NPC Launches Pilot Program For Short-Term Course Scheduling

The National Park College (NPC) Board of Trustees received a report on a new pilot course scheduling program this week. The information was presented Wednesday during the regular monthly Board meeting.

Dr. Chuck Argo announced the College will launch the pilot program in the fall semester of 2024. The pilot program will allow students to complete nine credit hours in a two-hour block four days per week, while taking classes one at a time. Argo said he believes this will help student passage rates and retention.

“In a two hour block, we will have several options for class times that can increase the number of hours a student can complete with more efficiency than the current model,” Argo noted.

Argo shared that the team expects students to benefit from the flexibility in course scheduling in a number of ways, such as completing remediation on-time, a more manageable course load, and helping students juggle work, family and academic obligations. The newly designed schedule adds flexibility for part-time students and allows students to remain eligible for financial aid with late-start classes.

Argo shared that research for short-duration classes has shown consistent improvement in student success, retention, and completion rates across every student demographic. He also added that the College could see a recruiting advantage, as well as the opportunity to save classroom space. The program will run 36 classes in only four classrooms.

Argo added that the program is just a pilot and that the viability of it would be determined after evaluating how student success is impacted.

NPC President, Dr. John Hogan said, “I am proud of Dr. Argo and his team for doing the research and work to restructure our academic schedule to meet the needs of our student body. Innovative ideas, like this one, help further improve the odds for students to succeed. I look forward to seeing the results from the pilot study.”