Schedule changes to reduce class conflicts

By Ryan Geller, News Editor

Block scheduling, early bird classes and a more convenient winter break cybersession are some of the changes coming with the shortened 16-week schedule for the fall 2018 semester.

Many classes may not feel much different with the addition of 10 minutes to lectures and some classes that used to meet only Monday and Wednesday will be meeting on Friday as well, according to Liberal Arts Division Dean Jason Berner.

There will be some classes, such as English 1A and 1B and possibly some math classes, that will begin in the 7 a.m. hour, Berner said.

Although it is an early start, the time slot offers more options for classes with a lot of demand and it may allow some students to get to work earlier.

The 16-week schedule will bring the college in line with many other colleges and make it easier when students transfer, Natural, Social, and Applied Sciences Division Dean Ghada Al-Masri said.

The block scheduling will standardize class times during the most popular morning hours until noon. This is a design to reduce class conflicts in student schedules and it will also maximize limited classroom space.

Later in the afternoon, there will be more flexibility for more lengthy classes and labs.

“The new scheduling is a challenge, as well as a cultural shift for us as an institution,” Al-Masri said. “Professors are having to think about things moving a little faster, and they have to examine their curriculum in order to fit all the essentials into the time constraints.”

Time management is going to be key for the new scheduling Al-Masri said. “And not just for students, but for all of us. We tend to over-commit. We will have to say, ‘Can I really do this and be responsible with my time?’”

Al-Masri encourages students to talk with a counselor to keep from getting sidetracked. The new block scheduling should help students avoid having to take classes outside of their educational plan, simply because they fit into their schedule.

The cybersession that has been held over winter break for the last two years will be offered again, but due to the shortened 16-week schedule, the session will run after the holidays rather than during the holidays as it has the past.

According to Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs Ken Sherwood the administration has had some discussion about creating an additional intersession that would offer face-to-face classes during the winter break like the intersession that is held in the summer.

A true intersession would require the district to petition the state for approval, and that process is still in the initial stages.

As of now, the winter cybersession of 2018-19 will technically be part of the spring term.