Lisa Inman, English Instructor, teaching
POCAHONTAS, AR Feb. 16— For two years, Black River Technical College, along with the other higher learning institutions in the state, has been revising its developmental education course offerings to help incoming freshmen earn as many college credits as possible during their first semester. This project initiated by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education and the Arkansas Community Colleges (ACC) is known as the “Strong Start to Finish.”
According to a commendation letter sent to BRTC by Charles Dana Center Regional Coordinator Dr. Charles Watson, “Essentially, the program is designed to increase the probability that students who enter a post-secondary institution with identified deficiencies in mathematics or English can earn a college-level credit their first year in college. The major focus of the project is to reduce the number of pre-requisite courses a student must take if identified as needing developmental assistance, which applies to over 40% of entering students each year.”
The Arkansas Department of Higher Education set an initial goal of each college or university having 75% of its development education students enrolled in one or more corequisite courses by the fall semester of 2020. Black River Technical College’s faculty and staff worked together and achieved this goal, and as Dr. Watson points out, “Black River was the only two-year college in the state to meet the 75% goal. That’s a major accomplishment that could only happen through hard work on the part of both mathematics and English faculty, the advising program at the school, and with the complete support of the administration of the campus.”
As a result of this achievement, other colleges and universities in the state have been encouraged to reach out to BRTC for guidance. Donna Statler, Dean for General Studies, states, “This is a great honor for BRTC and its English and Math faculty. All instructors in those departments are to be commended on time and effort, and possible sleepless nights, spent to accomplish this.”
For more information about Black River Technical College’s academic programs, contact Donna Statler at (870) 248-4000, ext. 4183 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit https://blackrivertech.org/academics.