Students don’t quite run the show when it comes to course scheduling. But colleges and universities are striving to make it easier for them—with their ongoing juggle of work, family and school commitments—to take the classes necessary to meet educational objectives in time to graduate.
Course scheduling policies and practices tend to date back—way back—to a time of paper-based processes that were much less capable of allowing big variations in how classes were offered. And faculty have traditionally wanted a say in when and where they teach. But, driven by student scheduling needs and the explosion of data analysis tools, registrars and other officials at more institutions are providing more flexibility in course scheduling.
Degree audits keep students on target as they choose courses each semester. Students can choose multiple session lengths for in-person and online classes—fitting more instruction into a single semester. Online courses allow self-paced instruction.
And as administrative systems manage the back-end logistics needed to make it all happen, campus leaders can overcome resistance to change by reminding faculty that a flexible schedule will help achieve everyone’s common goal: student success.
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