Eight weeks to success

By Great Falls College MSU News Service

Condensed scheduling at a Montana college will bring consistency for busy students.

Beginning this fall, Great Falls College Montana State University (GFC MSU) will implement eight-week block scheduling throughout general studies courses, with all campus programs converted by fall semester 2019.

Designed using high-quality, high-impact practices, the 8-Week Advantage has a focus on increasing retention, on-time graduation and overall student success.

“Our goal is to help every student who attends Great Falls College MSU define their purpose, create a plan and stay on track to achieve their goals,” said Dr. Susan Wolff, CEO and Dean.

This model is not new to GFC MSU. Over the last two years, the program served as a pilot initiative on campus before being brought to scale.

The 8-Week Advantage gives students the opportunity to focus on two to three courses in each 8-week section, which will lead to earning more credits and faster completion, saving students both time and money.

Through more condensed scheduling, students will build stronger connections with their faculty and classmates, engage in more hands-on experiences in class and in the community, as well as have access to more research opportunities.

The 8-Week Advantage creates fixed, more predictable course scheduling, which brings consistency for students with jobs and families, and allows students to become fully immersed in the content of their classes. The program also for dual enrollment students who are involved in sports and other extra-curricular activities.

“At the beginning and end of every day, it comes down to student success,” Wolff said. “The 8-Week Advantage aligns with our students’ lives and our communities’ expectations.”

Has your institution experimented with different scheduling? Is so, sound off at LinkedIn.

Great Falls College MSU News Service

Lewis Card is executive director, development of communications and marketing.