New supplement courses help students transition to college classes

By Ally Rogers

Over this past year, one UK program has undergone a major overhaul and now offers more communication to students.

The Academic Enhancement Program assists students with writing, reading and math classes to bridge the gap between high school level and collegiate level instruction.

Formerly considered remedial courses, academic supplement classes are available to struggling students.

The classes are useful in helping students understand the basic ideas, rules and advanced concepts of a subject.

“A developmental education course typically runs a full semester,” Randolph Hollingsworth, the assistant provost for Integrated Academic Services, said.

Developmental courses, which at UK are designated by course numbers below 100, also allow students to work at their own pace and on their individual level.

“There are a variety of factors related to how prepared a student is for college,” Karin Lewis, director of Academic Enhancement, said.

Two reasons for the gap are state educational differences and learning disabilities, Lewis said.

“Often in high school the reading and writing is different than college,” Lewis said. “(This program) helps to get them acclimated to college classes.”

On average, 300 UK students are enrolled in developmental courses, Lewis said.

A student may later test out of the class to enroll in higher-level courses or may choose to stay enrolled in the supplemental course, Hollingsworth said.

The developmental courses are not always credit-baring. While all classes show as credit hours, the supplemental class hours are used to show enrollment for financial aid, but these do not count toward a degree path.

“We have to acknowledge that there is a wide variety of students coming in and we have to (accommodate) for them,” Hollingsworth said.

Once admitted, students are notified of what supplemental courses they will be enrolled in, “so they know exactly what they are committing to,” Lewis said.