The Comprehensive Studies Department is a part of the College Transition Programs at Tri-County Technical College.
The mission of the Comprehensive Studies Department is to cultivate in students the foundational knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors necessary for success in college and life. The department focuses on helping students successfully transition from where they are to where they want to be; the department prepares students with the hard skills to succeed in their college and work careers while also instilling in them the soft skills they need to reach their goals now and after leaving college.
Comprehensive Studies offers developmental and transitional courses in math, reading, and English to prepare students for success in their college-level coursework. The department also offers College Skills classes, which aim to teach students valuable college and life skills for success.
The Comprehensive Studies Department has a variety of course offerings and learning experiences designed to best meet students’ needs. Students placing into developmental coursework have three tracks to choose from to complete their requirements: the Traditional Track, the Fast Track, or the Express Track. Which track is right for a student depends on a variety of factors. Developmental students should choose which track to start with the assistance of an academic advisor.
Traditional Track , , , , , and . Each course is a 14-week class delivered in the traditional lecture format in the classroom, following standardized syllabi and topical outlines. Upon successful completion of a traditional track course, students either move to the next course in the sequence or, with the permission of the Comprehensive Studies Department Head, can retest on the COMPASS to determine if a higher placement is appropriate. Students who begin on the Traditional Track can stay on that track or opt to switch later to the Fast Track or Express Track.
Traditional Track developmental courses include
Fast Track may elect to take a 6-week followed by a 6-week and attempt to complete both requirements in one semester instead of spending 14 weeks on each. The Fast Track program allows student to move through their developmental sequence and into their college-level courses more quickly.
Fast Track classes allow students to complete a sequence of courses in a shorter but faster-paced time period. Fast Track courses are offered in 6-week back-to-back sessions. For example, students who place into
Express Track , , or before beginning the credit math courses required for the chosen program of study, a student may opt to enroll in the Math Express Track course, . The course meets once a week for one hour at a designated time (see the schedule of courses). Each student is also required to complete two additional hours of lab time in the Math Express Lab with Math Express instructors/assistants. Details will be provided by the class instructor.
Math Express Track
If COMPASS test scores indicate a student needs a pre-curriculum math course, such as
English Express Track , , or before beginning the credit English courses required for the chosen program of study, a student may opt to enroll in the English Express Track course, . The English Express classes meet on a regular 2-day or 3-day/week schedule in a computer lab. Each class period consists of a targeted mini-lecture based on student needs, work on writing assignments, and online work on students’ individualized learning plans.
If COMPASS test scores indicate a student needs a pre-curriculum English course, such as
What is Express Track?
Express Track classes utilize the MyFoundationsLab software in a computer lab setting. After completing a diagnostic test to determine exactly what he/she knows and doesn’t know, each student will be placed on an individualized “Learning Path.” These classes are designed to take the instructors “off the stage” and put them in the classroom to offer individualized, on-demand instruction based on individual student needs.
Why Express Track?
Express Track students spend more than 80% of their time actually doing math and English work. Because they will be practicing, learning, and mastering what they individually need to know, students can progress through as much of their pre-curriculum sequence as possible and move into the credit classes required for their programs more quickly.
After Express Track
A student’s math and/or English placement after completing the Express Track experience is based on successful completion of the modules on his or her Learning Path. Because of the individualized nature of the Express Track, students exit at different levels. The class instructor or a Comprehensive Studies advisor will help students determine their next steps.
MyMathTest is an online system for diagnosing and refreshing knowledge of mathematics. It contains two programs for students to use to refresh math skills to prepare for the COMPASS Math Placement test. If a student is interested in the possibility of self-remediation via this tool, he or she should contact the Comprehensive Studies Department.
Learning Communities (Freshman Seminar). A linked learning community consists of one or two academic courses linked to a (Freshman Seminar). Students not already enrolled in a learning community, but who think they would like to be now or in the future, should speak to their advisors.
The Comprehensive Studies Department offers a variety of learning communities featuring both developmental courses and Freshman Seminar. Learning communities are courses that provide students with a community environment made up of their peers. Learning communities increase students’ ability to accomplish their academic and personal goals, along with providing them with a network to form friendships that can help them adjust to the college environment academically and socially. Some of these communities are themed, some are linked, and some are both. A thematic learning community is simply linked experiences centered on specific topics that are embedded in the curriculum of
Developmental courses are courses designed to help students prepare academically for college-level learning. Developmental courses (those numbered less than 100) generate no credit hours, do not affect the GPA, and do not count toward graduation. Comprehensive Studies offers the following developmental classes:
College Skills Courses and .Comprehensive Studies offers the following college skills courses:
College Skills courses are courses designed to give students the tools needed to succeed in college. Some College Skills courses transfer to some (but not all) universities. Students have the responsibility of determining whether or not one of these courses is transferable to any potential transfer institutions. A student cannot receive credit for both
Transitional Courses are courses designed to help students transition into college-level work more effectively. Comprehensive Studies offers the following transitional courses:
This is the English Express course. It develops practical oral and written communication skills, at an accelerated pace utilizing modular learning, and covers the material included in , , and . Successful completion of the required modules in this course allows a student to move on to college-level English.
This is the Math Express course. It covers the material included in , , , and . This course utilizes a modified Emporium model of modularized learning to help students who need developmental classes more quickly and successfully move into college-level math classes.
Standards of Progress for Comprehensive Studies Students
- Reasonable progress is determined by the completion of one 0-level course within a maximum of three (3) terms and entry into a higher course level developmental course (i.e. is a first course and is a second course; is a first course and is a second course; is a first course and is a second course).
- The total number of credits in which students may enroll in developmental coursework may not exceed 30 semester hours.
- If students enroll late or withdraw from 0-level courses and the enrollment time is less than, but not including, 50 percent of the term, the term will not be counted as one of the three allowed to complete a 0-level course. If students enroll late or withdraw from 0-level courses and the enrollment time is 50 percent or more, the term will be counted as one of the three allowed to complete a 0-level course.
- Any exceptions to these guidelines must be evaluated by the Comprehensive Studies Department Head and approved by the Dean of College Transition Programs and the Provost.
COMPASS Placement testing is provided in an effort to help students achieve success in their chosen programs of study. Placement testing provides information that helps students and advisors in determining initial course placement. The purpose of placement testing is to make sure students have the necessary skills in reading, writing, or math to be successful in achieving their educational goals. Note that COMPASS scores may serve as prerequisites for enrollment for a variety of courses. Prerequisities are noted for each course in the course listing section of the catalog. The following chart shows the initial English, math, and reading courses for which students qualify based on their placement test scores.
Placement Score Interpretation - Compass 2014-2045