Opt-Out Schedule

August 16, 2019

New Opt-Out Schedule Holds Promise of Better Outcomes Cosumnes River College's Winn Center.

High schools across the country provide preassigned class schedules to their students that often match those students’ career and education interests.

Administrators at Cosumnes River College, a community college located in Sacramento, want to continue that practice for its first-time, full-time students. This fall, Cosumnes plans to create and give each student a 15-credit course schedule based on their major. As a result, instead of students registering and scheduling courses on their own, the college is doing it for them.

“College isn’t something that you should figure out on your own,” said Ed Bush, president of Cosumnes River. “We’re just matching the experience they’re accustomed to at the high school level and providing them with the first courses they need, not just in English and math, but based on their academic interests.”

Community colleges typically ask students to plan their courses each semester. If problems arise, students can add or drop classes by a specific date. CRC flips that tradition with premade schedules. If students have a conflict or a problem with the courses that were selected for them, they now must opt out of those courses.

“Many students who desire to be full-time have great difficulty in being full-time, and some students that are full-time were put in a class that didn’t match their educational goal, but they wanted to be full-time,” Bush said.

The college expects that under this new scheduling system, students will not only complete college quicker because they are taking 15 credits a semester, but also won't end up with an excessive amount of credits that aren’t relevant to their degree programs or don’t eventually transfer to a four-year institution. Nationwide, community college students on average take 22 more credits than are needed for an associate degree, according to a 2017 report from Complete College America.

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