Academic Support Services offers a variety of services to assist students in achieving academic success. Located in the Office of Student Success in the D Wing, Academic Support Services provides a support staff of professional learning resource specialists in the areas of mathematics, writing composition, reading, and critical thinking skills. Services include Peer Tutoring, Early Alert, Academic Recovery, Peer Mentoring, and Retention.
The Peer Tutor Program is a free service to students of Blue Ridge Community and Technical College. This is a self-serve program where a student makes a request for peer tutorial assistance by completing a Tutor Request Form, chooses a tutor from the Peer Tutor List, and contacts the tutor directly to set up a tutor session.
To become a peer tutor, a student must: be a student of Blue Ridge Community and Technical College; be registered for at least six hours; have a 2.4 cumulative GPA with a 3.0 in the subject for which the student wishes to tutor; and attend an in-service tutor training workshop conducted by the tutor coordinator. Students who wish to be tutors may also be recommended by faculty from that specific subject area. Students who have a background/education in a specialized course are urged to contact the tutor coordinator.
ACFN Mathematics Assistance Program
An ACFN mathematics assistance program is available to students taking ACFN math courses. Assistance is provided by student lab assistants specializing in usage of MyMathLab. Student lab assistants attend class lab sessions weekly to provide support. Sessions outside of class are available by appointment. Students seeking ACFN mathematics assistance are encouraged to talk with the Developmental Mathematics Coordinator, located in the Academic Support Center.
Writing Assistance Program
A writing assistance program is available to all students who need help writing. Peer tutors work with students during all steps of the writing process from brainstorming to final editing. Writing tutors are recommended by professors. Sessions may be available by appointment, but walk-ins are also welcome.
Early Alert Program
Early Alert is a collaborative effort between faculty and the Office of Student Success Center staff to reach students who are academically at risk during the first few weeks of the fall and spring semesters. Faculty are asked to identify and refer students who have demonstrated poor academic progress for any number of reasons. The student can be put on course by meeting with the Student Success Counselor and following a goal-oriented program. Tutoring, development of time management skills, meeting with the instructor, or developing better study skills are among steps that can be taken. This program is to help address academic problems or difficulties early in the semester so that a student can successfully complete the course.
How Early Alert Works:
- Faculty refer students to the program.
- The student is contacted and provided consultation.
- The student is advised about ways to address the academic difficulties.
- The student follow a “mapping for success” profile to achieve his/her academic goals.
Placement Testing/Assessment is a tool to determine a student’s readiness for college level courses, specifically Reading, English, and Math. Students entering college for the first time without ACT or SAT scores should take placement testing/assessment in Reading, English, and Math prior to registering for a Reading, English or Math course or any course that has a Reading, English, or Math prerequisite.
BRCTC students have the option of taking the assessments on computer (Accuplacer) or paper and pencil (Asset). Accuplacer is untimed and does not have a set number of questions. Asset is timed and has a set number of questions.
Students who do not meet any of the Exemptions (see below) from placement testing/assessment will take the following four assessments:
- Reading Comprehension – Determines if ACFN 095 - Developing College Reading Skills (3) course is needed. A score of 79 or higher on Accuplacer and 36 or higher on Asset will Exempt students from taking this course.
- Sentence Skills (Accuplacer) or Writing Skills (Asset) – Determines placement into ACFN 010 - Introduction to Critical Composition (3) or ENGL 101 - Written English (3) . A score of 88 or higher on Accuplacer and 38 or higher on Asset place students into ENGL 101 - Written English (3) . All scores below place students into ACFN 010 - Introduction to Critical Composition (3) .
