The administration of Mesa Community College has pledged a commitment to restructuring and hopefully improving upon, the way the college operates in order to help students navigate successfully through their degree program and graduate. Offering more core classes like mathematics as late-start, accelerated sections would do a lot to assist those who may be unable or unsure prior to the initial start of a semester what their schedule will be like.
This same principle could be applied to the times of day and week that one meets; prospective pupils provided with more options for the courses they need can better prepare their plans in the long term. I have known many people who have told me about needing that one class, to graduate or as a prerequisite for an advanced class and having to essentially waste an entire semester because all the core classes they need to take meet in the morning.
Financing one’s education also should not be ignored as a fundamental part of the equation. For students trying to make ends meet, community college is an affordable alternative to universities with skyrocketing tuition costs. Trying to balance a budget in these conditions means making choices between necessities, and there are times when available funds in one month differ greatly from the next.
Late start classes can be enrolled in up to the day class starts, and spreading out the overall cost of a semester by enrolling in classes with different start dates can ease the burden. Given that late start classes seem to function as supplemental, for students that need to add a random extra class for whatever reason, such classes should have more purpose.
Understandably, some degree programs are not as popular as others, but some form of compromise could surely be made in these cases. There are some measures in place that students can try if special circumstances require it; one can request that a class be substituted for something similar, among other possibilities. If it is feasible to do so, accommodating for extenuating conditions that impede one’s progress should be a priority of an institution that seeks to improve graduation rates.
This can easily be done by providing for those that are unable to attend every class they need when they otherwise could if only given the chance. Evening classes are an example of this already in practice, though the number of offerings tend to be limited in scope and number. Online classes are another option, and one that I wish was available for at least the instructional portion of science courses.
I have written previously of my desire for a move to expand the online presence of MCC, and I think that having late start classes online is the ideal approach. One can work on required material on their own time throughout the week, as long as due dates aren’t too numerous. However it is done, providing late start classes that matter would render positive results.