Clarksville, Ark. --- Tuesday and Thursday classes will begin at 7:45 a.m. and the weekly chapel service will move to Wednesdays as part of a revamped class scheduling initiative that will take place beginning in August for the 2012 Fall Semester at University of the Ozarks.
The changes, implemented by the Office of Academic Affairs, were made primarily to give the campus community additional designated meeting times, according to Provost Dr. Daniel Taddie.
The new schedule will have the weekly chapel service, Ozarks@Worship, moving from 11 a.m. on Tuesdays to 11 a.m. on Wednesdays. Under the new schedule there will be designated open periods at 11 a.m. on Mondays and Fridays, meaning no classes will be scheduled during those times. Currently, 11 a.m. on Thursday is the only open period for campus meetings such as committee meetings, discussion groups, teaching forums and senate meetings.
"This is something we’ve been thinking about and looking at for a few years because we’ve always had an awful time trying to schedule committee meetings and other campus meetings," Taddie said. "This is not only going to give faculty and staff extra time periods to meet, but it will give student organizations and groups another open period to have meetings. Instead of having meetings in the evenings, they may be able to move some of those to one of those open periods. "
The schedule changes will mean that the first classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays will begin at 7:45 a.m. Those classes will run until 9 a.m. The second class will run from 9:10 a.m. to 10:25 a.m. and the third class on Tuesdays and Thursdays will run from 10:35 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. All of the afternoon classes, as well as the Monday, Wednesday, Friday class times, will remain the same. Because of the changes, there will be 10 minutes between classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays instead of the current 15 minutes.
"We are going to have the exact same number of class periods, so we’re not adding or losing any classes," Taddie said. "The only real change is the time between classes, but we currently have 10 minutes between classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, so this change will actually make the schedule more consistent. Now there will be 10 minutes between classes every day."
Taddie said moving the start time of classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays to 7:45 a.m. was necessary in order not to disturb the class schedules during the afternoons.
"With so many of our students participating in athletics and practicing during the afternoons and with so many of our science labs in the afternoon, we did not want to disturb the afternoon class schedules," he said. "I wasn’t sure how students would react to 7:45 a.m. class times, but there really wasn’t a lot of negative feedback. Many of them said 15 minutes wasn’t going to make much difference."
Another change in the works should also benefit students, according to Taddie. Starting later this semester, students will be able to do their pre-registration on-line for summer and fall classes. Students will first be required to meet with their advisors, who will then release the hold on the students’ records, allowing them to pre-register on-line. Seniors will be allowed to pre-register first, followed by underclassmen.
"Students will have more flexibility in choosing their schedules, but also more responsibilities," Taddie said. "They will be able to see what classes are open and available and they will even be able to check waiting lists to see when classes open up."
Taddie said there will be several training sessions planned to help students with the on-line pre-registration process. Information about these training sessions will be announced through campus email and on the university website.