SAU Tech Making Students a Priority
Southern Arkansas University Tech (SAU Tech) is proud to share that the College's recent participation in the Strong Start to Finish initiative with the University of Texas at Austin (UT-Austin) is progressing successfully. The Strong Start to Finish initiative is an effort by Arkansas's colleges to ensure that students who start college underprepared are enrolled in support labs while simultaneously enrolled in college-level courses.
SAU Tech implemented this method for incoming first-year students starting in fall 2020. Students take a lab co-requisite while taking a college-level course if their entrance test scores are below a pre-determined level. The premise supporting this change is to reduce the time it takes a student to complete college-level work to improve student retention and reduce costs.
SAU Tech's Dean of Instruction, Jodi Eppinette, believes that the College will have a good picture of student outcomes from the Start to Finish initiative by the end of the spring 2021 semester. SAU Tech's Vice Chancellor for Academics and Planning, Dr. Valerie Wilson, noted that faculty members Sandi Daniel and Rebecca Hughes took on significant leadership roles to implement the Strong Start to Finish effort at SAU Tech. Daniel teaches mathematics, and Hughes teaches English courses at the College.
Dr. Jason Morrison, SAU Tech Chancellor, stated that "SAU Tech is the only two-year college in the state to have implemented this initiative for 100 percent of all incoming freshmen in fall 2020, and we are continuing our efforts this spring. Our focus is to reduce time to completion of a degree or certification for our students, which focuses on the college's mission to help students reach their educational goals."
SAU Tech continues to work with the initiative and the Charles A. Dana Center at UT-Austin as this initiative progresses among Arkansas's colleges.