TCC Alum and Adjunct Professor Daily Helps Homeless

Olive Garden Culinary Manager Mike Mrugula uses his skills as a graduate of Tarrant County College Southeast’s Culinary Arts Program not only to the tantalize the palates of his Dallas customers but also helps take the hunger edge off for the homeless. For the past two years, Chef Mrugula also has been investing in the future of culinary arts students as an adjunct professor.
Learn more about Chef Mrugula in a story recently aired on WFAA-TV 8.

Beginning Fall 2017, TCC Students Have More Options to Accelerate Their Trek to Graduation

As part of its commitment to being student ready, Tarrant County College is accommodating students who may not be able to begin classes on regular start dates with monthly classes, meaning students may take more courses throughout the semester and advance toward graduation at a faster pace.
Beginning Sept. 5, students enrolled in TCC Connect Campus – the TCC campus responsible for eLearning and Weekend College – will be able to register for up to four credit hours in one of the new monthly sessions. Seventeen new sections will be offered including courses in accounting, computer science, English, government history kinesiology and psychology. All courses are worth three credit hours, except for kinesiology, a one-credit hour course.
The fall 2017 monthly sessions for all subjects, except accounting, are from Sept. 5 to Sept. 29, Oct. 2 to Oct. 27, Nov. 6 to Nov. 30, and Dec. 4. To Dec. 29. The two accounting courses are eight-week classes running from Sept. 5 to Oct. 27 and Nov. 6 to Dec. 29.
“By making it possible for our students to register for courses on a monthly basis, we are strengthening our commitment to addressing the needs of non-traditional students through our non-traditional campus,” said Carlos Morales, Ph.D., president of TCC Connect, “As the only accredited virtual campus in Texas, this is another example of how our online and accelerated education opportunity allows us to intentionally provide TCC students with greater access to education because we understand the flexibility needed by the non-traditional student.”
In spring 2017, TCC Connect began offering current and prospective students the option to complete the Associate of Applied Science degree in Business Administration-Business completely online with eight-week classes.
TCC Connect also offers 18 fully online programs, which include five associate degrees and 13 other certificate, web-based programs. Its second online Wintermester is planned this fall from Dec. 15 to Jan. 12. When TCC Connect opened its first Wintermester sections in November 2016, classes filled up the first week they became available. With a digital course inventory of more than 350 courses, TCC Connect offers more than 1,100 sections. Current online enrollment is approximately 20,000, with as many as an additional 575 students enrolled in Weekend College.
TCC Connect students also have access to all of the Student Support Services available to students enrolled in traditional face-to-face courses ranging from digital orientation to enrollment services. These services also include online advising, payment, library service, advising, tutoring and proctoring.
Originally launched in 2013 as an administrative division, TCC Connect received accreditation in October 2015 from the Southern Commission of College and School Commission on Colleges Association as Tarrant County College’s sixth campus.
Information about enrolling in TCC Connect is available by contacting by calling 817-515-8000 or visiting

TCC Business Students Take High Honors in National Competition

FORT WORTH, Texas (June 22, 2017) – The Tarrant County College Northwest Campus chapter of Business Professionals of America (BPA) earned high honors at BPA’s National Leadership Conference in Orlando, Fla.
BPA is the preeminent association for students pursuing careers in business management, office administration, information technology and related career fields. The National Leadership Conference featured a variety of contests, testing business-related skills through written exams and presentations. TCC students competed against hundreds of other students from community colleges and universities across the country.
Honors include:

  • Victoria Devoll and Collin Curry, 1st place in financial analyst team
  • Jonathan McNamee, 1st place in presentation management, 3rd place in contemporary issues
  • Victoria Devoll, 2nd place in graphic design promotion
  • Collin Curry, 4th place in managerial accounting
  • Griselda Gonzalez, 5th place in business law and ethics

“These are extraordinary results which reflect the hard work of our students as well as their excellent preparation by our business studies faculty,” said Zarina Blankenbaker, Ph.D., president of Northwest Campus. “What our students learn on campus and are able to demonstrate in competition gives them the real-world experience to be effective, valued professionals from the start of their careers.”
TCC’s BPA chapter has competed in National Leadership Conference contests since 2009. The College offers a range of business programs, such as accounting, entrepreneurship, management, marketing and office technology. For more information, visit the TCC website.

