Block Schedule Info

Dear Education Majors and Minors,

 The Education Department is excited to welcome you back to campus in the fall! I write today to share with you how our department is preparing for fall semester Block Plan with hybrid learning.  Although the structure of the courses will be different, the educational experiences will be the same high quality we always strive to offer. 

 The change in the schedule will also create changes in your fall schedules.  The Registrar’s Office is creating a block schedule that places most students in the courses they registered for in the spring, giving highest priority to seniors, followed by juniors.  Your academic advisor, the Academic Advising staff and I will work with each of you to address any conflicts or issues that arise with your new schedule. Please feel free to contact any of these individuals at any time.

 You probably have questions about how classes will work under the Block Plan.  Although details will continue to be finalized over the summer, we want to share some information that is relevant to our majors and minors.  Our 4-credit classes will be held on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays for 3 hours at a time, with breaks.  You will take one 4-credit class per block, which means you will immerse yourself in the material and you won’t have to juggle homework, papers, projects, and exams from other 4-credit courses. There will be morning block classes, and afternoon block classes, with time in between to ensure classrooms can be thoroughly cleaned. Some of you may have a night class, or a 1 or 2 credit class that falls on Wednesdays (mornings or afternoons) as well.  We are also going to have one four-credit class that will run all semester.

 What will education classes look like in the Block Plan?

 Education classes are always full of engaging activities and discussions. This will continue under the Block Plan. We plan to use hybrid learning to allow participation in class both face-to-face and remotely. Your professors are working to prepare classes that will make creative use of new technologies to support and enhance your learning.

 How will field experiences work?

 Many education classes involve a field experience, such as service learning or practicum. While we don’t know yet how K-12 schools and other educational programs will respond to the Covid-19 pandemic in the fall, we will work with our school and community partners to design experiences that will help you deepen your understanding of learning and teaching.  You may be in schools delivering face-to-face instruction, or you may find you are delivering instruction and support online. Your professors will work with you to ensure a meaningful field experience!

 For pedagogy courses, we are excited about the opportunities that the block schedule brings!  Focusing on one course over the duration of the block will allow you to explore the methods for teaching that subject area in an in-depth manner that is not possible during a traditional semester schedule.  Because you will not have responsibilities related to other courses, you will have increased opportunities to spend time in your practicum placements observing, teaching, and engaging with students. If you have pedagogy during a morning block, for example, that leaves your afternoons and time on Wednesdays to spend in practicum.

 What about night classes, online classes and 1 and 2-credit classes?

 We will be offering some classes that fall outside the MTHF Block schedule.  Night classes will meet 1 night per week, running 1, 2 or 4 blocks (depending on number of credits).  1 and 2 credit classes will also be taught on Wednesdays for 1 or 2 blocks.

 How can I be sure to stay on track to student teach and graduate on time?

 We are committed to ensuring that all seniors will be able to get their required classes finished before student teaching.  We will be looking at the spring 2021 schedule soon and will prioritize keeping our juniors on track to graduate as scheduled.  For students who have 2 or more semesters of course work ahead of them, we may need to make changes to your 4-year plan to fit your required classes in and keep you on track.  You may also need to register for different classes than what you originally planned to meet some common curriculum requirements.

 What about study abroad?

 We know that study abroad is an important goal for many of you, and the Center for Global Education will be announcing semester and short-term study abroad options for spring and summer 2021 and beyond. While we don’t yet know how soon we will be able to send students abroad again, we will work with you to identify options that fit into your 4-year plan.

 Where can I get more information about returning to campus this fall?

 Please contact me or your academic advisor if you have questions about your classes or scheduling.  For questions about dorms, dining, and activities, be sure to check out the FAQ page for students.

 We are looking forward to seeing you on campus this fall!

 

Sincerely,

 Allison Spenader

Chair, Education Department

Marie and Robert Jackson Professor