In the fall 2020 semester, it was brought to the college’s attention that it was short of a 60-hour class time requirement.
“The person that was reorganizing the calendar and counting credit hours realized that, previously, we weren’t in very good compliance,” Mel Adams, the chair of the academic standards committee for KSC senate, said. The academic standards committee is charged with changes to the academic calendar, and they’ve been working for the past two years to find a solution to this deficit.
“When we look at especially the Monday and Monday, Wednesday, Friday classes, they lose class meetings because of concurrent holidays,” she said. Adams cited Civil Rights Day and Labor Day as examples.
Because of these missed class meeting hours, at the end of the semester classes fall short of 60 hours.
“We’re falling short by four to six and sometimes eight hours, so that’s too much to be short by,” Adams said.
Adams said she doesn’t think Keene State would lose accreditation if they don’t immediately change this, but that the accrediting institution would make them change sooner or later. “We heard loud and clear from students that reinstating Friday classes in any way was not gonna be something that they’d be happy with, so I would say [the] student voice was definitely heard on this.” Adams explained.
Adams said the college would have to do something with Reading Day — the Monday of finals week where students don’t traditionally have classes.
Finals week is a key area the committee is looking at. “One option is to redesign how we look at our finals week, and actually give more flexibility to faculty members to run finals differently,” Adams said, noting that currently there are examples of classes that have a final project instead of an exam. Allowing faculty more freedom with the last week of the semester could increase contact hours, according to Adams.
One way or another, the hour deficit has to be accounted for, but these changes are not immediate. “One is implementation; this feeling like this was gonna happen right away, like this semester. Things are slow moving and they aren’t going to happen that fast,” she said. Adams also noted that the only classes that the committee is looking at lengthening are classes scheduled on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Nathan Hope can be contacted