For the past two years, the Provost has been talking about offering more night classes as well as classes on Fridays and weekends.
Every student is different, and Mills prides itself on the diversity of its student body as well as how it caters to non-traditional students.
The campus has a large percentage of non-traditional students, including people with 9-5 jobs, parents, resumers, commuters, and more.
By offering to broaden the schedule of the classes, even the traditional students on our staff feel that although they would not take classes at these new times by choice, it is nice for other students to be offered more options. Many of our non-traditional students delighted in the idea of having the opportunity to take more classes in time blocks that cater to them.
Also, don’t forget the fact that many of Mills’ Physical Education classes are offered only in the morning and early afternoon, making it impossible for many students to fit these classes into their schedule. Although we all know how strong the academics are on campus, it would be welcome if a variety of PE classes were available throughout the day, rather than being clumped into Monday through Thursday mornings.
There are many types of Mills women. We all live in our own unique way. Many of us have to work during the day or take care of small children. Although night and weekend classes are less traditional than normal liberal arts schools, we think it’s important that everyone get an equal chance to further their education.
That being said, particularly in light of the potential changes to our course credit system, shifts in class times may prove difficult for the college, which is already struggling financially. Will the college need to hire new professors for Friday and night classes? Or will it ask current professors to work different, or more hours?
It is also clear that the college does not have a simple way of knowing what students want in terms of class scheduling.
The Campanil worked with ASMC to conduct a poll asking students what schedule they preferred for their classes. The results did indicate a majority response in favor of a Monday through Thursday schedule, but none of the 86 students who responded were parents, and only 3 were graduate students.
Though it’s a start, this limited sampling is not an accurate representation of the entire college.
So where do we go from here? It seems these changes cannot be implemented with such limited information, and yet they may provide a more successful and pleasant experience for our diverse student body.