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Dynamic Half Block Update

Dynamic Half Block Update
Class of 2018 participation in Half Block each year while at CC.

The Charge: To better educate our students about their options after college, help them to reflect on and articulate the relevance of their CC experience, and build the practical skills that ease transition to today’s workplace, we will create a dynamic Half-Block program. New offerings during the nine-day Half Block in early January will concentrate on what students need to do to prepare for the future in both their academic and professional careers.

What’s Happening: In January 2014, the college launched the Dynamic Half Block which introduced non-credit courses aimed at better preparing students with the academic, professional, and practical skills needed to transition to life after college. These new courses were in addition to the credit-bearing courses that have been offered since 1992.  Having now completed five years of the expanded Half-Block program, the college undertook a research project over the summer to examine the complete profiles of the students taking advantage of the new offerings and how the profiles have evolved over time. Participation in Half Block has increased over time with the addition of the non-credit offerings.  Around 20 percent of the student body took advantage of Half Block when only for-credit courses were being offered.  With the addition of the non-credit offerings, the percentage of the student body participating in Half Block has jumped up to over 32 percent.  When the class of 2018 was examined for participation over their time, 68 percent of the class had taken at least one course during Half Block, and more than half of those had taken two or more courses in their four years at CC. See this class’s Half-Block participation by year in the chart above.

Examining the demographic characteristics of the students who have taken Half Block, the data suggest that participation in for-credit courses has increased over time for students of color but decreased for international students. International students seem to be taking more non-credit courses than for-credit courses. However, when demographic variables were entered as predictors of a student taking Half Block, race/ethnicity was not significant. Financial aid status was a significant predictor, with students receiving financial aid exhibiting a greater likelihood of taking Half Block than those not on financial aid.   Moreover, first-generation students were on average more likely than non-first-generation students to take a non-credit Half Block. Interested in reading the entire report? Contact Lyrae Williams

Since the introduction of the non-credit courses, a variety of classes have been offered.  In the last three years, five courses have remained constant and are some of the most popular — Mental Health First Aid, GRE, LSAT, and MCAT prep, as well as The Vocab: Critical Approaches to Spoken Word, Writing, and Performances. Each year, the Career Center plans the non-credit offerings with an eye on the future needs of our students when they transition to life after CC and ways in which the college can help prepare students for that dynamic future.  Some of the topics coming in 2019 include — Advertising/PR, Public Speaking, Creative Entrepreneurship, Computer Language as a Language, and excelling at EXCEL, just to name a few.