Madison, Florida- July 10, 2012
Are you seeing the impact of gas prices on student enrollment in tra-ditional classes, particularly for commuter students? If so, North Florida Community College (NFCC) may have an idea for you: Eco-Days.
In Fall 2012, NFCC students will have the option of maintaining a full schedule of classes while only traveling to campus one day a week. Using a blend of face-to-face instruction (on Tuesdays or Fridays) and online instruction, students can save time and money while still getting the benefit of face-to-face instruction.
Dr. Sharon Erle, Dean of Academic Affairs/Chief Academic Officer, explains how Eco-Days evolved from 2007 to the present: “We noticed declining en-rollments in Friday classes and wanted to do some-thing to encourage stu-dents to utilize our campus on Fridays. In fall 2007, we started of-fering incentives, including scholarships, for students to enroll in its “TGIF” Friday classes. The 525% increase in course enrollment on Fridays from fall 2007 to spring 2012 is due, in part, to TGIF.”
Since 2007, NFCC administrators and faculty have been working collaboratively to develop course options that will allow for flexibility in scheduling while maintaining academic integrity. A survey showed that NFCC students want the opportunity to interact with professors in traditional classroom settings. Many students indi-cated they were not interested in taking 100% online courses. Addi-tionally, students wanted flexibility in course scheduling to accom-modate for work, travel time, child care, and other responsibilities outside of school.
To address the needs of the students, NFCC came up with Eco-Days as a way to blend learn-ing methods. NFCC faculty were involved in the dialogue and given training on hybrid in-struction and how to use the technologies. Dr. Erle presented Eco-Days at a Board of Trus-tees meeting and received favorable support. Starting in fall 2012, students will be able to take advantage of the new scheduling.
“Our goal is to give students the best of both worlds. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to teaching, but Eco-Days is a step toward accommodating our students and giving them the best educational opportunities possible,” said Dr. Erle.
For more information, please contact:
Dr. Sharon Erle
Dean of Academic Affairs/Chief Academic Officer
North Florida Community College