by Dylan Timmel
This fall Hilbert College saw many changes and one that caused a stir was the decision to add Friday classes to the academic schedule.
For at least 10 years, the college has offered classes that ran from Monday through Thursday creating an atypical college experience. When word began spreading that Friday classes would be implemented it brought out mixed feeling amongst students and faculty.
An email from Dr. Kristina Lantzky, Hilbert’s Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, sent in February explained the decision.
“Research suggests that this format can improve student engagement, retention, and new program development. The new scheduling will begin for 100- and 200- level classes in the Fall of 2019,” Lantzky said in the email.
Faculty and staff members at Hilbert College were consulted prior to making the official announcement. The administration said the schedule would open the doors to having shortened length of classes held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, allowing students to have additional days and times in their schedule for internships, part time jobs and relaxing periods. The Friday classes affect 100- and 200- level classes to start, but will then be applied to all courses starting in the Spring of 2020.
Lantzky said that one reason the administration made the change was to give students a wider range of internship opportunities by opening up more time on days other than Friday for students to attend their internships.
“If there was a free day, it would allow for more flexibility as we found out students weren’t doing their internships on Friday instead on a Thursday afternoon,” Lantzky said. “But then they had a class, so now they have the full five-day schedule to try and get those internships.”
Lantzky said she has heard positive reactions to the change from students.
“For the most part (students) do think it’s been giving them some flexibility,” Lantzky said.
One student had different feelings for the Friday classes. Kelci Davis, a Hilbert Sophomore, said she is having trouble adjusting.
“It’s inconvenient for me because I don’t have a day off to work and make money and also get school work done,” Davis said.
Lantzky said she believes that students will get used to the change over time.
“Were still running two schedules right now where the upper classes are running Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday schedules,” Lantzky said. “But, in the Spring we will get a better feel because everybody will be on the same schedule so we kind of eased our juniors and seniors into it, but everybody will get a piece of it now.”
Don Vincent, a professor of communications at Hilbert, said he understands the reasons for the changes, but also understands why some students have expressed concerns about the new policy.
“I recognized that it made a dead campus on Fridays, which is a problem for incoming high school students because they don’t get the full feeling of what college is like” Vincent said. “Now that we made the changes on campus I value Fridays because they allow me to teach students and do more course preparation”.