Wednesday, September 14th 2016

KC selected to receive up to $300K grant to accelerate developmental learning

Kilgore College is one of 15 colleges in Texas selected to receive an unprecedented performance-based grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) to accelerate developmental learning for students pursuing degree completion and eventual employment.

The grant, worth up to $297,500 over a two-year period, is an initiative that has roots in the state’s 60x30TX (Comprehensive College Readiness and Success Models) plan which envisions 60 percent of Texans ages 25 to 34 with some type of postsecondary credential by 2030.

The area of focus KC chose to apply for was the “Acceleration” model, in which students who are not quite college-ready in reading and/or writing can enroll in ENGL 1301 (freshman English) but are also required to enroll in a co-requisite class, EIRW 0200 (English Integrated Reading and Writing).

Students will attend EIRW 0200 to receive support and more intensive study to assist them in successfully completing ENGL 1301 in the same semester.

“KC piloted this co-requisite model, which follows the Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) model, for the past five years on a limited scale and had had good results.” said Becky Johnson, dean of liberal and fine arts and writer of the grant.

“The college had already planned to scale up the co-requisite model beginning this fall semester, so when the grant opportunity appeared this summer, the timing was right.”

The college has already received $50,000 as a start-up award.  Some of the grant funds will provide compensation for tutors in each EIRW class and will enable instructors of the EIRW classes to participate in professional development opportunities over the two-year period.

Disbursement of the grant money relies on a “funding by completion” model which means KC will be paid per student who successfully completes ENGL 1301 with at least a “C” average as they are enrolled in the co-requisite EIRW 0200 course.

“We’re thrilled to secure this competitive grant to boost student success,” said Dr. Brenda Kays, KC president. “It means we’ll have the ability to provide additional help for our students who struggle with reading and writing.  Due to this grant, we will be able to help students build their basic skills at an accelerated pace and smoothly segue into college-level coursework.”

A site visit is planned for Sept. 27-28, with THECB staff members expected to tour classrooms at KC.