MIDWEST CITY, Okla. – With gasoline prices hovering around $3 a gallon, an Oklahoma college is eliminating Friday classes to help reduce commuting costs for its students.
Rose State College currently offers 60 minute classes on Monday, Wednesday and alternating Fridays and 75 minute classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. With the schedule change, Monday and Wednesday classes will switch to the 75 minute format starting in the spring semester.
"It helps out the students and saves them one trip a week here," said Ric Baser, vice president of academic affairs. "We are a commuter campus, so we were really paying attention to that."
About 70 percent of students live outside the Midwest City area, he said.
Baser said having the classrooms available Fridays also will allow faculty to develop a new schedule of courses that meet just one day a week.
"Having classes Monday and Wednesday will also give students the opportunity to receive assistance from their professors on Friday," said engineering and sciences professor Linda Tucker.
Rose State student Amber May of Chickasha estimates she spends about $20 each day she commutes to the Midwest City campus, where she's pursuing a degree in cyber-security.
May said she'll benefit from a plan by Rose State to eliminate most Friday classes starting in the spring semester.
"I think it's great," she said. "There's a lot of studying that I can do Fridays, also."
Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City also offers many daytime classes that meet twice a week and night classes that meet once a week to reduce the number of trips students make to campus.
"We have also made a concerned effort to coordinate the class schedules from different divisions and avoid overlapping class times," said Larry Edwards, vice president of academic affairs at the school.
"This helps ensure students can take as many classes as possible once they actually are on campus," Edwards said.