Donovan: Friday classes to stay

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    Changing the schedule to cancel classes on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is one thing, but changing the weekly schedule to a four-day week will not happen, said Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic AffairsNowell Donovan.”There are too many scheduling issues,” Donovan said. “There’s not enough time in one week and not enough room for that to be possible.”

    For the 2006 spring semester, there are approximately 460 classes held Fridays that would have to be rescheduled and incorporated into 80-minute Monday and Wednesday classes.

    The Student Government Association’s president-elect Trevor Heaney mentioned the idea of a four-day school week during his campaign this fall.

    Eliminating Friday classes would benefit not only the professors by uniforming their teaching schedules, but it would also benefit students who have jobs and need to work on the weekends, Heaney said.

    “I’m definitely in support of this schedule change because I personally have always had at least one job while at TCU and would benefit from the extra day,” said Heaney, a junior entrepreneurial management and finance major.

    Mike Sacken, professor of education, said he would be fine with eliminating Friday classes not only because the percentage of TCU students who work part time is high, but also because it would increase the availability of professors to meet with students.

    “Friday is my available day to meet with students, and it would be a huge advantage for professors who travel to conferences,” Sacken said.

    Heaney said that although there would be benefits, there also would be a few negatives.

    The school could be called a suitcase college because students could easily travel home every weekend, he said. In addition, Heaney said that for some students, 80-minute classes are too long.

    Sacken said that although some students’ attention spans are not sufficient for that long, holding class twice a week as opposed to three times a week is not a big deal.

    “I don’t see a work differential, but the students I see in class more often I know better,” he said.

    Donovan said that academically, it depends on the teaching method. In a discussion class, it would be beneficial to have the longer class period, he said. In a lecture, however, the students benefit more from a smaller class period.

    “Research shows that the most beneficial lecture is 35 minutes long and covers no more than six major points,” he said.