More midnight college classes

College students have never been known to go to bed early, and an increasing number of schools are now offering classes at midnight.St. Michael's College at nightImage: Wikimedia commons, MarcusObal "We have a 24-hour town here, this is when our students work,"

By | June 3, 2010

College students have never been known to go to bed early, and an increasing number of schools are now offering classes at midnight.
St. Michael's College at night
Image: Wikimedia commons,
"We have a 24-hour town here, this is when our students work," said Sally Johnson, dean of the School of Math and Science at the linkurl:College of Southern Nevada.; The 2-year college with 12 campuses in southern Nevada, including a main campus in Las Vegas, chose to offer midnight classes in the spring 2010 semester due to an increase in enrollment--of approximately 8,000 students from spring 2009 to spring 2010, said Johnson. The Nevada school offered sections of biology and math in the spring, and are expanding offerings for the fall to include astronomy. "What better time to offer astronomy then at midnight?" Johnson said. The classes all were held in one building adjacent to the biology labs, but otherwise the classes were the same without any modifications--except for the time of day. The lectures remain nearly similar to that of their morning counterparts, and the same laboratories and times are given to students. Johnson said many of the college's students work second shift at casinos, so "for them, midnight is their noon." Mary Bennett, professor of Southern Nevada's midnight biology class, said that the course ran the exact same way as her daytime courses. "I am a very lively teacher so falling asleep is not allowed in my class," she said. The only difference that she noticed between a midnight and daytime course was "the great parking." Johnson and her staff aren't alone in scheduling classes at unusual hours. linkurl:Bunker Hill Community College; in Boston and linkurl:Clackamas Community College; in Oregon have already had successful introductions to midnight courses. At Bunker Hill, the college offers introductory English and psychology classes at midnight. Previously, they were scheduling classes from 7 a.m. through 10 p.m. during the week and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the weekends, prompting them to think outside the box. Clackamas Community College initially offered a midnight welding course one night per week; it became so popular, that it was extended to four nights a week. linkurl:Anne Arundel Community College; in Maryland is planning to offer midnight sections of psychology in the fall. linkurl:Matt Yeazel,; chair of the psychology department, decided to offer this class due to pressures from the administration to offer more courses to face increasing enrollment. The college has seen a 17 percent increase in summer enrollment, he said, "It's a general rule that in times of bad economy, we've seen a large percentage increase in student population." Yeazel's department is one of the largest on campus, and has seen great problems with scheduling conflicts for faculty and space. After discussing the issues with members of other colleges who had tried the program, including Bunker Hill, he decides to give the midnight course a shot at his own campus. While online courses are becoming popular alternatives for some students, for others they "don't connect with online modality," said Yeazel. Since they "can't come to class during the day, and they're stuck," Yeazel said he believes this program will create opportunities for students, and that they will be able to "get more out of class." Within the first few days of registration, Yeazel said that students had started to enroll in the midnight class. Yeazel said he hopes that "he is casting a broader net" to students at the community college to reach shift workers. There is an "untouched group of people that we're not reaching," he said.
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June 17, 2010

This is a creative way to enroll more students using existing facilities, but some community colleges (California as one example) have been forced by state budget cuts to REDUCE their enrollments even in the face of increasing demand. \n\nOne large community college district (City College of San Francisco) has even canceled their entire Summer session.\n\nSuch budget reductions to community colleges, the most cost-effective higher education of all, is a prime example of being penny-wise and pound-foolish, because denying retraining and additional education to the unemployed will only prolong the economic crisis nationwide.\n\nUnfortunately, the populace at large is more interested in gutting government and civic life via tax cuts than they are in investing in our state's and nation's future, and unless that changes, the downward spiral will continue until we are all peasants, with a few very wealthy overseers.
Avatar of: N SUKUMAR


Posts: 5

June 18, 2010

What Kathleen says is spot on with respect to New York too.

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