Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Inspiring Success Story: I-TRANS Shaves a Year Off Mandy Pastor's Degree Plan

“With a student like me, there were no boundaries to how far I could go.
All the limits went out the window.”
~ Mandy Pastor

Mandy Pastor shows off the "chocolate chip
cookie" cover on her report on making your
work appealing.
Mandy Pastor is completing her AA Transfer Degree spring quarter—a year earlier than expected, thanks to I-TRANS, which pairs a multi-level English or Math course with another college course that puts students’ growing skills to use.

Starting at LCC the Fall of 2009, she got bad news when she took her placement tests.  

“They told me it would take me four years to get my transfer degree, including my pre-college English and math work.”

I-TRANS students progress at their own rate, getting extra help as they write essays and papers, prepare speeches, or do the specialized math for a science class. Not only do they progress at their own rate, but they can earn college credit before their English or math skills are at college level.
The I-TRANS format was perfect for Mandy, who struggles with ADHD. Going back and forth between the two related subjects helped her to stay interested and concentrate.
“With a student like me, there were no boundaries to how far I could go,” says Mandy. “All the limits went out the window.”

Mandy trimmed off a year in one quarter (Winter of 2010), advancing from English 065 to an A in English 101, while also earning Humanities I credit. She also did well in I-TRANS Math, earning MATH 099 and Physical Science 109 credit.

“I never understood math or science,” she says. In fact, it was her third try at Math 099. “When they put those two subjects together like that, something clicked! For the first time in my  life, I was enjoying and excelling in both subjects.”

Mandy graduates this spring, and will march in Commencement June 15 with several friends—and her own rooting section. Friends are another benefit of I-TRANS. Since students are taking two classes together, they grow close.

Next comes a teaching degree. She’s been accepted at her dream college, Mississippi State University (MSU), a couple hours from where she grew up. “They would never have accepted me if I had applied right out of high school.”

Mandy wants to teach junior high school. “That’s when I really fell through the cracks.”

For more information about I-TRANS, contact Jill Yates.

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