What’s stopping you? When the hits kept coming, graduate and mom of four stayed focused on her goal

The pathway to TCC’s 2017 commencement ceremony was not easy for Ashley Calvillo. The mother of four children under the age of seven, Calvillo juggled family life along with school—and family life was anything but simple.
In fall 2015, Calvillo says she discovered toxic mold in her rental home. Her husband worked out of town, so Calvillo was solely responsible for their emergency move. Just when they were getting settled in with family, she found herself facing another crisis.
“My two-year-old son became very ill,” she recalled. “He was diagnosed with pneumonia and now has asthma as a result. He had several ER trips, an ambulance ride and a night in the hospital.”
While her son Dominic recovered, medical bills lingered, and at precisely the wrong time.
“As hospital bills started rolling in, the amount of work at my husband’s job decreased dramatically. He received only one paycheck in a three-month period,” Calvillo said.
Her husband found a new job closer to home, but took a significant pay cut in the process. The family is still recovering financially, staying with relatives to save money.
“It’s very difficult,” she admitted. “I have to remind myself that I’m not defined by my circumstances. I am taking care of my children, meeting all of their needs and investing in my education to better our future.”
Calvillo took a big step toward that better future this month when she received her Associate of Arts in Teaching for grades 6-12. It’s Calvillo’s second degree; she completed an Associate of Arts at TCC in 2013. And that one wasn’t easy to earn either.
“At one point I was nursing my firstborn, working full time and going to school full time,” said Calvillo. “It was a lot, but TCC was there for me. When I felt the call to teaching, I decided that TCC would be the best place to start because it was a wonderful experience the first time around.”
Surprised that this busy mom was able to complete her studies? Don’t be. Calvillo has been overcoming challenges since she was a little girl. At nine years old, she was in a rollover accident.
“Our vehicle lost a tire and flipped multiple times,” she remembered. “My mother was not wearing a seatbelt as far as I know.”
Calvillo lost her mother that day.
“Since I witnessed the accident, I suffer PTSD when driving. It is very hard for me to drive past car accidents as well,” Calvillo said.
But she manages to channel her grief and anxiety into something more positive: “It has encouraged me to always drive defensively, advocate for seatbelt usage and pass on the importance of vehicle safety to my children.”
Calvillo is honoring her mother in another way; teaching was her mother’s career goal. And those around Calvillo say she’s made for the profession.
“Ashley is passionate about her decision to become a teacher and motivated to succeed. She is very focused and driven, even in the face of adversity,” said Shereah Taylor, Ed.D., associate professor and coordinator of the teacher education program.
Taylor asked Calvillo to get involved with the South Campus chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, the international honor society for education. Calvillo immediately began taking part in the organization, attending meetings, literacy night at a local elementary school and professional development opportunities. This spring she helped organize the induction ceremony for new members. Involvement in Kappa Delta Pi had double benefits for Calvillo—she grew professionally and had something to think about besides the challenges at home. On campus and in the field, those challenges could be set aside.
“Whether she’s engaged in class dialogues or tutoring one-on-one with K-12 students, Ashley is entirely sincere and attached,” said Jeff Herr, Ed.D., adjunct professor of philosophy and education. “She has a knack for tuning in wholly and respectfully with all whom she encounters. This characteristic enables Ashley to understand the struggles of others so as to better aid in working toward solutions.”
Herr did not let Calvillo give up when circumstances started to feel like too much to handle.
“His class was more than a class,” Calvillo said. “It was an escape from the defeat I was feeling. If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have applied to walk at graduation. He made me realize I needed to walk because I worked so hard and deserve this.”
And walk she did on May 16 at the Fort Worth Convention Center, accepting her diploma with happy tears.
“I’m so relieved that it is done,” she said. “I’m going to look back on all those late nights, all the times my kids said, ‘Are you done with homework yet?’ and ‘I don’t want you to go to class’—I’m going to look back at all the obstacles and be so thankful that I finished.”
And while she finished her Associate of Arts in Teaching, Calvillo isn’t finished with her education. This fall, she will transfer to Texas Wesleyan University—on full scholarship—to work toward her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. Her professors have no doubt that she will continue to succeed. It’s just part of who she is.
“Ashley sees the best in others. This mindset has helped to keep Ashley positive through the struggles and hardships that life has thrown her way,” Herr explained. “Her faith in a higher power and in the goodness of humanity drives her forward. Ashley knows what joy is and that she is a big part of making that joy come to fruition.”
This story is the latest in a series celebrating members of the TCC community who don’t let challenges stop them. Follow these links to read previous features: Salma Alvarez, Celia Mwakutuya, Jessica Caudle, Ken Moak, Melora Werlwas, Kevin Douglas, Marine Creek Collegiate High School students, students in atypical careers, Tre’Zjon Cothran , Karmin Ramosand Anthony Smith.

