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
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


Hixson Middle Band Dinner Set For Tuesday

The Hixson Middle School Band will be hosting a pasta dinner this Tuesday in the middle school cafeteria from 6-8 p.m. Dinners are $10. Everyone is invited and walk-ins are welcome as well.  "Please come out and support your local Hixson Middle School Band," organizers said. Contact Hans Rose at 423-847-4810 with any questions.  (click for more)

Cleveland City Schools' Activities For Week Of April 23

Cleveland High School Theater Department presents the musical  Disaster!  Earthquakes, tidal waves, infernos and the unforgettable songs of the '70s take center stage in this homage to classic disaster films. Tickets are $12/adults and $8/students. Final show is tonight, 7:00 pm in the Betsy Vines Memorial Theater at CHS. For more information contact Don Markham, ... (click for more)

Man Who Killed 4 At Waffle House Is In Custody

Travis Reinking, 29, the suspect in the shooting at a Waffle House near Nashville on Sunday, has been taken into custody, according to police. Reinking, who killed four people and injured two others at a Waffle House near Nashville on Sunday morning was on the loose Monday morning and had been added to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's ‘Top 10 Most Wanted’ list. ... (click for more)

Man Says He Was Beaten With Hammer For "Disrespecting" Woman

A man told police he was beaten in the head and face with a hammer after he allegedly "disrespected" a woman earlier in the day. Bobbie J. Boston, 62, of 2819 Morgan Ave., was charged with aggravated burglary. Police said they took out warrants against Derrick Boston for aggravated burglary and aggravated assault. In the incident early Friday morning, a resident of Cannon ... (click for more)

Set Up A Council On Love, Not A Council On Hate

In Mayor Berke's April 19 version of the Berke Bulletin, he announced plans to establish a Council on Hate and indicated a focus on tolerance. I beg of him to reconsider that plan. One problem in Chattanooga and in other places in America is that there are some people who have already established an informal version of a Council on Hate. I suggest that a more productive plan ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Always Know The Facts

I adore the fact so many of America’s high school and college students are very active in our battle against violence in our schools but bemoan the fact that when you combine youth and ‘lack of experience’ they often are misguided and ill-informed. The best example came on Saturday when a reporter for Campus Reform walked around the Cal State-Santa Barbara campus asking the students ... (click for more)