In fall 2013, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating board partnered with Amarillo College to expand four proven first-year experience (FYE) programs into one comprehensive, first-year program called TransitionTX. TransitionTX is designed to help first-generation, low-income, Hispanic, and African American first-time-in-college (FTIC) students navigate their first year at participating public, two-year community colleges in Texas. The program is intended to better enable students to complete a certificate or degree within three years or successfully transfer to a four-year institution of higher education.
TransitionTX includes four core activities: the First-Year Seminar (FYS) course, the FYS instructor certification model, peer tutoring, and a peer calling program. All training components are presented in a trainer-of-trainer model.
The TransitionTX FYS Course and Instructor Certification Model provides instructors with 16 hours of training (as developed by Amarillo College) to support the necessary curricular knowledge and pedagogical foundation for successfully facilitating the FYS course. Instructor training includes understanding the college and student relationship, learning theory, student engagement strategies, and emphasizing cross-campus collaboration involving student affairs staff, institutional support services and community resources. This trainer-of-trainer's professional development creates a cadre of trainers to provide on-going training and help ensure program sustainability.
TransitionTX Peer Tutoring emphasizes the development of soft skills (e.g., communication strategies) as well as an understanding of expectations and topics related to the TransitionTX program and FTIC student success.
The TransitionTX Calling Program, modeled after San Jacinto College's program, will begin with peer tutors/mentors implementing the first call 2-3 weeks into a semester to discuss topics that include class attendance, talking to instructors, textbooks, tutoring center, student email, referrals to student services, available social activities, and other campus information. The second call is conducted 8-9 weeks into a semester to discuss midterms, campus jobs, drop deadline and who to contact, finances, and referrals to student services. Calls are made to all FTIC students on each campus including those not enrolled in the FYS course.
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