‘QuickStart’ program at BSC successful in preparing students for COMPASS exam

Published 8:10 pm Tuesday, September 2, 2014

BSC Quickstart

Left to right: Wesley Whitehead, Instructor of Learning Support Mathematics; Pamela Barnes, Director of First Year Experience & Student Life; and Dr. Richard Carvajal, BSC President, were all instrumental in providing the “QuickStart” students with the guidance and support needed to achieve their success with the program.

Bainbridge State College held their first ever “QuickStart!” workshop July 7-24, at the main campus, which proved to be successful in preparing students for the COMPASS exam.

“This workshop exceeded well beyond my expectations,” said Pamela Barnes, Director of First Year Experience and Student Life. “The statistics we discovered have gotten me so excited about the future of this program.”

“QuickStart!” was developed to prepare students who are right on the verge of passing the COMPASS exam for success. It keeps students from going into remedial classes as they enter their freshmen year of college. The workshop included a math workshop, along with the First Year Experience workshop, which students received college credit.

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After the completion of the program, a ceremony was held July 24, with Bainbridge State College President Dr. Richard Carvajal addressing the students. His key points to being a successful student in his address to the students included going to class every day, showing up on time, doing homework and always turning material in on time, always being present the day of an exam, studying and making the effort to meet and talk to professors at least twice a semester.

Eleven students participated in the workshop, free of charge with all materials provided.

Before students began the workshop, they signed a contract for mandatory attendance. At the end of the workshop, the student retook the COMPASS exam and significant improvements were made by the students.

Barnes said, “It’s very rare to see increases such as these. One student tested a 35 the first time the test was taken and after the program, tested a 74. Another student went from a 23 to a 52. We had highly motivated students who wanted to pass.” Passing is a score of 37.

There was a 70 percent success rate in math among the students and a 100 percent success rate for the First Year Experience workshops. Overall, Barnes considered the program an excellent success.

However, she said she could not have done it without BSC Instructor of Learning Support Mathematics, Wesley Whitehead, who taught the math course in the program.

“It was one of the best teaching experiences I’ve ever had,” she said. “It gave me the opportunity to get to know the students and create a bond with them. They know where to find us if they need us and we can help them. It’s all about encouragement and support.”