By NICHOLAS TRUJILLO
Now that Pima Community College is out of its probation and accreditation issues, changes are coming to PCC that could alter the way the public sees the institution.
First, there’s block scheduling. Aside from all the myths and negative remarks, the block scheduling format has amazing potential to get students on track to graduate faster than the average three years for a two-year degree at PCC.
If you’re wondering whether we’ll all be forced to integrate into the format, throw those ideas away: It’s completely up to you whether you want to be a part of the scheduling format.
If you want to try it, the Northwest and Downtown campuses will hold a beta testing of the scheduling format in the upcoming spring semester to see the outcome.
The administration heading the operations cannot express enough that it is solely up to you. Though you will be recommended to be a part of it, the final decision is on you and you alone.
Block scheduling won’t be the only thing to come to PCC as a change. We also have Complete College America making changes left and right in order to help students complete the college and increase the retention and graduation rates.
One example is the math pathways that the college also will focus on. This means that you won’t have to take college algebra if you don’t need calculus for your major.
Yes, you read that sentence right: Math will no more be the focus of teachers and colleges.
This will help students, like me, who don’t need calculus for their journalism, arts or literature majors. I might need the equation of a parabola in my future career as a journalist once or twice, but that’s why I have a computer in my pocket.
One of the more challenging changes that the college is looking to push forward is the “15 to finish” initiative.
Every semester, the college wants students to take 15 credits in order to finish on time. This is where the block scheduling will come in to help students do just that.
However, the college will have a tough time proposing incentives for students that have a full- or part-time job and a family. Because, in most cases, family comes first. That won’t stop the college, though.
One proposed incentive that could come to the table is the possibility of partial free tuition for those who take 15 credits. Yes, you also read that sentence right: Students who take 15 credits might pay the same as those taking 12 credits. However, this is still being discussed, so don’t take my word for it that this will happen.
The changes don’t stop with just Complete College America. The college also is implementing a new advising program.
This will give students the opportunity to have actual one-on-one time with their advisors and fellow students about making informed decision for their future.
The changes will keep coming as long as the college sees the need to improve on their rates for their students and the public eye.
After all, improved rates will mean more people will attend Pima. This means more money for the college to potentially spend changes that positively impact students.
If you still don’t believe the college is making changes to improve your time here at Pima, then I have no idea what will change your mind.
These changes are coming, and it’s up to us as students to use them wisely to our advantage to get out of Pima as fast as you can while learning the most you can.