Students, Admin Cite Class Scheduling Issues at Annual Convocation
WCC held its annual Faculty Convocation on Wednesday September 26th. Key figures of the administration, faculty, and student body gathered to speak on matters involving the ongoing evolution of college policies. Some of the remarks hinted at possible revolutionary changes regarding the college’s class scheduling.
Opening statements were given by President Belinda S. Miles, who acknowledged the accomplishments of programs such as the Viking Roads Initiative and the second cohort of students in the Honors College. Before she finished her remarks, she mentioned her pleasure with some of the upcoming ideas others on the stage would be expressing that could move the college forward.
Student Government Association (SGA) President Ava Tapia and Dr. Vanessa Morest, Vice-President and Provost of the college, both highlighted aspects of current class scheduling within the college, which could be further discussed and possibly improved.
Tapia, who served as the representative of the student body at the Convocation, delivered a speech touching on the academic challenges students face while trying to deal with class schedules that work against their ability to maintain their responsibilities outside of school, like holding a job and managing family commitments.
Tapia offered a direct solution to the scheduling conflicts she claims students have experienced when trying to accomplish the “15 credits to graduation” standard.
“I propose for all of you today to consider that there is a strong demand among students to implement a new method of scheduling: Block Scheduling. This system organizes the day into fewer, consistent, and longer class periods. It allows degree programs to be more obtainable and organized,” said Tapia.
The first portion of Dr. Vanessa Morest’s address gave statistics on class scheduling. She said that while she was not implying that certain and immediate changes would be enacted, we should always be aware of how the scheduling process supports modern teaching techniques and the college’s overall goals.
“Fifty per cent of our classes only meet once a week,” said Dr. Morest. “That’s something we probably need to start thinking about. I am not putting anything out there, but it is an academic question. We also have very few classes that meet on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Only 14% of our sections meet on Fridays and only 21% meet after 5 pm,” she said.
The focus on class scheduling made by these two figures of the college show the possible need for work to be done. Dr. Miles, in her weekly letter to the college community, also viewed Tapia’s and Dr. Morest’s addresses as a “Call to Action”.
“Remarkably, neither she [Tapia] nor Provost Morest knew that each other would speak so definitively about course scheduling. Both issued a call for action this year in identifying ways that scheduling could create new or faster pathways for students to complete their programs,” wrote Dr. Miles.
The Viking News will continue to investigate the possibility of the college altering or supplementing the class scheduling in order to further accommodate students’ needs, with a goal of achieving a smoother process of credit accumulation and ultimately a faster and more efficient path towards graduation.