A large portion of the student population at Rend Lake College is made up of non-traditional students working full-time, which often can prove to be a demanding experience. Through a new program kicking off this spring at RLC, students can earn an Associate in Arts Degree in two years by attending classes on Fridays only.
The Focused Friday program starts Spring Semester 2007 and will take six semesters to complete. The credits earned are fully transferable to a four-year university as part of the Illinois Articulation Initiative General Education Core Curriculum.
According to Vice President of Instruction Jim Hull, the schedule will be made up of both face-to-face classes and on-line classes. The program is run in a cohort format, which means students in this program will, for the most part, take all of their classes together. Students can meet new people in similar situations and help each other with coursework through the duration of the program.
“Generally, students will be going to class together, and those relationships will help foster success,” Hull said. These relationships will prove to be beneficial in the on-line courses as well.
Hull said there were two major factors which led to the creation of the Focused Friday program, the first being convenience. Many people who work full-time will be able to arrange to be off one day per week, perhaps by compensating with weekend shifts. The second was a response to economic factors. For instance, it becomes easier for a student to afford fuel to drive to college if he or she only needs to be on campus one day each week.
Hull said another starting group of classes will be offered next fall and likely each fall afterward.
The tentative schedule for the first offering of the program is:
First Semester (Spring 2007) – ENGL 1101 – Rhetoric and Composition I, HEA 1101 – Health Education, MUSI 1100 – Music Appreciation, ORIE 1101 – Orientation, SOCI 2101 – Social Problems.
Second Semester (Summer 2007) – ART 1101 – Art Appreciation; ENGL 1101 – Rhetoric and Composition II; PSYC 2101 – Intro to Psychology.
Third Semester (Fall 2007) – ANTH 1101 – Cultural Anthropology (TVN); MATH 1107 – Contemporary College Math; POLI 2101 – American Government; PSYC 2102 – Child Psychology.
Fourth Semester (Spring 2008) – BIO 1100 – College Biology for Non-Majors (N); ENGL 2102 – Intro to Literature; HEA 1102 – Basic First Aid; MUSI 1110 – Intro to American Music.
Fifth Semester (Summer 2008) – HEA 1103 – Intro to Nutrition (N); PYED 1160 – Aerobic Super-Circuit Fitness Center or PYED 1180 – Aquatic Aerobic Fitness I; SPCH 1101 – Principles of Effective Speaking.
Sixth Semester (Fall 2008) – HIST 2102 – American History II; HUMT 1105 – Humanities Through the Arts; PHSC 1102 – Principles of Earth Science (N); SPCH 1104 – Interpersonal Communication.
Classes designated with an “N” are Internet courses. Cultural Anthropology is a television course with on-line elements.