UTC Offers Test Prep Programs

Wednesday, August 2, 2017 - by Sarah Joyner, UTC
Student works through a problem in the ACT Test Prep Class
Student works through a problem in the ACT Test Prep Class

The instructor clicks to the next geometry slide showing a simple shape with angles and dotted lines. It probably shouldn’t be that hard. 

But to someone who hasn’t encountered a problem like this in years, and for whom math was never a strong suit, it’s a heart-racing, sweaty-palm, insecurity-inducing roadblock. 

Yet the students scattered throughout the classroom are confident. They’ve already sat through three days of this material. Their minds are refreshed; they remember that a quadrilateral has 360 degrees. Heck, they actually remember what a quadrilateral is. 

The material is part of the ACT test prep program offered through the UTC Center for Professional Education. The center partners with Educational Testing Consultants to provide preparation for the ACT as well as the LSAT, GMAT and GRE. 

"If you look at the Chattanooga community, there’s a need for these programs,” says Jeff Grant, program coordinator for UTC’s Center for Professional Education. “We’re trying to make it as successful as possible. And, if you look at other vendors, their prices are much higher than what we offer. So we’re trying to fulfill a need here.” 

Serving local students and professionals
Since the Center for Professional Education began the test prep program last year, an estimated 50 to 60 area high school students have come to campus to prepare for their ACTs. 

The courses are quick refreshers on subjects covered on the tests, but more importantly, they teach test-taking strategy. 

In this ACT test prep course, instructor Ryan Gallagher is quick to point out how to best approach each problem as he works through them with students. 

Mr. Gallagher, who also has experience teaching speech, biology, chemistry and music to high schoolers, presents another geometry problem. This time, there are no shapes, just words. He reminds the visual learners of how they can use their scrap paper to draw the shape and begin attacking the problem in a way that works best for them. 

With these strategies in hand, even if the test-taker isn’t the most confident on a specific subject, they will be less likely to have that blinding, brain-freezing reaction to a problem. Instead, they’ll know how to attack it head on. 

“Our curriculum is designed by test-writing experts with experience writing items for the GRE, GMAT and LSAT — among other state and national tests,” explains ETC CEO Steven Shotts. 

Flexible and convenient
The Center for Professional Education offers the convenience of on site preparation programs for UTC students or folks out in the Chattanooga community, as well as “live-online” courses to reach a wider region of test-takers who aren’t on campus or right next door. 

“We call our programs ‘live-online’ to emphasize the fact that, while the classes are delivered online, they are taught by a live teacher in real time, sometimes called synchronous learning. Students can still ask questions and interact with their teacher and peers,” says Mr. Shotts. 

Through the Center for Professional Education and ETC partnership, free strategy workshops are also offered for those preparing to take the LSAT and GRE. For more information, visit their website here

The Center for Professional Education
UTC’s Center for Professional Development is relatively new to campus. Founded in 2016, the center provides professional and workforce development training in Chattanooga and the surrounding region.

ETC offers test preparation services to universities primarily through continuing education departments and divisions. The company offers more than a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, it tailors test preparation courses to meet the specific needs of each university and community. ETC also funnels some of the proceeds from their revenue-generating test prep classes into such programs as free workshops.

ACT test prep instructor Ryan Gallagher works through a problem with students
ACT test prep instructor Ryan Gallagher works through a problem with students

Hamilton Star, McCallie Alum Chris Lee Visits McCallie School Monday

McCallie School alumnus Chris Lee '13, one of the stars of the Chicago production of the hit musical "Hamilton," will be visiting Chattanooga to speak to McCallie students on Monday morning.  Since September 2016, Mr. Lee has has performed duel role of Marquis de LaFayette/Thomas Jefferson in the Chicago cast after he was cast in the role while still a student at Belmont ... (click for more)

Ivy Academy Holds Groundbreaking For New Academic Buildings

Ivy Academy Chattanooga held a groundbreaking for planned new academic buildings. Taking part at school site in Soddy Daisy were students, staff, board members, and administration. Also present were representatives from the city of Soddy-Daisy, TDEC, USDA, Dillard Construction, and Franklin Architects. Officials used gold shovels to break ground for the new facilities for ... (click for more)

Ivy Johnson, 23, And Cordarrius Johnson, 26, Shot Early Sunday Morning On Lillian Lane

Ivy Johnson, 23, And Cordarrius Johnson, 26, were shot early Sunday morning.   Chattanooga Police were notified at 4:39 a.m. of two people arriving at a local hospital with gunshot wounds. Upon arrival, police spoke with the two victims who were suffering from non-life threatening gunshot wounds. The victims arrived at the hospital via personal vehicle.   ... (click for more)

From Green Window Shutters To Forks And Spoons, Mount Vernon Restaurant Up For Auction

From the green wooden window shutters to the forks, knives and spoons, the landmark Mount Vernon Restaurant is up for auction. Marc Gravitt, of Gravitt Auction, said there will be an online auction starting Thursday morning and running through Saturday at noon. It will be handled as a "staggered close," he said. The first item will go first, then the second 30 seconds later, ... (click for more)

DACA Or Amnesty To Become The Majority?

As we have the political drama that we see in D.C. let’s be honest about what DACA is all about. We understand as the liberal policies of abortion, dependency on the government and an anti-American globalist / progressive agenda that many have come to realize these policies no longer represent their core beliefs and have left a certain party. Without an influx of new dependency ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: What’s The ‘Super’ Done?

The headline on Jan. 10 in the Times Free Press read, “Report shows Hamilton County students still lagging behind Tennessee peers.” In smaller type underneath, the sub-head added, “Less than 33 percent of county elementary, middle school students read at grade level.” Then, just seven days later, this on Friday, the same newspaper bannered, “Hamilton County Schools superintendent ... (click for more)