Schedule Change Positive for Education

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I applaud the USF administration for taking the bold move to make a schedule change to Monday, Wednesday and Friday from Monday and Wednesday. In this way, USF will offer students a better class variety in their schedules, bring students and faculty to school more often, and enhance the level of learning on campus.

As I was walking through the cafeteria the other day, I was approached by a student who wanted me to sign a petition against this change.  As I learned more about the changes, and his reasons for why I should sign this petition, it became clear to me that this schedule change is precisely the right thing to do in order to improve the educational atmosphere at USF.

I love USF and am fortunate to be able to attend this school.  There are professors here at USF who really care about their students and their teaching.  It is the emphasis on teaching which I think draws a lot of students to come to USF. Instead of having a math class with 100 people or 50 people, for example, USF offers classes that have far fewer students, offering them the opportunity to really get to know their professors and for professors to adjust their courses to fit the needs of the students.

But, as I am sure you are aware, most of the learning in college takes place outside of the classroom.  As an undergraduate at Georgetown, I took five classes every semester, which were 3 units each, and met 3 times a week. All my professors had office hours twice a week as well.  But, I also remember having multiple speakers come to campus, having late night discussions with my friends, and having dinner with professors in their homes.  By having faculty show up to campus more often the atmosphere on campus did not turn into a haunted house on Fridays.  At USF students take 4 unit courses, which do not seem much different from 3 unit courses.   And, despite these courses being worth 4 units, not many students or faculty are even on campus on Fridays, making it virtually impossible to even learn amongst your peers outside of the classroom.

I applaud the USF administration for pushing forward with the schedule change.  Now, that I think back to the petition that I was asked to sign, he should have been glad to have the opportunity to have classes meet more often and to have more opportunities to learn from his faculty and fellow students.  After all, why else did you come to USF? To get A’s in classes without learning material?  To get a degree with minimal work and effort?  Changing the schedule will not change the education atmosphere at USF overnight but it is a step in the right direction.  Students invest their time and money into an education and have every right to expect faculty and other students to do the same. Implementing this much needed change will bring other added benefits to the USF experience.  I salute the USF administration for enhancing the learning environment on campus and pursuing its mission statement of educating hearts and minds to change the world.

1 COMMENT

  1. I could not agree more, Eric. Undergraduates pay close to $5,000 per 4 unit class. More face-to-face time with Professors is absolutely essential for academic growth. This privilege, the ability to develop interpersonal relationships with administrators and professors is one of the reasons I am willing to invest a great amount of money into my education.

    One of the reasons to attend a four year university is for the pursuit of scholarly excellence, and as you said, the administration making this change is a step in the right direction.

    USF’s mission stipulates that “the University offers undergraduate, graduate and professional students the knowledge and skills needed to succeed as persons and professionals…” These said skills are developed, in part, in the classroom.

    Tier 1 university graduates have higher mid-career earnings partly because their respective universities honed their reading, writing, and critical thinking skills. Additional classroom time will enable teachers to spread out the curricula significantly, enabling students will be to digest knowledge in an appropriate manner without being overwhelmed.

    Glad you spoke out on this issue.

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