New strategy for Tennessee community colleges
Tennessee community colleges are looking to stave off pandemic-era enrollment struggles with compressed, half-semester courses.
- Officials at the Tennessee Board of Regents, which oversees the state's 13 community colleges, think the classes could have blunted some of the decline this fall.
Why it matters: Accelerated courses are in a pilot phase and trickling out across the community colleges. They could preview a broader trend of squeezing two rounds of courses into one semester.
- "It dramatically increases the flexibility for our students," TBR executive vice chancellor Russ Deaton tells Axios.
By the numbers: Early data suggested community college enrollment fell by nearly 10% this fall, Deaton says.
- But once leaders factored in a round of accelerated courses that started in October, the drop turned out to be closer to 6-7%.
What they're saying: Deaton says TBR will be studying student interest and success over the next year to guide expansion decisions.
- "It's a good long-term strategy that we hope to learn a lot more about."
Yes, but: Deaton says folding a full semester's worth of work into seven weeks wouldn't be a good fit for every student or course.
What's next: A spokesperson for Nashville State Community College tells Axios the college plans to begin expanding its accelerated course offerings next fall.
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