Academic Support Services offers a variety of services to assist students in achieving academic success. Located in room 1400, Academic Support Services provides a support staff of professionals learning resource specialists in the areas of mathematics, writing composition, reading, and critical thinking skills. Services include Peer Tutoring, Peer Mentoring, Early Alert Program and many more.
Academic Foundation Courses
Academic Foundation 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 Program – The Academic Foundations Developmental Writing Program, ACFN 010 . 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 - Introduction to Critical Composition (3) is a non-credited course.
- 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. The program consists of two courses. ACFN 065 is a pre-algebra course and ACFN 085 is a basic algebra course. Student lab assistants are available to provide support and tutors are available upon request. ACFN 065 - Pre-Algebra (3) and ACFN 085 - Basic Algebra (3) are non-credited courses.
- Developmental Reading Program – The Academic Foundations Developmental Reading Program consists of ACFN 095 . The focus of this course is to develop college reading skills and vocabulary. Effective comprehension along with an emphasis on the application of these skills in college-level work is the goal. Tutors are available upon request. ACFN 095 - Developing College Reading Skills (3) is a non-credited course.
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 MyMath Lab. Student lab assistants attend some class lab sessions 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 office 2400.
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. In the case of courses that are delivered partially or fully online (e.g., 50%-100% online, web hybrid with proctored tests, etc.), submission of completed class assignments weekly is used to document attendance.
During a regular, 16-week term, any student who accumulates two consecutive weeks of unexcused absence (or in the case of an online instruction class [see above], who fails to participate in online class assignments) 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 other than the standard 16-week semester, such as courses offered in the summer or in first or second 8 weeks accelerated formats, five consecutive class hours of unexcused absence (or in the case of an online instruction course [see above], lack of participation in class assignments) 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:
- Death in the immediate family;
- Incapacitating illness or injury (not including any non-emergency doctors' appointments that could be scheduled at other times);
- Field trips required for other classes, intercollegiate competitions, or activities entailing official representation of Blue Ridge CTC; or
- 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.
Students are encouraged to use Career Services early in their college experience to assess their interests and explore career options. Career Services works with area organizations to develop job opportunities. All of the services that are provided by this area are vital to assisting students and providing a springboard into today's very competitive workforce. Some of the many services that this area can provided to students includes the College Foundation Career Assessments, mock interviews, cover letter and resume assistance, College Central, Federal Work Study, and much more. Every year Career Services hosts a Career Fair, which is a wonderful opportunity for everyone who attends because it gives them an opportunity to market themselves and to practice their professional interviewing skills as well. For more information about Career Services, stop by office 1300 to talk with the Coordinator of Career Services.
Early Alert Program
The Early Alert Program is designed to identify students who are having academic difficulty at any point during their education at BRCTC. By identifying these students, the Student Success Specialist can attempt to address their needs, thereby increasing the likelihood of their graduation. Students may be identified for Early Alert for a variety of reasons, including frequent absences, accommodations, behavior, tardiness, test scores, language skills, and writing ability. For more information about the Early Alert Program contact the Student Success Counselor located in office 1300.
The Peer Advising for Student Success (PASS) Program was implemented in an effort to increase retention, student engagement, and success of first year students which will gear them towards graduation! The program targets new degree-seeking students who are attending part-time or full-time. PASS program mentors are employed to make phone calls, send emails, and conduct face-to- face meetings to all new students throughout their first semester of enrollment. These contact methods provide specific information about the college, academic and student support services, registration procedures, e-mail and BRIDGE, and student engagement activities. During these contact times, PASS mentors continuously encourage students to have contact with instructors and advisors. In addition to providing pertinent and valuable information, the contact methods serve as a personal connection between the students as well as the college. PASS mentors should establish professional relationships with their advisees. PASS mentors are trained and ready to make referrals to the appropriate campus division. By building so many positive relationships, students are able to participate in academic and student support services and be more engaged in the campus community as a whole.
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 pre-requisite.
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/or 38 or higher on Asset places 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:
- Higher College Math Test (Accuplacer) – Students who place into college level math have the additional option of taking the Accuplacer College Math Test in an attempt to place into a higher college level math course. The score from this assessment determines placement into MATH 106 - Trigonometry (3) , MATH 108 - Pre-Calculus (4) , or MATH 207 - Calculus I (4) .
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. Students also have the option to take only one or two subject areas of the placement tests/assessments with the understanding that they must take ACFN foundation courses for the subjects which they did not test.
SKILLS 101 is a free, week-long test prep boot camp for students who have taken the placement test/assessment but did not place into college level English and or math courses and want the option of intensive study and re-testing.
Students may choose to attend for one subject area (English or math) or both subject areas.
Students are given an intensive test prep workshop and are re-tested at the end of the week.
Although success rates are high for students who attend SKILLS101, attendance is not a guarantee of placing into college level English and or math when re-testing.
SKILLS101 is most recommended for, but not limited to students:
- who had placement scores close, but not quite at college level
- who may have taken ACFN course(s) and did not complete it and/or failed it
SKILLS101 is based on enhancing skills for successful placement into college level English and math courses based on the placement test/assessment.
The Peer Tutor Program is a free service to all students of Blue Ridge Community and Technical College. A self-serve program, the student submits a request for tutorial assistance by either sending the form electronically (see Peer Tutor Program on website) or completing a tutor request form in the Success Center, room 1300. Once the form is received, a tutor will contact the student via their Blue Ridge CTC e-mail address within two school days.
To become a peer tutor, the following is required: currently enrolled at Blue Ridge CTC (six hours minimum during the fall/spring semesters); have at least a 2.4 cumulative GPA; have earned a 3.0 in the course(s) in which the student wishes to tutor; and attending an in-service workshop with the tutor coordinator once the student has received approval from the Office of Human Resources.
Students who wish to become tutors may also be referred by faculty from a specific field of study. Students who have a background/education in a specialized course are urged to contact the tutor coordinator.
Note: Tutor sessions can only be held on campus during business hours. There is no tutoring on Sundays or holiday breaks.