By Paul A. Anthony, Editor in Chief
The university’s plans for replacing its central tutoring and preparatory classes are slowly taking shape.
Plans still to be approved by three faculty-composed academic councils would see the departments of English and Math and Computer Science take responsibility for students with below-average test scores.
The plans to replace the Department of Academic Advance and the Learning Enhancement Center would both save the university money and help students graduate faster by offering academic credit for new classes, officials said.
“We’ll continue working on this until we get the best possible plan for our underprepared students,” said Dr. Nancy Shankle, chair of the English Department.
Under current proposals, which face their first test Friday before the College of Arts and Sciences Academic Council, English would add three classes for students with low ACT scores, while Math would add a computer-based class and a lab.
The English Department would add a lowest-level Academic Literacy class for students with ACT scores of 15 or lower. The class would not count for graduation and would include computer software to help students with reading difficulties.
The department also would offer classes that would extend the entry-level Composition and Rhetoric class over two semesters and be good for four credits toward graduation.
“We are really excited about this,” Shankle said of the classes, which would be required for ACT scores between 15 and 19 but open-depending on space-for any student wishing to enroll. “It’s going to slow down the course and give students time to learn what they need.”
One ACAD position will transfer to the department to teach the new classes, likely the one held by instructor Bill Carroll, who is working on an English doctorate, Durrington said.
In the Math and Computer Science Department, a lowest-level class combining classroom and online teaching is planned, said Dr. David Hughes, chair of the department.
“We’re looking at a course that would more or less replace ACAD 100 with some classroom and online instruction,” Hughes said. “It would basically be online and tailored to students’ needs.”
Provost Dwayne VanRheenen said he hopes the new program will be as effective as Academic Advance.
“I wouldn’t compare and contrast the two,” he said. “The other program was good too. We’ve rethought that, and this is a good program too.”