TCC to Graduate Record Number of ECHS Students

FORT WORTH, Texas (May 15, 2017) Tarrant County College will graduate its largest number of Early College High School graduates during its 49th Annual Spring Commencement on Tuesday, May 16. Two ceremonies will be held at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. in the Fort Worth Convention Center, 1201 Houston Street.
One hundred-eleven students are receiving their associate degrees from two TCC Early College High Schools prior to receiving their high school diplomas. Students are graduating from Marine Creek Collegiate High School (MCCHS) located at TCC Northwest Campus and the Texas Academy of Biomedical Sciences (TABS) at TCC’s Trinity River Campus. TCC conferred its first associate degrees to Early College High School students in 2014 to 11 students from MCCHS.
A total of 7,566 TCC graduates are expected to receive 8,887 degrees and certificates for the summer and fall 2016 and spring 2017. The total is nearly 15 percent more than the actual 6,590 students who graduated in spring 2016. Of the number of degrees and certificates expected to be awarded this spring, more than 6,000 are being awarded because of TCC’s special outreach efforts to eligible graduates to ensure they know when they have met graduation requirements. An additional 225 are reverse-transfer graduates, meaning they have already graduated from four-year institutions.

TCC Student and Campus President Receive Top Honors from Phi Theta Kappa

Southeast Campus student Justin Alozie, left, and SE Campus President William Coppola

FORT WORTH, Texas (April 26, 2017) – Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges, has presented top awards to Tarrant County College Southeast Campus student Justin Alozie and Northwest Campus President Elva LeBlanc, Ph.D.
The organization named Alozie as a 2017 Guistwhite Scholar, which recognizes his academic achievements, leadership skills and engagement in Phi Theta Kappa programs. He is one of 15 Guistwhite award recipients in the country and will receive a $5,000 scholarship toward the completion of his bachelor’s degree. Alozie earned another $5,000 scholarship for his selection as a member of the 2017 All-USA Community College Academic Team, sponsored by Follett Higher Education Group, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and Phi Theta Kappa. He is among 20 students in the nation to receive that honor.
“We are so proud of Justin and all he has accomplished and expect to hear about his continued success for years to come,” said Bill Coppola, Ph.D., president of Southeast Campus. “He is a leader and role model for many of our students. His enthusiasm and involvement embody the spirit of Southeast Campus.”
Alozie plans to transfer to the University of Texas at Austin this fall to study public health and then go on to dental school. He received recognition for his accomplishments this month at the AACC convention in New Orleans as well as at the Phi Theta Kappa convention in Nashville.

