Temple was founded as a night school in 1884 and, while it has obviously evolved since, the university should remain committed to offering classes to nontraditional and working students who might not be able to make it to 10 a.m. lectures.
In 2009, the number of night classes offered on Main Campus and at TUCC decreased significantly from the previous year. As of 2010, both Main Campus and TUCC are offering significantly more night classes.
In 2010, on Main Campus, there were 497 undergraduate night classes; in 2009 there were 356; in 2008 there were 513; in 2007 there were 456, and in 2006 there were 421. TUCC offered 152 undergraduate evening classes in 2010, up from the 100 offered in 2009. There were 163 night classes offered in 2008, 166 offered in 2007 and 164 offered in 2006.
The university is undergoing extensive renovation and development during the next few years under the 20/20 plan in order to transform Main Campus into a 21st century site and a “destination campus.”
While planning and enacting these developments, university officials should continue to acknowledge evening classes and the students who attend them because those students are just as much a part of Temple’s identity as those who primarily take daytime courses.
Acknowledging these students and the night classes that meet their needs will allow the university to stay true to its original roots as a night school.
As Connor Showalter examines this week in [“Rescuing ‘Night Owls,’” Page 1], the reasons a student might have for opting to take a night class vary greatly, from maintaining full-time jobs or caring for families, to preferring an entire week of material in one sitting. Regardless of the reason, it’s important for the university to acknowledge those preferences.
According to the office of the provost, Temple is looking for more ways to provide services to students who regularly take night classes, including expanding support via the Web or phone and possibly increasing the number of online courses offered in some schools and academic programs.
These additional support services for students enrolled primarily in evening classes are important. The types of support offered for traditional students should be available to nontraditional students as well to ensure they have the same opportunities for success.