Course Distribution Procedure

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Course Distribution Procedure

11/29/11

[College Senate Resolution #14 2010-2011 required the development of “guidelines governing class scheduling and the allocation of teaching space.” This webpage is a procedure written to satisfy that requirement and has been approved by the provost for implementation in preparing the Fall 2012 course schedule and thereafter.]

The instructional schedule should be designed to provide students with choice and flexibility. A balanced distribution reduces course conflicts, which prevent students from advancing to a degree in a timely fashion.  Therefore, it is important to balance the offering of classes throughout the day (and evening), and the week. A balanced distribution of courses also allows the Registrar to make maximum use of available classrooms (a number of which continue to be off-line for renovation.

Developing the Day Time Schedule

One class must be put in each daytime slot before assigning a second class to the same time slot.  There are 14 daytime slots. Each department should take the total number of classes offered in daytime and divide by 14 to reach the average number of classes that should be offered in each daytime block. Example: a department offers a total of 35 classes, thus the department should schedule 2-3 courses in each time slot.  Departments may rotate specific courses between MWF and TR teaching schedules from semester to semester to create more efficient departmental teaching schedules as well as to improve student access to courses. Course schedule rotation may also be desirable to promote fairness with respect to assignment of early morning, late afternoon, or evening class responsibilities.

Developing the Evening Schedule

Similarly, departments should spread their evening classes (defined as those that begin after 5 pm) evenly throughout the week. When possible, departments using a two day/week evening time frame should schedule two such classes back-to-back to optimize room usage. Example:  if a department offers a MW 6:35 - 7:50 pm class, the same department should also offer a MW 8:05 - 9:20 pm class.

Scheduling in Non-Standard Time Blocks

When semester schedules are submitted, departments must justify offering courses in non-standard time blocks (including any pedagogical reasons for doing so). Courses to be offered in non-standard time blocks should be scheduled in the same time block on other days of the week.  Example: If a department offers a non-standard course on Monday 8 - 10:30 am, the department should schedule other non-standard block courses on W and F in this same time period. Non-standard time blocks should end so that students can re-enter the regular schedule.  Example: a department offers a non-standard class MW 8 - 10:30 am  This allows the student to return to the standard schedule and take an 11:15 am class MWF. 

Non-standard classes that do not begin at 8 am must start at the beginning of a standard time block. Example: a department offers a TR 12:30 - 3 pm course.  This allows the student to take courses on the standard schedule in the morning and to return to the standard schedule starting at 3:30 pm.

Departments that have their own dedicated facilities (i.e., Dance, Art, Communication) may schedule their courses in non-standard times in their own spaces as needed. However, courses should still be scheduled with sensitivity to the needs of students to return easily to the standard schedule.

Overall, departments are expected to offer approximately 60% of their classes on MWF and 40% on the TR schedule.

Process for Exceptions

Exceptions to the policy are subject to the approval of the Dean and will be granted on a limited basis. For questions, please consult Peter Dowe, College Registrar.

Last Updated 10/27/20

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