In the midst of course numbers and course descriptions, students starting the selection process for Fall 2009 classes might notice one slight difference.
The times, they are a-changin’.
Beginning in the fall, 8:40 a.m. classes will instead begin on the hour, meaning some students will need to be in class by 8 a.m.
“To be honest, I don’t really care that I could have a class that starts 40 minutes earlier,” said Joe Veltri, a freshman music education major, “but I’m sure some students out there will.”
The length of classes will remain the same. Three-a-week classes will span 50 minutes, while twice-a-week classes will last an hour and 20 minutes, as before.
In order to squeeze an extra class in each day, the earliest classes offered will move to 8 a.m., allowing the university to run afternoon classes until 4:50 p.m. each day and evening classes until 9:50 p.m.
“This is really to provide more sections for more students so they can be more flexible,” said William Wilkinson, associate vice president for finance and space planning. “The schedule was so very full from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. that there was no room to do anything. The idea was that when Alter Hall and Tyler were finished, we would open up the schedule so there would be more room at both ends of the schedule.”
Wilkinson said the planning behind the schedule changes predated him, but they were finalized in December with the posting of the changes on the Scheduling and Space Management Web site, after endorsements by the 17 school schedulers, each of the deans at the Council of Deans meetings and Provost Lisa Staiano-Coico.
“That’s what bothers me,” said Chris Hopper, a senior political science and BTMM major. “It’s not that it might change my routine because I don’t really care since I’m graduating in the fall. It’s that Temple doesn’t tell anybody anything. You’ve got to find out on your own.”
But it’s not just the students who could be unaware of the changes. Many professors remain in the dark, too.
“TAUP doesn’t really have a position on it,” said Temple Association of University Professionals President Art Hochner. “I am not sure that most faculty are aware of the change yet.”
And even those who are aware aren’t sure how it will be received.
“Temple has not talked to the professors about the time change,” said Patricia Moore-Martinez, a Spanish professor and Latin-American studies semester coordinator. “It was briefly mentioned to me by a chair, but we never received notification of the changes. Although the 8 a.m. schedule does not alter my day personally, for parents [both students and professors], 8 a.m. is much more difficult.
Elementary schools tend to begin between 7:45 a.m. and 8:15 a.m.”
Wilkinson said every effort was made to accommodate commuters, both professors and students.
“We figured commuters would want to get here and get home,” he said. “Resident students like to spread their classes out during the day and take classes in the mid-afternoon.”
Hillel Hoffman, assistant director of university communications, said the university was trying to strike a balance between the two, as the number of students who live on or near campus has almost tripled since 2002, while undergraduate enrollment has increased 22 percent.
For Gary Pratt, assistant director of Mosaic, that’s the real reason behind the change.
“The decision was made because of a serious shortage of classroom space and the expectation that enrollments will continue to increase,” he said. “I’m hoping the administration will find other ways to address these conditions and still enhance student learning.”
Jennifer Reardon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.