RCCC to offer degree program with Friday-only classes

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 13, 2013

SALISBURY — This spring, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is piloting a non-traditional way for students to achieve their educational goals. Students will be able to earn a degree while attending class only on Fridays.
In as few as 64 Fridays, students can earn an associate in arts, a two-year degree equipped to transfer to any of the four-year state universities.
“Through conversations with students and local employers, we found that employers might not be able or willing to adjust their employees’ schedules to take off multiple days or time periods each week to go to school. However, the idea of adjusting schedules to allow for a single free day is more appealing to employers and employees alike,” Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus, said in a news release.
Most of the classes are set up in a hybrid format which allows students to work independently outside of the classroom on the computer, and optimizes their time on campus. The schedule also provides some offerings exclusively online.
“We believe — as do many of our students, judging from the courses’ popularity — that hybrid options provide the best of both worlds,” said Dr. Rod Townley, vice president of academic programs. “You still get the face-to-face interaction that helps many students fully learn, but students don’t waste unnecessary time on campus doing assignments, lectures or readings simply while sitting next to their peers. Students can adjust their busy schedules to do this work when it is most convenient for them.”
These Friday-only classes are available at both the north and south campuses and online.
“Classes essentially meet every other Friday,” Townley said. “The schedule is designed so that one has a full schedule on Fridays throughout the 16-week semester. One Friday a student will have one set of classes, and the next Friday will offer another set of classes.”
Spring classes begin Jan. 13. Registration is now underway and ongoing through Jan. 8.
While the college will be closed for winter break for construction projects beginning Dec. 20, the Rowan-Cabarrus Navigation Station call center will be open to assist students by phone with admissions, testing, advising, registration and financial aid.
“We are doing our very best to bring education to the students. It’s our ‘meet them where they are philosophy,’” said Spalding. “While it’s not possible for every program, our over-arching goal is to be available and accessible to students.”