04/12/09 — Four-day weeks for WCC this summer

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Four-day weeks for WCC this summer

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on April 12, 2009 2:00 AM

Wayne Community College will go to a four-day week for faculty and students this summer, officials have announced.

The 10-week summer school will feature the abbreviated schedule, said Dr. Peggy Teague, vice president for academic services. Other employees and support staff also will work a half-day on Friday, with the campus officially closing at noon.

"We're doing this so if there are folks that want to come out and apply and take placement tests, we will still be here as we prepare for fall," she explained.

It is just one of the changes being made to reflect energy conservation, Ms. Teague said.

"We will be closing down several of our buildings for the long weekend," she said.

Registration for summer school is May 26, with classes to begin May 27.

Students will receive the same amount of instructional time, just compacted within four days a week instead of five, Ms. Teague said.

"Instead of a 50-minute class, it may be a 65-minute class," she explained.

And it should be workable, she continued, since students typically take fewer courses during the summer months. So whereas a typical full-time load would be 12 to15 credit hours, it is more like nine to 12 credit hours in the summer.

Online classes will not be affected by the move, as coursework in these areas is done independently.

The decision to go to a four-day week came through numerous suggestions "that kind of percolated up," Ms. Teague said. The president and vice presidents made the recommendation to the board of trustees, which in turn approved the change.

"Many of our surrounding schools have done it before," she noted. "We're new to try it. Several are closed on Friday. It's new this year for Wayne."

Technically, staff will work on an 83/4-hour-day schedule, Ms. Teague said, with most essential services continuing.

"We'll still have the night services that we have that go until 7 or 8 p.m., such as academic skills and the library," she said. "Admissions and financial aid also stay open until 7 p.m. a couple nights a week."

The bookstore and cafeteria will be closed on Fridays, but the campus day care will be open.

"Our children's center will be under our normal operating hours (closing at 6 p.m.) because there are community folks that use the child care center," Dr. Teague said.

But as for the future of the four-day week beyond the college's summer months, that remains to be seen.

"We certainly will see what the energy savings amount to this summer and then we'll probably make a decision at the end of the summer or in the fall for next year," she said. "We're already talking about next year but no decision has been made."

Another change coming to fruition this fall will be Wayne Community's becoming a tobacco-free campus. That policy is set to go into effect officially on Aug. 1.

There will be signs posted around the campus indicating the new policy.

"We will be encouraging folks to comply and not take really punitive action until one year later, August 2010," she said. A smoking cessation class also will be offered at the college, she added.