By Becky Spaulding
Starting next fall, scheduled times for classes will be changing at Grand Rapids Community College. The decision to implement a new schedule in the fall of 2011 was made after several years of discussion among deans and staff, according to Michael Vargo, Ph.D., Interim Associate Dean of Operations at GRCC.
“There has been a group of college staff members studying aspects of this issue for a couple of years,” he said. “Several different versions of the schedule were developed and discussed with administrators. We ultimately picked one that seemed likely to work best.
“The college has increased enrollment by over 30 percent over the last couple of years,” he added.”We just didn’t have enough room slots with the previous schedule structure to accommodate our rooming needs.”
As the number of students enrolling at GRCC increases, the amount of time and space for classes has been decreasing. The new schedule was created in order to allow more classes to fit in throughout the day, as well as to allow students to string classes together a little more tightly, according to Vargo.
“There are more start times available and very intentional efforts to create ‘tracks’ that students can use when creating their semester schedules,” he said.
Creating “tracks” in a student’s schedule will, in theory, allow for students to have their classes scheduled with as little as 15 minutes in between them. The deans hope that students will take advantage of this and create a tighter, more efficient schedule for themselves.
Some students, like Jessica Ganzevoort, an Elementary Education student and freshman at GRCC this semester, have up to four hours in between classes on a given day.
However, if they are like Ganzevoort, the downtime, or even the crowds in Winchester Alley and the hallways might not bother students.
“The crowds don’t really bother me,” she said. “The new scheduling won’t make much of a difference for me because I already take that responsibility and try to