Northwest Campus President Elva LeBlanc

Also during the Nashville convention, Phi Theta Kappa representatives presented LeBlanc the Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction. The Shirley B. Gordon Award honors college presidents who demonstrate strong support for Phi Theta Kappa. The student leaders of Northwest Campus’ Phi Theta Kappa chapter nominated LeBlanc.
“She has been such an amazing influence on the Alpha Delta Delta chapter and on the whole campus,” said Taylor Cattes, chapter president. “Dr. LeBlanc does everything in her power to make this campus as great as it can possibly be, and we at Phi Theta Kappa admire her for that.”
“Dr. LeBlanc is our biggest supporter,” added Ayanna Jackson-Fowler, Ph.D., chapter advisor. “She comes to every Phi Theta Kappa induction ceremony, congratulates the students on their honors and constantly checks in with students and advisors to make sure everything is going well. Dr. LeBlanc leads in a spirit of excellence.”
LeBlanc was among 19 college presidents/campus CEOs to receive the 2017 award. In June, she will transition to her new role as TCC’s first executive vice chancellor and provost.

Tarrant County College TCC Connect Campus Hosts PTK International Honor Society Charter and Induction Ceremony

FORT WORTH, Texas (April 25, 2017)
Tarrant County College’s newest campus, TCC Connect, will induct 73 members into its newly established chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges. The Beta Chi Zeta Chapter becomes the sixth TCC chapter of PTK that has recognized academic excellence since it was established in 1918.
Members must have a GPA of 3.5 or higher and have earned at least 12 college-level credits. Using the international criteria, TCC Connect charter members were selected from the dean’s list.
Incoming officers for the 2017-2018 academic year are: Bridgette Graves, president; India Picquet, vice president of fellowship; Marcia Gonzales Boyte, vice president of scholarship; and Gabrielle Marshall, vice president of recruitment and membership.
As the TCC campus responsible for eLearning and Weekend College, TCC Connect provides a virtual environment and flexibility for students with multiple priorities as they pursue their educational goals.
Thursday, April 27
6:30 p.m.
Connection Bay
Tarrant County College TCC Connect Campus
444 N. Henderson Street
Fort Worth, TX 76102
TCC Garage at the Corner of Belknap and Cherry Streets

What’s stopping you? TCC student completes first novel—and continues his education

Name: Anthony L. Smith
Major: Communications
Degree: Associate of Arts, Fall 2016
Transferred to: The University of North Texas

