Taking classes during the weekends and during more convenient times could be a possibility for Texas State students in the future.
A task force was created to examine the addition of Friday and Saturday classes and underutilized hours in schedules. The group recently brought recommendations to the provost to benefit students and the university. The Friday/Saturday Class Task Force formed in spring 2012 and was comprised of representatives from several offices across the university.
Representatives from Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, Athletics, Finance and Support Services, University Advancement, Information Technology and one student from the Associated Student Government made up the committee.
Joanne Smith, vice president of Student Affairs, chaired the task force and gave its report to the provost’s office. Smith said the task force’s charge has been completed, and it will no longer meet now that the recommendations have been made.
“The provost’s office, in conjunction with the president and the faculty, will have to make some decisions about how to handle capacity for classes,” Smith said.
Smith said the implementation of any changes would go through Academic Affairs.
Associate Provost Cynthia Opheim said the task force’s first recommendation was to maximize class scheduling during underutilized hours in the Monday through Friday schedule. The task force recommended adding more classes at the hours of 8 a.m., 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Opheim said the task force recommended prioritizing the use of those hours because there is much more potential for classes during those times.
“I think students would be receptive particularly to the 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. (class times), though students may not be crazy about the 8 a.m. (class time),” Opheim said. “I do think that faculty certainly would be receptive as well.”
Opheim said some faculty members are crunched for time just like students. Some faculty members have families and may benefit from being able to teach in the evening or on the weekends.
Opheim said the task force’s second recommendation was to schedule some of the additional Friday and Saturday classes.
Smith said it does not seem to be an absolute necessity to offer a great deal of Saturday classes, but some graduate courses may need to be taught during the weekends. The task force felt if Saturday courses were offered, it would be better to hold them during the morning hours and possibly last until 12 p.m.
Opheim said the option of taking more Friday and Saturday classes might be easier for undergraduate and graduate students who have jobs or children.
Rainbough Phillips, biochemistry senior and non-traditional student, said she has a son and works during the weekend. She said having more class times to choose from would be helpful, and she wouldn’t have to be on campus all day.
“I usually think more classes are better because there’s so many classes that are only available once a year,” Phillips said. “Especially once you get to the upper level stuff.”
Brenda Castillo, psychology junior, said additional 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. classes would be helpful to her. She is a full-time student who commutes from Austin and works about 35 hours per week.
“It’d be more convenient for me to have more options (in the evening and weekends),” Castillo said.
Hugo Sanchez, political science senior, said if the task force’s recommendations are put in place the university will have to ensure the tram service runs extra hours on Fridays and Saturdays. This will ensure commuters can take advantage of the extra classes.
Smith said Transportation Services would have to look at expanding the tram service hours if classes are offered on Fridays and Saturdays. The registrar’s office and business and student affairs services could be open longer during the week. The extended hours would allow them to handle the needs of those on campus during off-peak hours.
Opheim said the task force reported the recommendations to the Council of Academic Deans.
However, she said the council has not yet discussed the suggestions in depth. Opheim was unsure of when the recommendations will be discussed in the future.