'Full-time Fridays' offer unique opportunity

January 13, 2009 4:15:44 PM PST
"Full-time Fridays," a program designed for students to earn 12 hours of general education credit by attending classes solely on Fridays, returns to the San Jacinto College South campus this Spring semester. "Full-time Fridays" was first introduced in the Fall 2008 semester with the idea that the program would help students save money and time by coming to campus once a week.

"Each of the classes we offered last semester did fill, so we've expanded the course offerings a bit this semester," said Kathryn Roosa, academic dean at the South campus.

The College is guaranteeing that no courses in the "Full-time Fridays" program will be cancelled for low enrollment. All student services, such as tutoring, counseling, advising and the cafeteria, will be available to "Full-time Fridays" students. All classes will be held in the Interactive Learning Center on the South campus, located at 13735 Beamer Road in Houston.

Students can register for as many as four classes that meet on Friday, as the schedule provides a better opportunity to complete 12 credit hours by attending class one day per week from 8:30 a.m. to just before 10 p.m. "Full-time Fridays" also affords students the chance to maintain full-time status by taking all four Friday-only courses. Breaks are built in to the schedule between classes so that students can have a meal or study.

The idea for "Full-time Fridays" came to Roosa last summer after she heard a National Public Radio report about Volunteer State Community College's efforts to launch a similar program in Tennessee. San Jacinto College is one of a few community colleges in the country to offer the program.

While this may not be the program for everyone, Roosa feels it may help lower transportation costs for those students who have a longer commute to San Jacinto College, those who must find child care, or those whose employers are going to four-day workweeks. She says future plans include making some classes hybrid (a mix of online and in-classroom instruction), and creating a plan for students to earn an entire associate of arts degree only on Fridays.

Registration for the Spring semester is now underway on each San Jacinto College campus and online at www.sanjac.edu. Classes begin Tuesday, January 20, 2009. For more information about San Jacinto College, please visit the website or call 281-998-6150.

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