Monday, June 10, 2013

How to Schedule Your Classes for a Successful Semester

By Sonja DuPont
Have you ever scheduled your classes for a semester and later thought “what was I thinking?” Is this your first semester and are you scratching your head, wondering “which of these classes should I sign up for?” Scheduling your classes might sound like a simple thing, but in order to have optimal results at the end of your semester with both your grades and your attitude there are questions you must ask yourself, and decisions to be made.  Here are a few steps with some advice you can take that will help you achieve a successful semester.
  1. Meet with your program advisor: If this is your first semester it is wise to meet with your program advisor; they can help you get started and set you up with the right class schedule.  They can also give you advice on which classes are best to take together and which are best to take online, etc.
  2. Find out what classes are required and what classes you have left to take:  Use a computer to go to  The website has all the academic programs listed and which classes are required.  They also have a suggested list of which classes to take for each semester.  When you are done doing that, log onto TTC Express: once you are logged in, look to the left side and click on the Academic Profile, once there click onto Program Evaluation.  It will show you the classes left that you need to complete your program.  Once you have the list of classes that are required for your program of study and what classes are remaining, proceed on.
  3. Realize not all semesters are created equal:  Summer semesters are shorter and that means more information squeezed in within a shorter time frame.  Expect to spend several more hours per week per class doing homework than either winter or spring semesters.  Class times are generally longer during the summer semester. 
Ask yourself the following questions:      
  • Have you just started your program or are you close to the end? 
    You have more flexibility at the beginning of your program than you do at the end.  If you look at your program there may be some classes that have a lot of offerings (such as Eng 101 and Eng 102) and some classes that have only one class offered per semester.  An idea is to save the class with the most offerings for a time when you need the flexibility it would bring to your scheduling.  An example would be if a class that you had signed up for had only one offering for the semester and is cancelled, you should be able to substitute it with the class with the multi offerings.
  • Do you have a specific time of the day or days of the week that work best for you to take class? These questions are subjective to what works best for you; you may only be able to take class at night or only have the patience to go twice a week.  It is all an individual choice but try to choose the timeframe or class format that works best with your lifestyle.
  • How much time are you willing to spend studying per week?  The average class has about 8 to 10 hours of homework; this is on top of the actual classroom time.  Online classes can add even more time due to required readings, power points, etc.  If you do not have time to put in the work required, think about scheduling yourself for less classes.  Remember; overloading yourself is not going to give you optimal results.

Now What? Once you have finished these steps and answered the questions, you are ready to begin scheduling yourself a semester that will leave you with optimal grades and an optimal attitude.



Post a Comment