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BHSU-Rapid City to offer block scheduling option in spring 2018; students complete class in 18 day blocks

Author: BHSU Communications/Thursday, November 9, 2017/Categories: Academic Affairs, Campus Currents

Next semester, Black Hills State University – Rapid City will offer seven courses in an innovative 18-day block schedule to provide a course option to meet the needs of students.

BHSU-RC is known for offering flexible daytime and evening classes for its diverse student population; this block schedule extends that flexibility. BHSU is the first South Dakota university to offer this type of block scheduling.

BHSU-RC will offer seven block classes this spring semester, each class running for 18 consecutive business days, excluding holidays. The classes will be from either 

9 a.m. -12 p.m. or 1-4 p.m. each day for the entire block.

The block schedule creates an opportunity for students to focus on one course at a time, then take a four day break before beginning the next course. By taking four of these “blocks” per semester, students can earn the same number of credits they would earn under the traditional semester-long schedule.

The courses are designed to be fast-paced, collaborative, and project oriented. She explains that this new scheduling option allows students to fully immerse themselves in one course, without having to maintain multiple courses for an entire semester.

  “As a commuter campus we realize many students are juggling school, jobs, family life, and other commitments. We also realize more employers are encouraging employees to increase their education,” Francey McOwen-Standart, sociology instructor at BHSU-RC, explains. “The block schedule adds a flexible, convenient, and time sensitive component which will enable more students to obtain the higher education they desire. Another advantage for both students and employers is the way the block schedule is set up. In a traditional schedule, a student will typically have a different schedule each semester—different days and times.  With the block schedule, students know that their classes will be offered at the same time each day of the course.”

Block scheduling has proven highly successful at universities in other states. Data from one 4-year public institution which operates exclusively using the 18-day block schedule shows an impressively high rate of 96-percent completion rate for freshman students.

This option is also helpful for active-duty military on shift rotations, as they could complete 2-3 courses prior to deployment. A scholarship is available for students taking the new block course and will provide $100 per block course for up to $400 per semester.

These block courses for spring 2018 are currently open for registration at BHSU-RC:

·         Biology Survey (Jan. 8- Feb. 1 at 8:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m.)

·         Fundamentals of Speech (Jan. 8- Feb. 1 at 1:00-3:50 p.m.)

·         Intro to Sociology (Feb. 5- Mar. 1 at 9:00-11:50 a.m.)

·         College Algebra (Feb. 5- Mar. 1 at 1:00-3:50 p.m.)

·         Composition I (Mar. 12- April 5 at 1:00-3:50 p.m.)

·         Composition II (April 9- May 2 at 1:00-3:50 p.m.)

·         General Psychology (April 9- May 2 at 9:00-11:50 a.m.)

Additional block classes will be available in the fall of 2018.

BHSU-RC already offers block schedule courses in the summer with four or eight week options. The University will continue offering daytime and evening classes in the traditional semester-long format, along with the new block schedule option.

To sign up, contact Jake Hamik, admissions coordinator at BHSU-Rapid City, by calling (605)718-4194 or emailing


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