Anthony L. Smith first enrolled at TCC Northwest Campus in 2008, after graduating high school. He had plans to become a writer, but Smith wasn’t ready to commit to college. He dropped out and enlisted in the military. Several years later, Smith returned to school. Now he has both a degree and a book bearing his name—and he’s just getting started.
TCC: Why do you think college wasn’t right for you the first time around?
ALS: I was immature, lazy. I had no direction in life and was more focused on the next big video game release or the next big party than getting decent grades. It’s funny…I couldn’t get up for an 8 a.m. class and then spent the next six years of my life getting up way earlier.
TCC: You served in Arkansas and Okinawa, Japan, with the Air Force. Thank you for your service. What did you take away from your time in the military?
ALS: I learned to be unwilling to accept anything but the absolute best from myself. I learned what it means to strive for something bigger than myself and to be part of a team. It’s the people you surround yourself with who have the biggest influence on your life. I wouldn’t have gotten where I am without those people.
TCC: What was different when you returned to college?
ALS: My entire mindset. I had discipline, I had the drive. I knew what I wanted to do with my life and what I needed to do to make it happen.
TCC: While you were a TCC student, your dream came true: You published your first novel. Did you always want to be a writer?
ALS: I actually have wanted to be a writer since I was a kid, when I first started writing on an old laptop my parents didn’t use anymore. Then in high school people started telling me I was actually pretty good.
TCC: Tell us about your book.
ALS: Blood Haven is a story about what the world would be like if 1 percent of the population suddenly got magical abilities. As you can expect, chaos erupted and Sydney, Australia, became a sort of magical safe haven, eventually renamed, “Blood Haven”. The story takes place 13 years after this magical “outbreak” and focuses on Killian, a young mercenary tasked with looking after a young boy, potentially the most powerful mage in the world. Government agents and a violent cult are after him, resulting in a fair bit of action and adventure. There also are themes of friendship, romance and political turmoil.
TCC: How did you get the idea?
ALS: A friend told me about a dream in which he was running from a monster and managed to transform his car into a giant sword. I thought that would be a really cool ability to have. But then I thought: What would it be like if a bunch of people suddenly had abilities like that? How would the world react?
TCC: Getting a book published isn’t an easy process.
ALS: I tried to publish traditionally, but after almost a year I couldn’t even find an agent to look at it. The publishing community is overwhelmed with young, budding authors. I read an article that said the best thing to do is just get your name out there. Publish independently, build a network of fans, and then try the traditional route. A friend of mine had an aunt who worked as a freelance editor so I hired her to go over my manuscript. She ended up falling in love with it and recommended me to a colleague who ran a very small, independent publishing firm. She got me in contact with him and I ended up getting published not long after.
TCC: What did it feel like to see the book in print?
ALS: It was easily the proudest, most influential moment in my life. When I got the package with the test-copy I was overcome with joy. I was shaking as I flipped through the pages. To see something I had thought up, written with my time and energy, put into professionally published form…it was enough to make me want to cry.
TCC: Do you have another book in the works?
ALS: I have two I am working on, and I bounce back and forth between them based on what mood I’m in that day. I’m working on the sequel to “Blood Haven,” which I’m hoping to have completed by summer for a release later this year.
The other project I’m working on is still in its very early stages. It’s an alternate history story. That’s really all I want to delve into at this point, though I can say that the large part of my time on this story has been research so I can get it as realistic and believable as possible.
TCC: What advice do you have for students who also are working toward a big accomplishment and may be frustrated with where they are now?
ALS: Do NOT under any circumstances give up. Very few are lucky enough to have their accomplishments just fall into their lap. It takes hard work, drive, to get it done. There will be setbacks, there will be heartbreak, but you have to know deep down that it is worth the pain in the end. And speaking from experience, it absolutely is.
TCC: While you’re studying at UNT, you are working at the Erma C. Johnson Hadley Northwest Center of Excellence in Aviation, Transportation & Logistics. What brought you back to TCC?
ALS: TCC is a college and understands better than any other work environment what it means to try to work and go to school at the same time. When I saw there was a position available to work at a campus that deals primarily with aviation, I figured it had to be a sign. I applied and got hired a few months later.
TCC: What do you do for the College?
ALS: I work as an administrative assistant to the campus’s lead coordinator. I help promote and market classes, reach out to potential students and build the Campus’s professional network. It’s great experience because I want to work in the literary field, either as an agent or an editor, and that requires the same kind of professional outreach I’ve been learning and practicing here.
TCC: What are your other aspirations?
ALS: If I could be the next J.K. Rowling and do nothing but write full time and make millions, I would be living the dream. However, I would be completely satisfied working as an agent or editor and writing on the side. I also want to help young, aspiring authors in a way that I never experienced. When I get my master’s, I wouldn’t mind teaching part time as well. We’ll see where life takes me.
Anthony Smith is majoring in communication studies, with a minor in creative writing, at the University of North Texas. He plans to complete his bachelor’s degree in fall 2018 or spring 2019.
This story is the latest in a series celebrating members of the TCC community who don’t let challenges stop them. Follow these links to read previous features: Salma Alvarez, Celia Mwakutuya, Jessica Caudle, Ken Moak, Melora Werlwas, Kevin Douglas, Marine Creek Collegiate High School students, students in atypical careers, Tre’Zjon Cothran and Karmin Ramos.

What’s stopping you? TCC alum transitions from tough upbringing to full scholarship

Things are looking golden for Tre’Zjon Cothran. The Tarrant County College alumnus transferred to Texas Wesleyan University on full scholarship, and he is set to soon be the first college graduate in his family. Cothran has an ambitious career path ahead of him that includes becoming a police officer, an attorney and a judge. But that bright future wasn’t just handed to him. Growing up in south Fort Worth, Cothran was surrounded by gang activity. Some of his friends and relatives lost their lives to violence; others went away to prison. Cothran walked a fine line to get where he is today.

