For the second consecutive year, Northeast State topped all Tennessee Board of Regents’ (TBR) community colleges for the percentage of TNAchieves Summer Bridge Program student participants who tested out of some or all learning support classes for the upcoming fall semester.
Held at all 13 TBR community colleges, the Summer Bridge Program helps incoming college students to start on a more college-ready path through an intensive three-week camp. Known as “Team Bears” by program instructors, summer bridge students receive reading, English and math instruction from Northeast State faculty to help them prepare for college-level courses. On the last day of the program, students are given an opportunity to test out of learning support courses in those three subjects.
“More than forty faculty and staff members play a part in the preparation and daily instruction of this program,” said Josh Johnson, coordinator of County and State Scholarships at Northeast State. “We would like to thank Dr. Flora and the rest of Northeast State’s faculty and staff for the support they continue to show our students.”
Northeast State welcomed 51 students into the TNAchieves Summer Bridge Program from July 8 to July 26. The percent of students who tested out of some or all three subjects ranked first among all TBR community colleges. That number also exceeded the overall state average by 23 percentage points. Forty-one percent of students tested out of at least one class. Twenty-seven percent of students tested out of all classes. The program results also found 98 percent of all Northeast State bridge students either improved on their subject knowledge or tested out of the learning support classes. That result also placed Northeast State first among TBR community colleges.
Testing out of those classes allows students to take more college-level courses right away and expedites their progress toward earning an associate degree or technical certificate. This also saves each student hundreds of dollars in additional tuition and expenses.
Northeast State Bridge instructors David Haga and Kelley Hatch were asked to rewrite the math and English (writing) curriculum for the 2020 TN Achieves Summer Bridge Workbook. Hatch said Bridge instructors brainstormed together before, during, and after the program to improve teaching methods for students. She also noted that roughly 85 percent of her Bridge students from last summer had kept in contact and even rearranged their schedules to keep her, Haga, and fellow faculty members Tarah Guinn, Andrea Frye, Roger DePriest or Wendy Royston as their regular instructors when they began college classes at Northeast State.
“We tell our students daily that we believe in them,” said Hatch, adjunct instructor of English and Humanities at Northeast State. “The students know that we genuinely care because Bridge is not just about building test scores, but about building relationships.”