Communication Department Considering Four Day Week

By John Stran and Jambar Contributor Tyler McVicker

The Communication Department at Youngstown State University stated the possibility of decreasing classes from five days to four days a week in an email sent out on Aug.

The email said, “The Department of Communication is considering changing our class schedule to a four day week, where classes would be offered on either Monday-Wednesday or Tuesday-Thursday.”

Adam Earnheardt, chair of the department of communication, said students in the communication department have expressed a desire to streamline their schedules, making for a longer weekend.  

Earnheardt said this change was brought on by efficiency alone, and the initial idea came from a report sent to him last year.

When asked about any financial benefit to this change, Earnheardt said, “I think part of the idea behind it is this push for YSU to be more efficient. The idea is there. We would actually create, in essence, more efficiency for students, but you’d actually be able to take a four-day-a-week schedule, and use those other three days to do other things.”

James Potts, a senior telecommunications student, said he likes the idea of a four-day week and would use the extra day to catch up on homework or pick up extra hours at work.

When asked if a possible reduction in days of class offered would lower tuition costs Earnheardt said, “I wish.”

The change wouldn’t affect tuition costs or professors pay.  

“I’m already on a shorter schedule” said Gabe Cofield, a sophomore English student. “If my department did this, I would be happy with the decision. If this decision was made due to money, however, I would think making the buildings more energy efficient would be the better option.”

Cofield is not the only student at YSU on a shortened schedule. Earnheardt compared the communication department’s idea to ones that are already implemented within different programs in the Williamson College of Business Administration.

“They’ve had this four-day structure in place for years, and it’s worked quite well for their students and faculty,” Earnheardt said.

The department’s decision to possibly reduce offered classes comes at the same time many other measures are being taken by the university, such as air conditioning curtailment and year-to-year tuition increases. Nonetheless, the communication department feels that this change is only being made to help students.

“To be honest, I think what we are looking at are all of the potential options of that four-day week. So, the models that we’ve seen at other universities are, that you would have a three-day traditional course schedule, where the time slots would mirror each other,” said Earnheardt.

This change will alter the class scheduling process due to the staggering of classes. According to Earnheardt, these classes, regardless of days offered, will be following the standard Tuesday-Thursday times.

This means instead of the usual fifty minutes per classes offered on Mondays, the classes will always be an hour and fifteen minutes in duration.

“Nothing has been decided. It’s all up in the air and at this point, everything is just an idea,” Earnheardt said. “It may not apply to every program and every course in our department.”