KC rolling out eight-week model for most courses

Kilgore College is embarking on new territory to enhance student success as the first college in East Texas to implement a revolutionary new method of instruction proven to increase student success – eight-week terms.

Rather than one long 16-week fall and spring semester, most courses at KC are divided into two eight-week terms with a short break in between.

The new eight-week term model, called “Focus to Finish,” will allow students to work smarter, not harder.

The concept is not a new one, with colleges such as Odessa College and Amarillo College finding great success with the new scheduling model.

“We’ve studied the data from schools that have implemented this model and were impressed with the increase in not only student success, but also student retention rates and completion rates,” said Dr. Brenda Kays, KC president. “It became readily apparent that a similar redesign was warranted at KC.”

Studies show that full-time students who take just two or three classes every eight weeks are better able to maintain focus and excel in the classroom.

“By the ninth week of a traditional semester, burnout tends to take a toll and dropout rates become noticeably higher,” Kays said. “With the new eight-week model, students should experience a lower chance of burnout due to the shortened terms.”

This scheduling method will also give part-time students the opportunity to attend KC on a full-time basis.

A student who is able to take only two classes at a time could do so twice in a single semester - by taking two eight-week classes during the first half of the traditional 16-week semester - then taking two more during the semester's second half.

“Completing four classes (a total of 12 semester credit hours) in a single semester – two classes at a time – will classify a student as a full-timer and could potentially cut the time they spend in pursuit of a certificate or degree in half,” Kays said.

Those who are already full-time students at KC, or students who plan to be, can also expect to benefit from the new class configuration.

Studies show that in addition to less burnout, students typically avoid feeling overwhelmed with fewer courses to take at the same time, avoid juggling multiple assignments and deadlines and the model fits well with all students whether they are overachievers, working students or students who tend to struggle academically.

'We are laser-focused on improving student success," Kays said. "By incorporating these eight-week class sequences into each full semester, we are setting up all of our students for success."

For more information on Focus to Finish, visit www.kilgore.edu/focustofinish.

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