Joe Wyatt
Published November 9, 2016

Substantial gains in student success are being realized thanks to the 8-week course model implemented within the past year at Amarillo College.

clocktower2Students taking 8-week courses in spring of 2016 posted across-the-board success rates well in excess of those demonstrated in 2015, before the 8-week courses were introduced.

The success rate at AC is determined by the number of students who achieve an A, B, or C in a given course.

Students enrolled in 8-week courses during spring 2016 achieved an overall success rate of 80.90 percent, up significantly from the 74.20-percent success rate among students enrolled at the College in spring 2015.

Students enrolled in all-important foundational or “gateway” courses, and those taking developmental courses, fared even better.

The success rate in gateway courses – required core courses with typically high enrollment – soared from 68.97 percent in spring 2015 to 78.97 percent in spring 2016; while 68.52 percent of students in 8-week developmental courses demonstrated success in spring 2016, up significantly from 54.59 percent the previous year.

Success rates at the College increased even more during the first 8-week session this fall – to 81.05 percent overall, to 80.35 percent in gateway courses, and to 78.64 in developmental courses.

The College implemented the 8-week course model last spring in an effort to increase not only the student success rate, but to decrease time-to-completion. The strategy clearly is working.

Daphney Berry, a business major, likes the quick turnaround of 8-week classes.

“I prefer 8-week classes,” she said. “I think they’re very good because they help you get through college faster.”

Zahra Noumohtad is a mother of two. She is employed full time and has a couple of part-time jobs. She says 8-week courses fit her schedule perfectly.

“The benefits are many,” she said. “You never lose your focus in a class that only lasts eight weeks, and anybody can make time to succeed.“

Approximately 50 percent of AC classes are available in the new format this fall, with at least 80 percent expected to be available by the spring semester of 2017.