he also found a mentor in Dr. Phyllis Gardner, behavioral science coordinator.

“She helped me and gave me guidance on what I should do, how I should do things, and what classes I should take,” said Gafford.

“The idea is that by next fall, all incoming first time college students that enroll in Texarkana College will be required to take one or the other versions for this course,” said Gafford. Unlike its predecessor, the new course will be a four credit course and will fit into the core curriculum.

Gafford said, “The scavenger hunt assignment is an assignment that is designed to take students who are new to the campus and get them out of the classroom out onto the campus finding the various places on campus they might use”.

Students were given a map and a sheet of riddles. They went from building to building and person to person to get the clues needed to complete the scavenger hunt. For Kydarius Spratt, general studies major, and his group, the scavenger hunt only took twenty or thirty minutes.

Spratt thought the hardest part of the scavenger hunt was deciphering the riddles.

“I decided to go to the business office and ask where these places were,” he said. “A woman in the business office explained where everything was.”

For students arriving to TC right out of high school, there are some noticeable differences in structure. Spratt noted there was a lot more walking involved and the classes were more difficult.

James Greer, Business Administration major, said, “It’s different. In high school you’re there for seven to eight hours.”

Adriana Jefferson, nursing/general studies major, felt that she had not been properly prepared in high school.

“We barely learned everything, that’s why I was so nervous coming in,” she said.

Despite the differences, the students agreed that they had made a good choice in coming to TC first.

“It’s a better start financially. You get the same education here,” said Jefferson.

“It helps prepare for transfer to a university,” Greer said.

Related to October 2015, The TC News

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