University discusses changes to scheduling that affect student body

| January 10, 2013 | 4 Comments
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UNC Charlotte campus/ photo by Matt Jackson

According to the UNC Charlotte office of Institutional Research (IR), the amount of courses with sections available on Fridays is slowly diminishing. In the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, there were only 35 sections scheduled on Fridays in Spring 2012.

For many students, this isn’t a problem. An early start to the weekend and less needed travel time for the university’s growing commuter population make the decreases in Friday classes seem like they affect students positively.

Based on numbers for daily classroom usage from the IR and UNC Charlotte General Administration staff, the lack of students taking Friday classes will impede the physical growth of campus.

The data shows that classroom space is at maximum usage during prime class hours, which are classes that begin between 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., and a very small amount of classes are scheduled during non-prime time hours, which are morning classes beginning at 8 a.m. and afternoon classes that begin after 3:30 p.m., according to the official Academic Policies and Procedures.

With the amount of classes during prime hours versus non-prime hours, it appears on paper that the university is not effectively using classroom space. Until the university is effectively using classroom space, it is unlikely that new academic buildings will be created to increase the number of classes available for the growing student body population.

The mindset across campus for Fridays being a day off is not strictly a student thought. According to a survey done last spring by the Committee on Class Schedule and Classroom Utilization/Priority, one individual who completed the survey said, “both students and many faculty think of Friday as a day off or at least a day away from the campus.”

Another survey taker notes this is what makes optimizing classrooms on Fridays difficult. “[The] challenge is getting faculty and students to buy into offering or taking courses on Friday,” said the particulate survey response.

The survey goes on to look at how changes to the scheduling process could be made. One said that by implementing Friday classes, it is possible to remove some of the difficulty many students have when registering for classes each semester.

When classes during prime hours are full, many simply choose not to take the classes during non-prime hours.

This causes the scheduling problem to continue to get worse each semester. By “[reinstituting] Friday classes to relieve pressure on scheduling and class size issues while the university continues to grow in an environment where the buildings are not available for general purpose instruction” the survey taker says that we can better optimize classroom space and help more students get into the courses required for graduation.

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Category:Campus, News

Eden Creamer Eden Creamer is the 2013-15 Editor-in-Chief for the Niner Times. The senior communications major with triple minors in journalism, English and women's and gender studies has worked with the Niner Times since she was a freshman at UNC Charlotte.

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  1. Ray says:

    “The challenge is getting faculty and students to buy into offering or taking courses on Friday”

    Seriously? Classes during prime-time hours are obnoxiously over-crowded, and this will only get worse if Dubois gets the increase in student enrollment that has been planned.

    More classes should be offered in the evenings, on Fridays, AND on Saturdays. The goal should be to lessen the obscene overcrowded parking situation and provide students (particularly those who work during the day) sufficient flexibility to take classes whenever possible.

    Furthermore, it is disheartening that UNC Charlotte offers NO online classes (as far as I can tell) during the Spring and Fall semesters. I did two physics classes this way a number of years ago and it was awesome! I made the mistake of thinking it was a trend, however, and those were the only two I ever took.

    I hope the university leaders stop playing games with course offerings and make a serious attempt to provide more classes on Fridays, Saturdays and online. This IS the 21st century, after all, and it’s long overdue.

  2. Verde says:

    Why not just have Monday off too? Ridiculous. I may be old school, but I attended many a Friday class. I was a glutton for punishment though; I also attended 8 AM classes MWF and MW 7:30PM – 9PM classes. Had you given me the option to have Friday off, I would have taken it but not given the option I never missed it. Seems like the teachers probably just want another day off to me. They get paid well enough to work on Friday just like the rest of us. Offer the classes and those that are serious about a degree will fill the seats.

  3. Aaron says:

    As a 2004 graduate of UNC Charlotte, I had classes every Friday. I continue to believe that they are important for the issues mentioned in this article, especially for decreasing crowded classes on Monday – Thursday courses. I will offer two additional advantages for Friday classes.

    I feel that the college experience helped prepare me for the working world in many ways. Had I enjoyed a three day weekend every week, I would have had a tougher adjustment to the real world, where most of us work five days a week.

    This university has long sought to establish itself as a more traditional university and to shed it’s old (and outdated) image as a commuter school. Part of that is to provide a vibrant campus life for it’s traditional students which continues into the weekend. The best way to kill that is to give everyone a three day weekend so that they can head home or elsewhere off campus. I think keeping students around and involved on Fridays, especially with the new Saturday football gameday experience, will do great things for campus life. Additionally, keeping students near campus on Fridays may also help game attendance. The end result of this healthy campus life is a more complete college experience and stronger, more lasting bonds of students to their university.

  4. Lindsay says:

    Over the years, UNC-Charlotte has spent millions of dollars and countless hours on campus improvements, attracting great professors, research, and now, a football team! Why? To get the UNCC name out there, attract better and brighter students and professors, and bolster its overall reputation. Considering all of the money being poured into it, increasing reputation should be far more important to the university than convenience for commuter students.

    What kind of respectable university doesn’t have Friday classes? A university that attracts lazy students who are more interested in long weekends than academics? How will UNCC produce enterprising alumni who become exceptional contributors to society, thereby bolstering the UNCC name, with this model?

    Let’s move forward and not backward.

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Eden Creamer Eden Creamer is the 2013-15 Editor-in-Chief for the Niner Times. The senior communications major with triple minors in journalism, English and women's and gender studies has worked with the Niner Times since she was a freshman at UNC Charlotte.

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