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Northwest-Shoals expands 5:2 Finish Program for fall semester

Northwest-Shoals Community College will offer its busy students on the Phil Campbell and Shoals campuses another option to traditional and online course offerings this fall through the 5:2 Finish Program.

Students who apply to the 5:2 Finish Program can complete an Associate in Arts or Associate in Science in five semesters by attending class twice each week. The program is designed so students take two classes during the first eight weeks of a semester and two more courses during the next eight weeks.

With this program, each student has direct contact with a student success coach to help them with any questions or issues.

The College laid the groundwork for the program in fall 2018 by offering it to students at night on the Phil Campbell campus. “We piloted the program this past year on our Phil Campbell campus, and we found out how much it can help our students,” said NW-SCC President Dr. Glenda Colagross. “This is such a great program for our part-time or returning adult students. This program can make a college degree easier to obtain as they manage their family and work obligations.”

The 5:2 Finish Program is modeled after the 15 to Finish initiative promoted by Complete College America, www.completecollege.org. According to Complete College America, students must take 15 credits per semester or 30 credits per year to graduate on time.

The initiative originated at the University of Hawaii to help encourage its students to graduate on time by taking more credits each semester – to, in turn, help students get into the workforce quicker to begin earning.

According to Dr. Timmy James, associate dean of instructional programs, NW-SCC wants to offer its students every opportunity to be successful.

“We realize taking 15 hours a semester is not possible for every student,” said James. “We want to make sure our students are informed and know that just because you are a full-time student, it does not mean you will automatically graduate in two years. We believe the 5:2 Finish pathway will provide the structure many of our students need to help them be successful and graduate.”

The 5:2 Finish Program offers several benefits for its participants, including priority registration, a half-tuition scholarship for 30 credit hours during the second year of the program for students maintaining at least a 3.5 grade point average and a Phi Theta Kappa scholarship to pay for induction ($80) into the two-year college honor society for students maintaining at least a 3.5 grade point average.

The 5:2 Finish Program is limited to 25 students in each cohort or program class. To be selected for the next cohort, apply at https://www.nwscc.edu/5-2-finish.

For more information, contact Skye Hamilton on the Shoals campus at 256-331-8086 or skye.hamilton@nwscc.edu and Beth Loveless on the Phil Campbell campus at 256-331-6353 or beth.loveless@nwscc.edu.