Course Redesign and the National Center for Academic Transformation (NCAT)
House Bill #1, Section 61.076 of the Texas Education Code, passed in 2006, requires the THECB to “implement a project under which institutions of higher education selected by the Board will review and revise entry-level lower division academic courses . . . to improve student and learning and reduce the cost of course delivery through the use of information technology.” THECB has developed multiple initiatives throughout the state to meet this goal.
One of these initiatives is titled “Texas Technical Degree Program Course Redesign Project.” The National Center for Academic Transformation (NCAT) has partnered with the THECB to support institutions in their efforts to redesign pairs of high risk courses. The National Center for Academic Transformation (NCAT) is an independent, not-for-profit organization that provides leadership in using information technology to redesign learning environments to produce better learning outcomes for students at a reduced cost to the institution. Pairs will consist of a developmental course and a subsequent college-level course that have become major exit points for students pursuing a technical degree. Five community colleges are involved: Alamo Community College District, Austin Community College, Brookhaven College of the Dallas Community College District, Houston Community College and Kingwood College of the North Harris Montgomery Community College District.
To date Austin Community College has received more than $300,000 in THECB course redesign grants.
English 1301 and Developmental Writing Skills II With funds awarded by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the Developmental Writing program is redesigning learning activities for Writing Skills II and English Composition I classes. Stacey Stover and Patti Dungan, along with Instructional Development Services staff, and Red Wassenich from Library Services made up the design team.
Biology 1406 and 1407 The primary goal of the BIOL 1406/BIOL 1407 redesign is to improve student success and increase their fundamental knowledge and skills in general biology. This course redesign will integrate these two courses and help students carry important concepts into subsequent courses.