By AMANDA KIMBLE
STEPHENVILLE (August 6, 2016) – The advising office at Ranger College Erath County is bustling with activity. The two-year community college kicks off its fall semester Monday, August 22, offering a number of courses for students looking to continue their educations.
Crystal Rose, lead advisor and psychology instructor, said the last several days has welcomed a steady flow of first-time college students and others looking to transfer their credits to the growing campus.
Ranger Roundup, an orientation for incoming college freshman, transfer students and Ranger College Erath County newcomers will be held 9:30 a.m. – 12 noon Friday, August 12 at the Stephenville campus, located at 1835 West Lingleville Road.
The orientation will allow students to register for classes, get an official Ranger College t-shirt and learn more about the Blackboard and CampusConnect programs. Lunch will be served.
Ranger College and community colleges across the nation are known for training and certification courses in fields like truck driving, machining, cosmetology, welding, vocational nursing and firefighter/EMT. Beginning in the upcoming fall semester, the Erath County Campus will also offer a courses in child development.
The welding, machining, EMT and child care programs include hands-on instruction in newly constructed laboratories adjoining the campus.
But, Rose said the community college is not just about a quick career path. It also serves a growing number of students with goals that include obtaining a four-year degree and others who will go on to obtain a master’s degree or doctorate.
“There are so many students who come in saying they are here to complete their basics,” she said. “The Texas core – things like composition one and public speaking. All universities accept those courses as transfers.”
Rose explained the reverse transfer program, saying students who have completed their basic core courses can transfer to a four-year university to begin working toward their major. When the necessary courses are completed at the university level, they can reverse transfer and receive an associate’s degree from Ranger College. The process allows them curtail taking electives available at Ranger College and dive into course that will better suited to the bachelor’s degree.
According to a recent report by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, two in five students who obtained an associate degree in the 2009-2010 academic year completed a bachelor’s degree within six years. More information on the study can be found in a June 28 report published by The Washington Post.
“The majority of our students are from smaller towns, not ready for a big university,” she said. “My biggest class has 50 students, and I work to talk to every student in every class. Most basic courses in university settings have 200 or more students. A lot of students can thrive in that environment, but others need support.”
But, students who prefer can receive their two-year degree from the community college.
“Ranger students have the option to complete an actual degree with an additional semester of electives,” Rose said. “It’s a great advantage for them to be able to leave here and apply for a job and check the box saying they have a degree.”
Individuals who would like to register for the fall semester are advised to first complete an online application at www.rangercollege.edu/admissions.html, to get the process started.
“It’s definitely not too late to get started,” Rose said, adding students who begin their college careers at Ranger benefit from smaller classes at a reduced cost.
Rose also said financial aid is available for qualified students, but for those who cannot get a grant or government assistance should not allow financial issues to deter them from applying.
“There are scholarships available and we also offer work-study programs,” she said, adding that most Ranger College students receive some form of assistance and advisors are available to help find solutions if money is a problem.
Day classes in the Ranger College Erath County Fall lineup include courses in agriculture, biology, chemistry, education, English, geology, government, history, mathematics, physical education, public speaking, psychology and more.
Night classes and vocational programs also begin in August.
For more information, visit Ranger College Erath County online at www.rangercollege.edu/erathcounty