Collin College Weekend College student, Tim Jackson
Working full time, the 29-year-old stumbled upon Weekend College at Collin College. Things fell into place.
“I was finishing up my associate’s degree, and I needed those classes to graduate,” Jackson said. “I was working Monday through Friday, and the only time to take classes was the weekend. It really worked out for my schedule.”
Weekend College has become one of Collin College’s most popular alternatives for attaining a degree. In 2008, there were 3,994 students enrolled in Weekend College. By the end of 2011, enrollment jumped to 6,165 students coming to classes on the weekend.
“Weekend College aligns closely with the community-centered mission of Collin College,” said Dr. David Green, director of Weekend College. “Most Weekend College students are highly motivated and committed to completing courses, in addition to balancing a full schedule of other activities.”
"The brutal truth is that there are simply not enough hours in the day for most working adults – no matter how many jobs or children he or she is trying to juggle – to earn a degree. Collin College paves many avenues for those individuals to achieve their goals and dodge the roadblocks keeping them out of college."
"Dr. Green said Weekend College’s student body includes single or stay-at-home parents and those wanting to re-enter the job market as well as students seeking to accelerate their academic progress or those anticipating a career change."
“The Weekend College student population is a representative cross section of Collin College students,” Dr. Green said. “It is not unusual to have students who want to complete a degree in a shorter time frame take courses in Weekend College as well as those who are working full time or changing careers.”
Jackson, during the summer of 2012, took two classes on Saturday for about a 10-week period. Added up, the classes took eight hours a day, but Jackson said that the format enhanced what he learned from the courses.
“We do cover a lot,” Jackson said. “But it has been easier for me especially coming back to school. It’s more of a relaxed environment, and we spend the time wisely. Everyone is on board. We don't waste a lot of time. Being a four-hour class, we have more time to review and go over things that we didn't quite grasp.”
Weekend College is offered in two distinct formats depending on the individual’s schedule or comfort. The standard 16-week format meets once a week on Friday evenings, Saturday or Sunday.
The express block offers a three-or eight-week format on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Students can complete their core curriculum and earn an associate of arts or science degree through Weekend College.
Core classes completed on the weekend can be transferred to a university if the student chooses to continue his or her journey. There also are plans to add tracks for certificates and marketable skills achievement awards.
Jackson transferred to The University of Texas at Dallas this fall with plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and continue his career in real estate. The veteran is using the GI Bill to pay his way through higher education.
“You can sacrifice a Saturday for a couple of weeks to get what needs to get done,” Jackson said.