Kodiak College (KoC) needs your support. Last year, the KIB Assembly cut its long-time funding support to the College from $84,000 to $60,000, and is now proposing cutting funding programs entirely in 2018-2019. For many years, this important support has gone toward local Kodiak student scholarships, program supplies, and workforce training.
If you would like to help save this funding, please consider speaking with your Kodiak Island Borough Assembly representatives. The KIB Assembly typically meets on Thursdays at 6:30 PM (see full schedule here) and public comments are typically heard at the beginning of those meetings. KIB Assembly members can be also contacted by email.
The Companion Course Program at Kodiak College, based on the nationally recognized college preparatory Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) model started at the Community College of Baltimore County, allows students who qualify to take two writing courses at the same time:
The latter is the standard, freshman level writing course required at any college or university, and in a traditional sequence, students take the courses over two semesters.
As students who enroll are taking on a more challenging level of writing than they are academically prepared for, the Companion Course Program requires a significant time commitment, hard work, and dedication to their studies above and beyond the traditional student workload. The Program is a fantastic option for almost-college ready, highly motivated students who want to complete their freshmen English requirement on time and save a full semester of coursework.
Kodiak College and its students are thankful to have received support from the Kodiak Island Borough to help fund this initiative over the past several years. While the Companion Course Scholarship only covers the tuition for one of the two courses, it provides the additional incentive many students need to take on the challenge of accelerating their learning. The course averages seven to eight students each semester, and over the past three academic years 36 students have benefited from the funding. The results have been astounding.
Students who take on the challenge not only finish up their freshman writing requirement more quickly, but have pass rates in WRTG 110 nearly a third higher than those who go through the traditional course sequence and success rates similar to their non-ALP counterparts in WRTG 111. From a purely cost-benefit standpoint, continuing to fund this program is a no-brainer for the faculty and administrators at Kodiak College: For a minimal investment, we’re dramatically improving student success and retention rates and, thus, saving students the time and money required to reach their academic goals.
More importantly, though, the program provides an important step up as the accelerated approach and small class sizes help to build confidence, time management, and academic skills that students transfer into their other college classes and to their jobs upon graduation. Students themselves consistently express their thankfulness for the opportunity and how much the program and 2-for-1 scholarship means to them.
In an interview, Fall 2017 Associate of Arts in General Program graduate Immaculada Basa said that the scholarship and Companion Course Program shortened her time to graduation and added, “I have one classmate who regretted not taking it because it’s taking him longer to finish [his degree].” When asked about her experience in the program, she said it was beneficial “…especially for bilingual students who are just starting out.” Later, she said of her overall experience at KoC, that “teachers understand you’re working and studying, that you’re a full-time employee and a full-time student.”
In another recent interview, Aaron Mells, a current Kodiak College student and General Business major who is on pace to graduate at the end of Fall 2018, said of the Companion Course Program: “I feel like it was…an intense and challenging class, but at the same time was fulfilling and rewarding as I’d been out of school a long time.” He went on to say how much it prepared him for all of the writing he has to do in his current classes, “especially economics.” When asked if he would have completed the Companion Course Program without the scholarship, Mells said “I don’t think I would have…without the monetary discount, I might not have wanted to put myself through the amount of work and stress. It was an incentive, for sure.”
To learn more about this and other programs at Kodiak College, check out the College’s website, stop by Student Services in the Campus Center building, or give us a call at (907) 486-1266.