By Anjulie Van Sickle
Census figures show that only 30.4 percent of Americans have earned a bachelor’s degree. Among those who do pursue higher education, many face a long road.
Roughly 85 percent of Eastfield’s students are required to take some level of developmental class before starting college-level classes.
To assist those students needing to take developmental classes, the College Readiness and Mathematics division organized the Developmental Educational Empowerment Project (DEEP), a campus-wide initiative. The division hosted a series of events on Nov. 5-9, which was designated as DEEP Week, to help those in developmental education meet their goals of earning a degree.
Associate Dean of College Readiness and Mathematics Judith Dumont said retention studies prove the more socially and emotionally engaged students are on campus, the more likely they are to graduate and succeed in the professional world.
“Community college is like a revolving door,” Dumont said to students attending the DEEP Week kickoff event. “You come to class, you get your work and you leave. Getting you in this room was a challenge because [of that].”
To earn an associate’s degree, students need to earn 62 credit hours, which translates into about 20 classes if they are “college ready” and no developmental classes are needed.
Being college-ready entails having the necessary skills to succeed in English 1301, Speech 1311 and college-level math. A 2.0 GPA or higher is also required.
The Accuplacer test measures students’ ability to critically analyze readings, write effectively and clearly, deduce math problems and use basic computer skills. A poor score on the Accuplacer can result in a much longer path to graduation.
The Accuplacer must be taken to enroll in classes. The results determine what level students are at and whether they need to take developmental classes.
“The Accuplacer test is your fate in college,” Dumont said. “After you take that test, you get a score that will lock you in at a certain level.”
Dumont also said the other reason why testing is required is because college-level skills are generally not attained simply by earning a high school diploma or a GED.
Students also need to know what level they’re at in order to make smarter choices and move quickly through developmental classes.
Different “tracks” are offered to students, including the traditional, 16-week semester, 12-week late start track, the eight-week accelerated rate track and the four-week tracks, which are generally offered in the summer, winter or Maymester.
Different teaching styles such as self-paced, lecture, Internet, hybrid, modularized and non-course-based remediation are also offered.
According to the developers of DEEP Week, students have to be self-aware to succeed in school.
Work schedules, transportation and study habits are all things to know before considering how many hours to take and when to take them.
For instance, students who stay out until 2 a.m. shouldn’t take an 8 a.m. class.
“I learned that I have to be real with myself when I make my schedule,” science major Jazamin Hollis said. “I have to ask myself about my schedule and my time.
Another suggestion for students is to set up an appointment with an adviser and register early.
“Before, I have been labeled that I’m not really college material because of my bad habits or I’m not as fast-paced as other students are,” freshman psychology major Maggie Vega said. “I felt like what [Dumont] said motivated me to say that I am college material.”
DEEP Week provided students with information and motivated them to become college-ready.
“If we can bring everyone together and get a nice vibe and get a nice energy going of trust and partnership, then I feel like students will be more likely to participate,” Dumont said. “Not only beyond the classroom experience, but also in designing and engineering their own way.”