Refresher course begins Monday; one signed up

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By Bleah B. Patterson

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

On Monday, students can begin required refresher courses to prepare them for new integrated reading and writing developmental courses or a college-level English course in the spring.

As of Thursday morning, one student had signed up, Paul Sanchez, English, reading, and education department secretary, said. The department expects about 100 the first week.

The college is replacing three developmental reading classes and two developmental English classes with INRW 0420, Integrated Reading and Writing, for students who test at grades nine through 12, and INRW 0305, Integrated Reading and Writing, for students who test at eighth grade and below.

Scores on the Texas Success Initiative assessment test will determine the developmental level for students who do not test at college level, English Chair Mike Burton said.

Because the TSI assessment gives students their results immediately, students requiring developmental English will register for a refresher course on the same day they take the TSI assessment.

The English department is working on a system to send students an email reminding them of refresher course dates and times, Sanchez said.

Students who test below college-level cannot register for college-level English courses until a refresher is completed.

Students are required to take refresher courses the semester before registration, he said.

Students who took the TSI assessment and tested into INRW 0420 will be required to take INRW 0055, an eight-hour refresher, or they will be denied registration in the spring.

Students who test into INRW 0305 will be required to take INRW 0050, a 16-hour refresher.

Refreshers are free to students and require no textbook, and students can choose the most convenient section available.

Regardless of which refresher is taken, the assessment at the end of the refresher will determine if the student is ready for INRW 0305, INRW 0420 or ENGL 1301, Composition 1.

“We are trying to give students every opportunity to test out of developmental classes,” Burton said.

Refreshers will be Monday through Thursday 2 p.m.-4 p.m., 4 p.m.-6 p.m. and 6 p.m.–8 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m.- noon and 1 p.m.–5 p.m.

During their last session, students will be given a reading and writing prompt to assess whether they can advance, he said.

“If the past is any indicator, students will move up,” Burton said. “Our goal is raise students as high as possible.”

“As many as 1,000 students are expected to need the refresher,” Burton said. “We’re afraid that students will wait until December or January and not be allowed to register for the spring semester.”

Burton fears this could negatively affect spring enrollment.

Call the English program at 210-486-0649.

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