General Policy Regarding the Academic Scheduling Process
- Scheduling policy is established by the Office of the Provost and implemented by the university registrar and academic deans.
- The primary purpose of the scheduling policy is to ensure that students have access to workable schedules and can therefore complete their degree programs in a timely manner. Effective scheduling practices also lead to effective use of classroom space which is a strategy for assisting students towards graduation and is good stewardship of university resources.
- Class schedules must be approved by the appropriate academic dean on the recommendation of the department or program and developed in accordance with the following guidelines and principles.
- Credit-bearing courses, their exams, and required class events have scheduling priority over all other activities that require the use of classrooms. Classrooms will not be scheduled for meeting use until after the registration week is ended.
Scheduling Guidelines and Principles
- Departments should schedule no more than 60% of classes during peak hours. Departments must make every effort to schedule some classes during non-peak hours to assist students in staying on track to graduation and to maximize use of classroom resources. Peak hours are starting times between 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (inclusive) Monday through Thursday. Peak time/non-peak time ratios are checked when the schedule is submitted and once classes have started.
- All face-to-face courses on the main campus are expected to meet for 50 minutes per credit hour per week during a 15-week semester. Also referred to as a clock hour. For example, a 1-credit course will meet for a total of 50x15 = 750 minutes or 15 clock hours per semester.
- Courses scheduled for shorter periods (mini terms, summer terms, Maymester) will meet for an equal amount of total time as the course scheduled for a 15-week semester.
- See Faculty Handbook, Definition of a Credit Hour, (Chapter 7) for specific rules governing instruction time for labs, discipline-specific specialty classes, blended and on-line courses.
- Departments must strictly adhere to the approved standard set of time patterns. The standard meeting lengths are in 50 and 75-minute time blocks. Courses that meet one time per week are normally scheduled for three hours in order to give time for breaks. Non-standard sections should be offered in multiples of these times to avoid end times that prevent students from registering for courses that follow the non-standard section. Academic deans must review and approve all exceptions to standard start / end times. Courses using non-standard times should schedule these in non-peak times or in special use classrooms.
- Departments should schedule classes throughout the week and across the day to maximize the probability that students can develop a conflict-free schedule.
- Departments are highly encouraged to schedule / pair blended classes with another blended course to maximize space use. If this is not possible the class should be scheduled outside of peak hours.
- Multiple sections of the same course should be scheduled to maximize a variety of days and morning/afternoon distribution in order to increase student access to classes.
- Schools may schedule first in the rooms they manage. Before the final draft, the Registrar's office will use all available classrooms to assist other departments in need of space.
- All courses must have a classroom assigned before the schedule goes live. If classrooms are NOT available the course must be moved to an open time/day.
- Final exams will be given in the same room as the class unless prior arrangements are made at the beginning of the term for an alternate location and time.
- Faculty may not change the appointed final exam time without approval of the academic dean and notification of the registrar. In some schools the final exam times are determined by the program director with approval by the academic dean and notification to the registrar.
- The provost grants the registrar authority to move a class in which the enrollment is low and could be moved to a smaller classroom to allow a larger class to be scheduled in the room, if done in consultation with the appropriate academic dean. The provost grants academic deans the authority to move low enrollment sections to smaller classrooms within their designated classrooms.
- Classrooms may not be reserved for meeting use until the schedule is published for the advising period.
- Classroom capacity is determined by fire marshal codes. Furniture in classrooms should not be moved or removed. Seating capacities/room attributes are reviewed annually, in June, by the registrar. The registrar will verify room attributes with the dean responsible for the building/room by June 30th. Any corrections to the room attributes will be communicated to the registrar in writing using the “Room Attributes” form.
Schedule Entry and Change Procedures
- At least six months prior to the registration period the registrar's office will copy the previous year's terms forward to the next like terms. At that time the academic deans will be notified and departments will be notified of schedule entry availability. This would normally be June 1 for the upcoming spring schedule and Nov 1 for the upcoming summer and Fall schedules.
- Schedule entry will be closed two weeks prior to the first day of the advising period.
- Once schedule entry has closed, all changes other than “DIETR” changes that can be made by dean's administrative assistants, will be communicated in writing to the registrar using the “Change of Schedule” forms with appropriate signatures.
- The registrar's office should be notified by the academic dean if the scheduled room(s) is no longer required.
- After a semester has begun, departments must coordinate with the registrar's office and the academic dean in the event of a classroom change. Faculty and departments should not assume that a room is available. Recording changes in classrooms insures correct recording and proper notification in case of emergencies.