Universities offering fewer Friday courses

Amanda Garrett

Friday usually means a few more empty desks in associate professor Deborah Smith’s 9:55 a.m. Introduction to Formal Logic class.

“Monday and Wednesday classes are about the same, but there is a definite drop-off on Friday,” she said.

And the vacant seats in Smith’s Friday class are indicative of a national trend.

Many colleges and universities are offering fewer classes on Friday, according to research done by The New York Times.

Indiana University offers 40 percent fewer classes on Friday, while the Arizona State University and the University of California, Irvine offer 50 percent fewer classes on Friday.

One of the reasons for the decline in Friday classes may be increasing outside activities by students, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

In 1970, about 36 percent of full-time college students were employed compared to 46 percent in 2003.

David Priestley, freshman industrial technology major, said his one class on Friday interferes with his free time.

“I work on the weekends, ” he said. “So, I would like to have at least one day to myself.”

Laurie Petric, middle childhood education major, has four classes on Friday and said she doesn’t mind end-of-the-week courses.

“I stay on campus most of the time,” she said. “Friday is just another day for me.”

Smith said she tries to increase Friday attendance by taking attendance and giving quizzes and tests on Friday.

“If someone misses more than six classes they automatically fail,” she said. “Even doing that doesn’t always work.”

However, not all the departments at Kent State have noticed decreasing attendance in Friday classes.

Mathematics professor Frank Smith, who has taught at Kent State since 1969, said attendance in his classes hasn’t decreased through the years.

“I haven’t noticed any change,” he said. “I don’t take attendance, but I look around the room, and I notice who’s there and who’s not, and I don’t see a change no matter what day of the week it is.”

There is a need for Friday classes because not all courses can fit into a four-day time frame, Deborah Smith said.

“I have to attend departmental meetings on Friday, so I might as well teach while I’m here,” she said.

Contact academic affairs reporter Amanda Garrett at [email protected].