Community and Technical College transitioning to University and Technical College

 

The Community and Technical College is transitioning into the University and Technical College according to an email memo Interim Chancellor Sam Gingerich sent out Sept. 12. Along with the title change, the CTC will be offering tier one general education requirements instead of the College of Arts and Sciences.

“The Community & Technical College (CTC) has worked to create a ‘front door’ for UAA with its recent reorganization around student success, to include the Learning Commons, Writing Center and Math Emporium, and its student-centered alternative delivery models,” Gingerich wrote in the email. “The innovative ways CTC is meeting students where they are in their academic development provides UAA an opportunity to overcome major obstacles to student success.”

Dean of CTC, Denise Runge, said the college’s student success focused programs will only be more centralized under this new organization.

“CTC already thinks of itself as the ‘front door’ or as I like to say, the ‘front porch’ of the University, but I’m from the south,” Rungee said. “To me, a front porch is where you’re invited up, you spend a little time getting to know each other and hopefully, you get into through front door. In many ways that is CTC’s mission. We already offer services for all students of the University, such as — we’re in charge of the placement testing center, we run the Learning Commons, we run the sites on the military bases and at Chugiak/Eagle River…”

Tier one GERs include what Runge terms as fundamental skills: oral communication, writing and quantitative reasoning, which are math courses below calculus. Runge said the main difference for tier one course under this new organization will be the mode in which they’re taught.

“I think the difference will be partly mode of teaching. A lot of the faculty in developmental education spend a lot of time attending workshops and learning and reading about how to teach people who struggle with writing or how to teach people who struggle with math,” Runge said. “Whereas when faculty are trained through a Ph.D. program in English or in math, they’re not really taught those skills.”

Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, John Stalvey, said conversations around moving tier one GERs to a “University College” began three years again under former Provost Bear Baker.

“They essentially decided — because they couldn’t come down on one model that everyone agreed upon — to keep it the same… The bottom line is the same hasn’t served our students any better today than it did three years ago,” Stalvey said.

Stalvey said the purpose of this reorganization was to focus efforts on student success while integrating resources.

“It has a budgetary impact, however, I’d say the primary motivation is student success,” Stalvey said. “I think really the choice was to move all of the student success infrastructure and support services that CTC had developed to Arts and Science to integrate it with tier one, or move the tier one to CTC — now UTC — which had all these incredible support services for students so they can be integrated better.”

Runge said there will be few changes in class locations and professors, and she hopes this reorganization will bring more of the UTC to the main campus.

“We might see the ability as the University focuses its resources to pull some of the disparate elements back to the main campus,” Runge said. “But if you think about it, these courses are currently offered, not because they’re offered through CAS, they’re offered where they are because of the library, they’re close to the computer labs, they’re offered where they’re needed.”

Runge and Stalvey are planning to have this transition ready for the fall 2018 semester.