“I overcame my environment by not participating in criminal activities, but I also never turned my back on those around me,” explained Cothran. “I wanted to help them and always tried to speak knowledge and treat everyone equally.”

The path to college was far from a given for Cothran. He was considering joining the armed forces when he received an email stating he was accepted to TCC. He decided he would give higher education a try. While he enjoyed his classes at Trinity River Campus, something was missing.

“It did not feel much like college for the simple fact that I went to school and went straight home, just like high school,” Cothran recalled.

Enter the first of three mentors who would change his life: Steven LeMons, coordinator of Trinity River’s Writing & Learning Center. Cothran visited the center to get assistance with a paper during his first semester. The two struck up a conversation, and LeMons told Cothran about Men of Color, a student support program open to all but specifically designed to assist black and Hispanic males—who, nationwide, tend to enroll in higher education and complete their studies at lower rates than other demographic groups.

“I think Men of Color is a good fit for any young male who is trying to navigate his way through college,” said LeMons, who helped found the group at Trinity River. “It gives you an opportunity to bond with individuals who may be experiencing the same thing. Guys in general have trouble expressing weakness or asking for help. When you are involved with a group that answers your questions before you even ask them, that’s a good thing.”

Men of Color connects students to faculty and staff mentors and provides resources to boost academic achievement and leadership skills. The success rate is significant, with 77 percent of fall semester participants returning to TCC in the spring. In comparison, black and Hispanic men who aren’t involved in Men of Color have a retention rate of 43 percent.

“The program creates a level playing field,” said Freddie Sandifer, Men of Color coordinator. “Black and Hispanic men have the capabilities to succeed, but we may have to do more on the front end to ensure they take advantage of the tools and resources that are out there. Men of Color is about making these students understand that college is indeed for them.”

After filling out an application for Men of Color at LeMons’ recommendation, Cothran met Sandifer—who then connected Cothran to Sheldon Smart, communications and speech instructor, who would become Cothran’s official mentor through the program. Each man played a key role in molding Cothran into who he is today.

Trezjon with mentors.

Tre’Zjon, center, with Men of Color mentors Sheldon Smart, left, and Steven LeMons, right.

“Mr. LeMons was someone I could come to and discuss personal matters with and ask for guidance,” Cothran explained. “We discussed life-changing events and he gave me advice about how not to be distracted during the difficult times throughout my life.

“Mr. Sandifer taught me the business side of growing into a man. He taught me to carry myself as a professional and how to properly dress and network. Mr. Smart allowed me to see my capabilities and that I could achieve my goals. He taught me to never be afraid of chasing my dreams.”

The three mentors became a network of support, guiding Cothran through three semesters at TCC. He attended Men of Color workshops and events and even became a student worker for the organization. With a new sense of confidence and vision for his future, he applied and was accepted to Texas Wesleyan.

“Tre’Zjon has overcome quite a lot,” said Smart. “He has come a long way from growing up in a rough neighborhood and being financially poor. What I also admire about him is that he always has a job. This guy is willing to work hard for what he wants. He really does work long hours to make sure his mom and siblings are okay, all while attending school.”

After finishing his bachelor’s degree this December, Cothran plans to go into criminal justice—beginning as a police officer.

“After losing several friends and family members to gun violence, it made me want to be hands-on about removing criminals from the streets,” Cothran remarked. “I want to feel as if I am making the community safer for children. I also feel that there are not enough police officers in the field who can relate to someone of that background.”

Cothran wants to do more than take criminals off the streets; he wants to ensure justice is served. He would like to one day go to law school and eventually become a judge. His mentors have no doubt he will reach those goals.

“Other students can learn from him about hard work and determination despite experiencing a difficult and challenging home life,” noted Smart. “He also isn’t afraid to ask questions and seek advice and counsel.”

