BY ALEX GRUBER
The Student Government Association (SGA) met with Dr. Rosewall, Associate Academic Dean and professor of music, at 8 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 22 to discuss the changes set for St. Norbert College’s academic schedule in the 2015-2016 school year. Eight leaders of SGA discussed the reasons behind the changes and methods to inform SNC students about them with.
Dr. Rosewall explained that the current academic schedule is not very balanced, placing stress on faculty and students when they try to plan activities outside of their courses. Some classes meet for a total of 180 minutes, others for 200 minutes and still others for 210 minutes.
Therefore, students do not receive even instruction and professors have to conform their lessons to differing models. The faculty of the college decided to create a better schedule for their sake and that of the students.
St. Norbert College faculty have met over the past three years to discuss and decide on a new academic schedule, looking at over 30 possible models in that time. Dr. Rosewall said that they had also met with Campus Ministry, Athletics, Facilities, Food Services and many other campus departments to see what they thought of the current schedule and how they would respond to a new one.
Academic departments also discussed the schedules that would work best for their classes. The math and languages departments preferred shorter, more frequent classes so students could practice skills and retain information.
The new schedule, to be followed next year, was narrowly approved by a faculty vote. Each class in this timetable totals 180 minutes, either with two classes of 90 minutes on Tuesdays and Thursdays or three classes of 60 minutes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
The schedule includes more three-hour labs that cut across a few blocks of time and would keep some students from enrolling in certain courses. That aspect of the schedule might be changed, said Dr. Rosewall
The schedule also created another meeting period for disciplines and student groups, this one on Thursday. As a result, Sacred Hour was moved from Wednesdays to Thursdays.
In order to see how the proposed schedule would work on the whole, the faculty planned and scheduled their courses for the summer and fall sessions by the time of the meeting. Usually, planning for these semesters only starts in late February.
After going over the new schedule, the SGA members and Dr. Rosewall discussed the best way to inform the students about it. Of course, students will see the new schedule during their advisement sessions, but the group wanted to prepare students for the change before that point. One method covered was placing large posters, whether of the actual schedule or information about it, around campus to catch students’ attention.
“We’re trying to get out the word to every department and person on campus,” Dr. Rosewall said. “The more it’s in front of people, the easier it is for them to understand it.”
The class registration process for students will remain the same. The registrar’s website is currently being updated to reflect the new schedule.