ECC course helps students get college life
By Emily McFarlan email@example.com August 2, 2012 10:42PM
Updated: September 6, 2012 6:16AM
ELGIN — Are you ready for college?
Elgin Community College wants to make sure its students are. That’s why it requires first-year, full-time students to take its College 101 course.
That requirement has been in place since the fall 2006 semester, according to the college, but the course has been expanded for the coming school year.
College 101 is a one-credit college success course designed to help students learn the strategies and behaviors that contribute to success in college, according to the college.
It helps students not only to “acclimate to the college, but also to set learning goals,” said Libby Roeger, dean of college transitions and developmental education.
That includes learning how to take responsibility for their learning, self-awareness, college resources and relating to others, according to the college. It also includes defining their educational and career goals, and helping students get involved in college life.
Last school year, Elgin Community College offered 80 sections of College 101. In the coming fall 2012 semester alone, it will offer 54, the highest number yet during a single semester, according to the dean.
Also this year, the course will include a common reading for all sections and a “capstone” project, all based around the book “Hunger of Memory” by Richard Rodriguez, Roeger said.
“That’s a big deal for us because we’re trying to embed more critical thinking. We’re also trying to bring together a source of community for the students,” she said.
And it works: Students who complete the course are twice as likely to return the following semester and year, according to the college. That makes them far more likely to meet the educational goals they set, it said.
It also makes students’ time at Elgin Community College “become more of a significant learning experience, where they have to go out and participate,” Roeger said.
“They don’t feel like they’re a guest in the college, but they’re a part of it,” she said.