Scheduling whistle changes to take effect this fall

Photo by Noah Bryant

 Tech’s class schedules and whistle-soundings for class changes will change this fall as the result of recommendations from the Classroom and Academic Scheduling task force.

The new scheduling template increases the concentration of two-day standard blocks and will better allow for classes to be scheduled after 3 p.m., a time slot that is currently underutilized, with a four-hour “flexible block” offered on Friday afternoons. These changes will afford students more options when scheduling their classes, effectively reducing scheduling conflicts and allowing students to create a schedule that reflects their respective plans toward graduation.

Tech’s steam whistle schedule will also be adjusted to fit into the new template.

On Mondays and Wednesdays, the whistle will blow at: 8:50 a.m., 9:55 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 12:05 p.m., 1:10 p.m., 2:45 p.m., 4:15 p.m., 5:45 p.m., 7:15 p.m. and 8:45 p.m.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the whistle will blow at: 9:15 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 1:15 p.m., 2:45 p.m., 4:15 p.m., 5:45 p.m. and 7:15 p.m.

On Friday, the whistle will blow at: 8:50 a.m., 9:55 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 12:05 p.m., 1:10 p.m., 2:45 p.m. and 7:15 p.m.

The changes will go into effect for the Fall 2017 academic term and are reflected in registration.

In late 2015, Tech formed the Classroom and Academic Scheduling Task Force to address logistics issues posed by increasing enrollment and size of campus.

The task force, commissioned by Rafael Bras, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs and Steve Swant, executive vice president for Administration and Finance, recommended five best practices that are intended to improve students’ planning, resource utilization and general scheduling functions between entities across campus.

The task force was composed of members representing all six of Tech’s colleges and attempted a comprehensive analysis of Tech’s current system by using listening sessions and focus groups across campus, recent survey results, benchmark data from other institutions and current space utilization and course-enrollment reports.

Among the five recommendations were policies restructuring the daily classroom-scheduling template to allow for 15-minute breaks in between classes and to decrease conflicts, the creation of “anchor classes” that have priority over other, lower-demand classes, introduction of various measures to oversee and simplify the implementation and a technology audit that will result in recommendations for investments in new technologies relating to class scheduling and analytics.