New course speeds students toward graduation

By Stacie Armijo, Staff Reporter

For students on the fast track to success there is now a course that can help get them there, said English Professor Sue Fox.

Starting this semes­ter, Fox began teaching a new dual-English class that combines English 950 and English 1101 into one class, she said.

In order to enroll for the class, students must place into English 950 and see an academic advi­sor, Fox said.

“I came up with the concept for this class. Over the years I noticed that the objectives of these two courses were complimentary and in both courses students learn the writing process,” Fox said.

Students earn six credits upon completion of the course, three cred­its for English 950 and three credits for English 1101, she said.

According to Fox and, the longer students stay in com­munity college the less likely they are to graduate because most community college students have families, chil­dren, jobs, and life in gen­eral that can get in the way of graduation.

Of all full time com­munity college students in 2004 and 2005, only 44 percent returned for the second semes­ter, according to Fox and

Fox’s class is a novel and innovative way for stu­dents to get to graduation faster, she said.

“This class is kind of a way to speed up the process. Students have essays due every two weeks,” Fox said.

In this rigorous course, students complete essay assignments that include developing an argumentative essay, a memoir, and a pro­posal, Fox said.

The class meets four nights a week, Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m., and on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 7:50 p.m., where students can either earn a credit or no credit for 950 and a letter grade for 1101, Fox said.

Fox said that most of her students have enjoyed the class, so the courses’ retention rate has actually been higher than 1101 and 950 separately.

“This has been the first semester that this class has been offered. Out of the 22 students that enrolled in the class at the begin­ning of the semester there are still 18 currently in the class. I think that is a good retention rate,” Fox said.

Students will also have opportunities for extra credit, if the whole class retakes the Accuplacer, to see how well the class has improved over the semes­ter, Fox said.

Fox said that the class is not for everyone, but is more for highly moti­vated individuals who have above average attendance and like to write, she said.

The text book used in this class is the Norton Field Guide, a combination of writing and model essays in various rhetori­cal modes, Fox said.

One of the assignments in the class was to analyze a text using methods found in the Norton Field Guide, Fox said.

“Students chose a wide variety of things, from Helen Reddy to Jay-Z. It was a really cool eclectic mix,” Fox said.

Nursing major and cur­rent dual English student, Bianca Lopez said that the class has taught her quite a lot in a short period of time.

“I love all the things I have learned in the class,” Lopez said.

C o n s t r u c t i o n Technology major, Craig Cunningham said that the course has been a little challenging because he does not enjoy writing essays, but he still thinks Fox has been an excellent instructor.

“Sue Fox is the great­est. She is the best teacher I have ever had. I mean, this is the most awesome oppor­tunity that could be given to us,” Cunningham said.

Fox said there are still openings for the class for the spring semester, and for more information, contact Professor Fox at or see an academic advisor.

Fox has been teaching at CNM for over 30 years and is currently a full time instructor, she said.

“I feel that this is a good opportunity for stu­dents. I love to see my stu­dents succeed,” Fox said.

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