While college can be a great place to learn new things, meet new people and have new life experiences, sometimes students just want to be done with it as soon as possible. Beginning in the fall semester of 2011, Salt Lake Community College students will have the opportunity to make that thought a reality much faster than ever before.
In a recent e-mail that was sent to all students through MyPage, SLCC Provost Dr. Christopher Picard announced that a pilot program called “GenEd Step Ahead” has been created, which will allow students the opportunity to finish their general education requirements in just two semesters.
“If you thrive in a structured small-class setting and have not yet completed a significant amount of college-level coursework but are ready to enter college classes at the ENGL (English) 1010 and MATH 1040/1050 level, this may be an excellent program for you,” Picard wrote.
To put in perspective just how accelerated this program is, general education requirements (not an entire Associate’s degree) take between 34 and 38 credit hours to complete if you are ready for English 1010 and Math 1040 or 1050. Students enrolled full time in the GenEd Step Ahead program will be taking an average of 17 credit hours over the two semesters in order to complete general education requirements in that amount of time. Students will be enrolled in a total of seven classes during the Fall 2011 semester.
“The intent was an opportunity for students to complete their general education quickly,” said Sidney McGuire Brown, an academic advisor who will be in charge of reviewing applications to the program.
Held at the Highland Center Campus on 3760 South Highland Drive, one of the unique features of the GenEd Step Ahead program will be the opportunity for students and instructors to collaborate on a much more personal basis. Only 100 students will be accepted into the program (academic advisors will register the students that have been chosen for the program) and they will be divided into four “cohorts” or groups, with 25 students in each group. Each cohort will take all classes together over the fall and spring semesters.
While the class selection has already been determined, there is some variety depending upon which cohort a student is in. Since each group of 25 students will be together throughout the entire school day, the teachers will come to the students’ classroom instead of students travelling to different rooms for different subjects.
“Students are more successful when they are in a cohort together, and so that is part of the success of the program,” said McGuire Brown.
In an effort to cater to a variety of students, two of the cohorts will meet for classes in the mornings, while the other two cohorts will meet in the evenings.
“One of the groups of people that has been interested is returning adults. Returning adults have been thrilled with the idea. Sometimes you can only find a couple of classes that fit in your schedule. This way, all of them fit,” McGuire Brown said.
To be considered for entry into the program, students need to meet a few qualifications. First, applicants must be planning on completing an AA or AS degree or transferring to a four-year college. Secondly, applicants must commit to taking at least three of the cohort classes plus LE 1000 (“ePortfolios For Success”). Students must also be proficient with computers, as one online class (Lifetime Fitness) is included in the program. Finally, students must be ready for English 1010 and Math 1010. It is preferred that students are prepared for Math 1040 or Math 1050, though 1010 will be available.
“We’re really excited about it. We think it’s a great opportunity for students,” McGuire Brown said. She indicated that roughly 50 students had already inquired about the program as of last Friday.
The letter from Dr. Picard, additional program information and applications to the program (on page 4 of the PDF) can be found by visiting www.slcc.edu and clicking on “GenEd Step Ahead Program” on the right hand side of the screen. Applications are due July 15.