Lori M. Blount, M.S.Ed.
Neumann University’s Transitional Education Program is designed for those students who, according to their academic profiles and University-administered placement tests, are identified as being in need of at least one developmental course. The Transitional Education Office’s goal is to support and advance efforts to improve student learning and transitions into and through higher education.
The PACE (Program for Academic Competence and Enrichment) Program, introduced in 1980, is an academic program for students who are placed in more than one transitional course at the time of placement testing. This program provides the additional support that is needed to succeed in college: enrollment in the required transitional courses, individually designed class schedules, special academic advising, and referral to the John C. Ford Academic Resource Center (ARC) for tutoring. Additionally, PACE students receive priority access to special summer programming (SAM Bridge and Sophomore SAM) designed to help students stay on track to graduate in four years.
Compressed Transitional Courses
Compressed courses, or fast‐track courses, compress the content of a developmental course into an eight week segment. The compressed course format enrolls students simultaneously in a developmental course in either writing or math and its subsequent college level course. This permits students to complete developmental and college level courses in one semester instead of two or more. Compressed courses incorporate pedagogical techniques effective for developmental learners, such as mandatory attendance, frequent and varied assessment, mastery-based learning, and computer‐aided instruction.
Linked Courses and Learning Communities
Linked courses and learning communities intentionally link courses and groups of students so that learning is a shared rather than isolated experience. Students enroll together as a cohort in several courses linked together by a common theme or series of learning objectives. The instructors of these courses function as a team to insure that the content of one course is related to the content in other courses and help students make connections to that content. The content course becomes a very specific focus for application of the skills taught in the developmental course.
Supplemental Instruction sessions are peer facilitated study sessions. An SI leader is embedded in a gateway course to assist and facilitate student learning. The facilitator serves as model student in the class, assisting students to formulate and answer their own questions. SI sessions held outside of class integrate content and learning skills. The SI facilitator works closely with the course instructor throughout the semester. Supplemental Instruction combines the advantages of collaborative learning with an emphasis on developing study strategies associated with a particular subject area.
The SAM (Summer Academic Momentum) Bridge program permits students who are required to enroll in pre-college or developmental level courses during their first year of studies to enroll in a six week summer program that offers developmental courses at a drastically reduced tuition rate. Summer courses are instructed by faculty from the Transitional Education Office and Academic Resource Center, providing participating students an early connection with important support service professionals.
The Sophomore SAM (Summer Academic Momentum) Program allows students who have taken non-credited developmental courses in the previous fall or spring semester to enroll in summer credit-bearing courses at a deeply discounted rate. Eligible students are notified prior to fall registration and are provided with a voucher through their academic advisor. Students are entitled to participate in either the SAM Bridge or the Sophomore SAM Programs.