Author: BHSU Communications/Tuesday, January 16, 2018/Categories: Students, Academic Affairs, College of Business and Natural Sciences, College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, College of Liberal Arts, Faculty, Staff, 2018
Biology and speech students at Black Hills State University–Rapid City started the spring 2018 semester with the distinction of being the first to participate in an innovative course option, the new 18-day block schedule.
The two courses are the first of seven block schedule courses that will be offered this semester at BHSU-RC. The biology class meets for a morning session, and speech is being held in the afternoon. The BHSU-RC block classes are designed to meet 18 consecutive business days, excluding holidays, for three hours each day. The courses are designed to be fast-paced, collaborative, and project oriented allowing students to fully immerse themselves in one course, without having to maintain multiple courses for an entire semester.
Biology instructor Liz Fayer noted that the students were eager to get started and made great progress the first week. Dr. Rachelle Greer, instructor of speech communication, noted that the first sessions of the speech classes went well with students responding favorably to the accelerated class schedule. 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.
Block scheduling has proven highly successful at universities in other states. Data from one four-year public institution, which operates exclusively using the 18-day block schedule, shows an impressively high rate of 96-percent completion for freshmen students. This option is also helpful for active-duty military on shift rotations as they could complete two or three courses prior to deployment. Students can still register in the forthcoming block schedule courses:
· Intro to Sociology (Feb. 5 - Mar. 1 from 9-11:50 a.m.)
· College Algebra (Feb. 5 - Mar. 1 from 1-3:50 p.m.)
· Composition I (March 12 - April 5 from 1-3:50 p.m.)
· Composition II (April 9 - May 2 from 1-3:50 p.m.)
· General Psychology (April 9 - May 2 from 9-11:50 a.m.)
Additional block classes are being added for the fall 2018 semester.
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.
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