New Division Created to Meet Student Needs

In order to better meet the needs of a growing student body, Piedmont Technical College has created a College Preparatory division.

“At PTC, student success has always been our primary concern,” said Lisa Martin, associate dean. “As our enrollment continues to grow at PTC, we have to look at new ways to deliver instruction to a very diverse population.”

Martin said that the new division will be focused entirely on providing students with the support they need to prepare them for the college experience. The new division includes courses designed to help students brush up on math, reading and English skills; study skills courses; the Tutoring Center; and the Teaching and Learning Center (TLC). The division is geared toward helping students become ready to enter curriculum courses and to provide assistance once they are enrolled in classes in their program area.

“Our goal is to be a bridge to connect entering students to the various programs on campus,” said Martin. “We want to make that connection for the first year students so that we can retain them and make sure their goals are met.”

One of the first changes from the creation was to merge the Tutoring Center with the TLC. Audrey Hearst, Tutoring Center coordinator, was named coordinator of the TLC, providing a centralized location for students needing assistance.

“We wanted to get our tutoring coordinator in a closer proximity to our tutors and tutees,” said Martin. “Audrey has embraced the opportunity to be more visible and more accessible to the students.”

The other major change has been the method of delivery of content for many of the transitional courses. Formerly referred to as developmental courses, these classes were taught with a broad scope, covering lots of concepts. Now, students are tested for their specific skills and they only focus on the areas where they are weak.

“It gives them more time and allows them more one-on-one with the instructor,” Martin said. “This allows them to complete these transitional courses at a faster pace and get them to into the curriculum courses more quickly and at a level where they are much more confident and competent.”

Martin said she is excited about this venture and the prospect of helping more students.

“This is a natural fit to bring all of these support pieces together,” she said. “We’ve always worked closely with tutoring and TLC. Under this one umbrella, we’re going to be stronger and be able to serve our students even better.”