- Arithmetic (Accuplacer) or Numerical Skills (Asset) Test. AND
- Elementary Algebra – The scores from BOTH assessments determine placement into ACFN 065 - Pre-Algebra (3) , ACFN 085 - Basic Algebra (3) or College Level Math using the following:
||ACFN 065 - Pre-Algebra (3)
||78 on Arithmetic AND
79 on Elementary Algebra
|38 on Numerical AND
36 on Elementary Algebra
|ACFN 085 - Basic Algebra (3)
||79-84 on Arithmetic AND
80-83 on Elementary Algebra
|39 on Numerical AND
38 on Elementary Algebra
|College Level Math
||85 on Arithmetic AND
84 on Elementary Algebra
|40 on Numerical AND
40 on Elementary Algebra
Exemptions from Placement Testing/Assessment:
- Students who already have a degree from an accredited college are exempt from placement assessment. (Official transcripts must be submitted to the Office of Admissions)
- Students who have previously taken and received a passing grade in a college level English and Math course from an accredited college are exempt from placement assessment. (Official transcripts must be submitted to the Office of Admissions)
- Students who have SAT or ACT scores (Official score report must be submitted to the Office of Admissions) may use them for placement into courses using the following:
- Students who do not place into college level courses in any or only some subject areas have the option of taking the placement tests/ assessments in only that subject area in an attempt to place into college level courses.
- Students may choose not to take placement tests/assessments with the understanding that they must take all ACFN or Foundation courses. Another option is for students to take only one or two subject areas of the placement tests/assessments with the understanding that they must take all ACFN Foundation courses for the subjects which they did not test.
Academic Foundations Courses
Academic Foundations courses are designed to remediate students who do not meet college admission standards established by the WV Higher Education Policy Commission. The following courses focus on a concentrated developmental curriculum.
- Developmental Writing/ESL Program
The Academic Foundations Developmental Writing Program/ESL consists of ACFN 010 , Introduction to Critical Composition and ENGL 100 - ESL Transition (2) . Composition and mechanical skills are emphasized as students learn to identify their strengths and weaknesses. A peer workshop format is emphasized, and tutors are available upon request. Completion of ACFN 010 provides the composition and usage skills necessary for success in subsequent composition courses. ACFN 010 is a non-credited course. ENGL 100 is a course designed to assist students for whom English is not their first language. This course is offered as an elective.
- Developmental Math Program
The Academic Foundations Developmental Mathematics Program is designed for students in basic mathematical, algebraic, and logical thinking skills necessary for the successful completion of college-level math courses. This program consists of two courses in developmental mathematics: ACFN 065 is a pre-algebra course; ACFN 085 is a basic algebra course. Student lab assistants are available to provide support and tutors are available upon request. These ACFN math courses are non-credited courses.
- Developmental Reading Program
The Academic Foundations Developmental Reading Program consists of ACFN 095 - Developing College Reading Skills (3) . This course focuses on vocabulary development and effective comprehension with emphasis on the application of these skills in college-level coursework. Tutors are available upon request. ACFN 095 is a non-credited course.
Attendance Policy for all ACFN Courses:
Required Attendance in Academic Foundations (ACFN) courses: Students are expected to attend ALL classes. In the absence of student/instructor communication, all nonattendance is assumed to be unexcused. During a regular, 16-week term, any student who accumulates two consecutive weeks of unexcused absence in a state mandated course will, without notification, be administratively withdrawn from that course exactly ONE week later unless the student contacts the instructor and provides documentation deeming the absences excused; during terms of other lengths, five consecutive class hours of unexcused absence will result in an administrative withdrawal exactly TWO DAYS later unless the student contacts the instructor and provides documentation deeming the absences excused. Should such an event transpire, it may have financial aid, insurance, and college enrollment repercussions. This institutional policy should be taken very seriously. Excused absences include the following: 1) death in the immediate family; 2) incapacitating illness or injury (not including any non-emergency doctors’ appointments that could be scheduled at other times); 3) field trips required for other classes, intercollegiate competitions, or activities entailing official representation of Blue Ridge CTC; or 4) hazardous, weather-induced driving conditions. In the case of any absence, it is the student’s responsibility to confer with the instructor about the absence and missed coursework. With regard to absences outside of the narrowly defined circumstances above, a student may discuss his or her individual circumstances with the instructor; however, the instructor’s decision regarding the excused/unexcused nature of the absence will be final.