Two sides to once per week classes

Jessica GuerrucciReporter and Jacob WaringOpinions & Features Editor

Worth taking, beneficial to time management

Guerrucci: In the past if you would have asked me to sit in for two and a half, I would have laughed in your face – until I found myself in that exact situation, and I might do it all over again.

Most people would say they would never take a class once a week because they have the attention span of a goldfish and focusing for just 20 minutes seems like an impossible task for the average college student. Time flew by when I took my first once a week class.

Time goes by even quicker when it is a subject you can appreciate and engage in. As a journalism major, my first once a week class was public relations, and I will admit that at first I dreaded it, but once I started actively participating, it ended up being one of my favorite classes.

Contrary to what many students think, once a week and sometimes hybrid classes are a great way to save time. In some cases, it means fewer trips students to make to campus, which is a beneficial commute. It also makes it much easier to fit more classes into schedule and I had more room to create a schedule that worked for me.

A great thing about hybrid classes, is that you can do the online work for the most part on your own time. Especially if you are a busy person like myself. It is less stressful knowing you that I can get to the work when it is more convenient instead of having to complete an assignment on the same day that I have tests and a million other assignments due.

Typically, when a class meets only once a week, it can be expected that there will be more homework, but that also means you have a week to do it. I often found that if I completed within a day or two after it was assigned, I did not have to worry about that class for the rest of the week, and you could use the time to focus on classes. Many people will put it off to the last minute, but it is only stressful if you make it stressful.

Of course, during the winter some students may be concerned that due to snow days they will fall behind, but I never found myself struggling to keep up. A good professor is prepared for and will likely adjust the schedule to accommodate snow days. Also, the great thing about hybrid classes is that they are already half online, so students can just log onto Blackboard and do their work from there.

I have a hybrid class this semester and even if there were weeks that we did not meet due to weather conditions there was an understanding amongst the class of what needed to be completed. If there is not, the professor will typically send out an email letting students know what is going on, so there is no need to worry about missing work or getting lost.

Once a week classes may not be for everyone, but I would not count them out when making a schedule. They might be a little bit long and sometimes you might want to fall asleep, but what could be better than only having to go to class once a week?


Not worth it, hassle for commuters

Waring: I am not a fan of courses that only meet once a week. These nearly three-hour long classes seem like a good idea in practice. It is conceptionally an unrealistic concept in my own eyes.

Regardless the reason, a cancellation of a class that occurs only once a week can be catastrophic for any student.

I am taking a class this semester that occurs just once a week. Already I had two classes canceled due to snowstorms. Some of the course content had to be cut or rushed through which seems like a waste of my tuition money.

Yes, snowstorms are a common occurrence during the winter season. Nor’easters have pounded the state from November and March. Thus, there is plenty of time for mother nature to wreak havoc, which forced class cancellations.

I recall one year where every week classes were canceled on Mondays nearly for six to eight weeks in a row where it felt like it was a weekly headache. Thankfully, I was not taking a class that only took place once a week during that period. As those who did, had their education suffered.

Classes designed for to meet twice a week were scrambling to make up for lost time, and professors had to adjust accordingly. My acquaintances who had taken courses that only took place once a week had complained how they felt like they were not either getting their money’s worth or the education they deserved. It was a mess that year.

Putting aside weather, I also believe nearly three-hour class sessions is not efficient to really educate students. Yes, students have ample time to get assignments done, but a week will go by without reinforcement of material or a review from the previous class. This become painfully obvious when class gets canceled.

For classes that meet more often typically, I am sure there are exceptions and one can spread out the work more. If you are only meeting with the class once a week, then the assignments will either be longer, more time consuming or both. Perhaps, this is not a problem if it is the only course you are taking or you are a part time student. A full-time student who also works could potentially struggle with that.

I understand not wanting to take a class that is longer and only occurs once every week. Students who work full-time and have a family to care for would absolutely take any opportunity to take a class of that style.

Yet at the end of the day, these classes cause more issues than solve. Plus, life gets in the way at times and you may need to miss a class. You will feel the impact when it is not twice a week, where playing catch-up is easier to do.

Just because something is convenient does not mean that it is good. If you are a student parent then you will likely miss classes because it is either your child or the class. Your kid will win out every time. Work calls you in and your existence is determined by every paycheck then work will likely win out. Life will find a way which will lead you navigating the obstacle course that is playing catch-up.

Ultimately, it comes down to one’s personally preference but I that like if colleges were to do away with those kinds of classes then everyone may be better off. With past classes, I think I would be.


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