No longer will fall be the “back to school” season for some of the students at the University of Florida. By giving students the option of taking spring and summer classes only, the university is hoping to prevent overcrowding.
But before this new scheduling can become a reality, a state law must be changed. Joseph Glover, the university’s academic administrator, proposed the idea of the new schedule to the Florida Board of Governors at a meeting last week. Glover said the new arrangement would be a productive, effective way to bring in more students to the university to fill demand.
“U.F. is a large institution and, basically, in the fall semester the Gainesville campus is full to capacity,” he said to the board. “We do have extra capacity in spring, after winter graduation, and lots of capacity in the summer. So the thought came to us, what’s so sacred about fall-spring? What if we offered our students the ability to be spring-summer? We see more and more students who are opting for innovative programs. I think there would be a market for students who would be interested in doing this for a variety of reasons.”
With nearly 6,400 first-time freshmen this year, Glover said that the incoming class size has remained almost constant for three consecutive years. But if the spring-summer scheduling is approved, Glover said the school could increase the incoming class by about 250 students.
Having those 250 students taking advantage of the nontraditional scheduling could help maintain the average 6,400 students in the traditional fall-spring scheduling. Glover also told the board that the university is contemplating limiting the spring-summer scheduling to just incoming transfer students.
Though the scheduling idea is still in its beginning stages, Glover said he believes the university would allow students to indicate their preference for fall-spring only, spring-summer only, or either. Spring-summer students could take fall classes, just not courses in residence. Spring-summer scheduling is thought to be ideal for students who want to study abroad or enroll in distance education courses.
The University of Florida’s proposed scheduling differs greatly from the way several colleges admit some first-year students. It is common for schools to allow first-year students for the spring semester, but from that point students must be enrolled on a standard schedule.
Via Inside Higher Ed