Tallahassee Community College decided it would make the goal of finishing a four-year program more attainable.
TCC and Flagler College, a private institution based in St. Augustine, partnered under the advisement of former TCC President T.K. Wetherell during the 2000-2001 academic school year.
The plan was to first incorporate a four-year program on TCC’s campus through Florida State University and FAMU, but neither institution was interested, or able to commit at the time. Wetherell took the proposal to Flagler’s chancellor, William Proctor , who happened to be a good friend of his while he attended Florida State.
TCC hoped to draw even more bright and diverse students to its growing 12,000 enrollments. The program is geared toward “non-traditional” students such as full-time working parents or adults who want to continue their education. Flagler also increased its enrollment without having to expand its facilities.
Maura Freeberg, the campus director for the TCC branch of the Flagler College program said, “students come to the program because of the atmosphere. It’s a smaller campus, which means there are smaller classrooms. Our average class size is about 17 students, which makes it more one on one with the instructor.”
“The smaller classes make it a more comfortable atmosphere to learn in,”said Tanya Parsons, a business student from Baltimore. “It’s not like at larger universities where you are a number. The teachers here care about your success,”
Freeburg added, “we specifically hired our faculty for the Flagler program with four full-time education instructors, and three full-time business instructors. We also hired permanent adjuncts, who have remained steady, so they can feel like they are full-time and they are treated as such.”
The program, which offers a bachelor’s degree to students that have already obtained 60 credit hours or an associate’s degree, currently has 350 students enrolled. There is only a $150 per credit hour charge, whether the student is classified as in state or out of state. Florida residents may apply for the Florida Residence Access Grant, which lowers costs to $60 per credit hour.
“It’s good that the program is affordable. That’s one of the main reasons why I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to finish my degree,”said Cornelius Wright, a special education student from Richmond, Va.. “The flexibility is important also because I have a demanding work schedule.”
With accelerated courses in education, special education, and business, students have time to complete courses without the demand of concentrating on more than one subject. The courses break down into four-week semesters. The students attend one class three nights a week, and take the final exam. Course two begins the next four-week phase, and so forth. By the end of the semester they will have completed what’s equivalent to a full semester.
Freeberg noted that they hoped to increase their programs, hopefully adding communications, accounting, and psychology next year. The more student interest shown toward certain programs, the more they will continue to add.
For more information, please contact Maura Freeberg at (850) 201-8020.
Aricka M. Foreman can be reached at Aricka_Foreman@hotmail.com