Cothran plans to use his experiences with Men of Color and the mentorship of LeMons, Sandifer and Smart to make a difference in the lives of others.

“Now that Tre’Zjon has been mentored, he feels a responsibility to give back,” said Sandifer. “He’s constantly encouraging those he grew up with to get an education and get engaged on campus.”

Cothran is already having an impact in the community, returning to TCC recently to serve as a speaker for a Men of Color event and serving as an officer for a similar group at Texas Wesleyan.

“Students can learn quite a bit from our workshops and seminars, but when you’re learning from a fellow student, you’re getting something from someone in the same time zone of life,” noted LeMons. “Tre’Zjon can share his first-hand experiences, how he succeeded and cultivated key relationships.”

For Cothran, it all comes down to those relationships—and he encourages other students to take time to get to know faculty and staff.

“With the contributions of these gentlemen, I realize I have a voice that not many others have,” said Cothran. “It made me feel that I could possibly be a role model for the next generation. Seeing individuals from similar backgrounds in successful positions gave me hope and confidence.”

This story is the latest in a series celebrating members of the TCC community who don’t let challenges stop them. Follow these links to read previous features:Salma Alvarez, Celia Mwakutuya, Jessica Caudle, Ken Moak, Melora Werlwas, Kevin Douglas, Marine Creek Collegiate High School students and students in atypical careers.

Tarrant County College Offers Inaugural 8-Week Online Courses Beginning Spring 2017

FORT WORTH, Texas (Dec. 8, 2016) – Changing the face of online education and in response to many students’ needs to earn their degrees quickly, Tarrant County College has established a new accelerated academic course plan that enables students to take a smaller number of courses at a time, but still earn 12 hours by the end of the semester.
Beginning in spring 2017, TCC Connect Campus – the TCC campus responsible for eLearning and Weekend College – is offering current and prospective students the option to complete the Associate of Applied Science degree in Business Administration-Business completely online with eight-week classes.
“This opportunity is part of our commitment to address the needs of non-traditional students through our non-traditional campus,” said Carlos Morales, Ph.D., president of TCC Connect. “This eight-week, fast-track degree plan will provide students additional flexibility to plan their courses in a way that works around their overall schedules, while taking course content in a shorter period of time.”
The deadline for registration is Jan. 10 for the first eight-week session with classes meeting from Jan. 17 to March 10. The registration deadline for the second eight-week session, running from March 20 to May 12, is March 13.
One of the attractive aspects of the new option is that it contributes to students’ academic success.
“Research has shown that students are more successful in moving toward graduation when they take accelerated courses which allows them to maintain full-time status,” Morales said. “This format gives students the option of taking two courses every eight weeks and still meet financial aid requirements, eliminating student concerns about how to pay for classes.”
TCC Connect also offers 18 fully online programs, which include five associate degrees and 13 other certificate, Web-based programs. TCC Connect offered the first online Wintermester with 19 course sections for 570 students in 2016. The sections were popular, filling the first week they became available in November.
“The four-week Wintermester, offered during the winter break, also helps foster completion for students and will increase graduation rates by May 2017,” said Kelvin Bentley, Ph.D., vice president of Academic Affairs for TCC Connect.
With a digital course inventory of 350 courses, TCC Connect Campus offers more than 1,100 sections. Current online enrollment is approximately 20,000, with an additional 575 students enrolled in Weekend College, which has experienced a 273 percent increase from the 154 students enrolled in fall 2014.
TCC Connect students also have access to all of the Student Support Services available to students enrolled in traditional courses that meet face-to-face with professors from digital orientation to enrollment services. These services also include online advising, payment, library service, advising, tutoring and proctoring.
Originally launched in 2013 as an administrative division, TCC Connect received accreditation in October 2015 from the Southern Commission of College and School Commission on Colleges Association as Tarrant County College’s sixth campus. TCC Connect in October was ranked 10th in Texas among 173 colleges and universities offering online classes. The ranking was based on the most report from the National Center for Education Statistic’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.