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CSB/SJU to switch to five-day class schedule in fall 2013

CSB/SJU expects to implement a five-day class schedule in the fall 2013 semester, ending a 40-year six-day cycle for scheduling courses.

Under the current system, most classes are scheduled to meet on either odd days (1‐3‐5) of the cycle, or on even days (2‐4‐6). As a result, classes generally meet for 70 minutes every other day, on Monday-Wednesday-Friday on one week and Tuesday-Thursday on the next.

This standardized system goes against current research on student learning styles and pedagogical research on learning outcomes. The six-day cycle lacks flexibility and adaptability that is needed.

Additionally, the six-day cycle complicates our efforts to integrate experiential learning into our curriculum. Experiential learning frequently requires students and faculty to engage with groups, organizations and other universities, which are on the common five-day weekly schedule. Specifically, our students have not been able to compete for some internships because our class schedule does not conform to the normal work week (Monday-Friday).

This semester a committee of faculty and administrators led by Dr. Richard Ice, academic dean, has been charged with developing and implementing a new five-day class schedule that provides flexibility to meet the various pedagogical needs and styles of our courses, faculty and students, consistent with current research on learning styles and learning outcomes.

The committee, after gathering information and feedback from academic departments, students, faculty and administrators, has recommended a five-day schedule that has flexibility to meet the various pedagogical needs and styles of our courses, faculty and students. Some courses are scheduled to meet more frequently for shorter periods, while other courses meet less frequently for longer periods. The overall contact minutes will be nearly the same as they are in the current system.

To determine the workability of the proposed schedule, Academic Affairs has tested a simulation, having each academic department provide a mock schedule using courses that were taught this year. We then had the department work together to determine if the schedule would be feasible. Finally, we examined the actual current schedules of hundreds of students to determine if the students would be able to enroll in the courses they had chosen this year in the mock schedule.

At this time, it appears that the proposed schedule will work, and we are planning on implementing the new schedule in the fall 2013 semester.