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      New Amarillo College program to push students toward degree

      For Amarillo College getting students to finish their degree or certification is a struggle. As part of their "No Excuses" philosophy, for a second-year they have a pilot program in place to help students develop a college culture.

      Every college freshman has experienced the anxiety of taking charge of their own education. Not knowing what to expect, and how to make the transition from high school to college. That's where AC's pilot program, "First Year Seminar" helps out.

      "The goal of this class is to help students develop the tools to stay in school and be very successful," said Jill Gibson, FYS Curriculum Coordinator.

      "Transition from high school to college its different environment there are different expectation. So college knowledge is key as well as the other is self management," said Lana Jackson, Quality Enhancement Plan Director.

      The idea is to help students navigate the college success gateway and see those retention rates rise.

      "We look at things like study skills, learning strategies, time management, organization, we do a lot of career investigation, job shadowing, financial literacy," said Gibson.

      Right now, 400 students are enrolled in the class. "It's already been pretty helpful for me because doing the things online it kind of tells you how to be more organized and why it's important to be organized," said Margo Treviz, AC Freshman.

      This is the second fall semester for the pilot program, and already they're seeing success rates.

      "Overall it was a very successful this is a class we're tracking very carefully we're doing a lot of assessment and approximately 85% of the students said the class helped them understand their careers and help them become more confident with their skills," said Gibson.

      Next week, a Review Quality Enhancement Plan Committee will visit AC's campus and review the program. It's their hope it's successfully and it will be implemented, opening it up to all newly enrolled freshman.