Cameron University adopts new class schedule

Lawton_Traditional five-day-per-week classes are ending at Cameron University in Lawton.  It will adopt a new class schedule beginning this summer.  It's one way the University hopes to better fit the schedule of its students.  "We want to make sure we have courses in the formats at the times, the way they can learn, and the ways that fit their schedules," said Cameron University Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. John McArthur.

He says classes will either be two or four days per week, and while Cameron will continue to have classes on Fridays, there will be new, expanded, Friday through Saturday courses for those who can't attend class every day of the working week.  "Time formats that fit the students needs, for the students who live on campus, for the students that are commuting, for traditional age students, and for our adult students," he said.

Campus was quiet on Tuesday night, but isn't the way it will be on future Fridays.  The new schedule means that faculty and staff will be on campus on Fridays to provide students who have no classes that day a greater opportunity to work with their mentors.  Student Garry Chenault can't wait for a four-day-per-week schedule.  Not only his he a full-time student, he also is a busy father.  "I have a 14-month-old son, and trying to go to school, and set up time to do my homework, and still raise him - it's a struggle," he said.

Chenault says he's excited about not having Friday classes, so he can have extra study time between Wednesday and Monday.  "I can get more work done, and not have to cram it out the night before Monday or Tuesday," he said.  "I have that whole Friday to go ahead and do my work.  I would like that.  I want that."

To make up for lost attendance in classes that once were on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, Monday and Wednesday class times will be lengthened.  Not everyone's excited about that aspect, and some students say the new schedule is a lost point.  "No one likes one-hour and 15 minute classes," said student Veronica Castillo.  "I don't even like my Tuesday - Thursday classes.  That's why I try to put the least amount of classes on Tuesday-Thursdays - because they're so long."

Two other students say they prefer to have their courses split over two days instead of three.  They say the additional 30 to 40 minutes will help them to cover a lot more material in each class.  "Tests would not be as long or strenuous to study for because I've already had an extra 30 minutes to study, and I already know my material," said student T.J. Gibson.  "So, going into it with a lot of confidence.  It would be great with an extra day of studying behind me."

Most Aggie athletes say they like the new schedule as well.  They say they won't get as far behind when they have away games against other schools.  "We won't have to worry about missing as many classes - so it's really good all around," said student and Cameron Basketball player Katie Radley.

This is not the first time the University has switched to a four-day schedule.  In the late 1970s it switched from five days per week to save energy, and Dr. McArthur says students' education did not suffer.  He says he expects the same success this time.  In addition to the new Friday-Saturday workshop and short course program, Cameron also is expanding courses with improved online learning along with educational outreach courses.