Faculty say they need help in administering make-up tests. Other universities, such as SMU, Baylor and UNT, provide testing centers, and now there has been a discussion for the past four to five years for TCU potentially to create one.
The testing center would be not only for students in need of taking make-up exams but also for students who have an extended time accommodation for a learning disability, for example.
Marsha Ramsey, the director of TCU’s Center for Academic Services, said some of the university’s colleges are creating an internal means of providing testing, which usually runs through the dean’s office.
“A lot of faculty are very happy with that,” Ramsey said. “They like the fact it’s close because they have to deliver their tests and pick up their tests. It also helps so the students don’t have to hike across campus.”
She said there are pros and cons in having a centralized testing center on campus.
“I think it works well for those who are needing make-up exams; faculty have to make arrangements for students to come in at a different time, so a center would be an opportunity provided,” she said.
But there are also issues in having a centralized testing center, she said — the biggest being location, staff and an issue regarding the accommodation letter, which states that the student should be able to move to a quiet area of the classroom where students’ questions and the proctor’s answers can still be heard.
In this case, there are concerns that if another student asked a question, the professor’s answer might not be heard from a quiet area of the classroom or the information might not be passed on if the student is in another room.
The former director of TCU’s Bachelor of Social Work program, Linda Moore, sat in on many of the discussions regarding a testing center at Faculty Senate meetings.
She said she believes a well-staffed testing center would be a great idea for TCU and that a vast majority of the Faculty Senate supported the idea.
“It would take the burden off of faculty who have lots of other things to do,” Moore said. “If you’re teaching two to three classes with 40 to 50 students in them, and you have four students in the class that need accommodations, that’s four extra hours somewhere you have to do what you need to do to make sure they get what they need.”
The decision to add a testing center to TCU’s campus is ultimately up to Provost Nowell Donovan and upper-level administration.
Marsha Ramsey was incorrectly quoted in earlier versions of this post.