These policies apply while building course schedules for the coming academic year. For detailed instructions, click the Instructions link.

Objectives

These policies unify course scheduling and staffing to (a) improve collaboration among department/program heads and the Provost and (b) better and more easily achieve the following student-centered objectives.

  • Ensure that OWU offers courses at times that are most accessible to students and that minimize the possibility for scheduling conflicts.
  • Ensure that OWU provides courses of the right type and number to permit all students to make progress toward graduation in four years.

Phases in Course Scheduling

Course scheduling for the coming academic year is divided into the following phases. Exact dates for each phase are in the Instructions for Building a Course Schedule that will be provided at the start of the first phase.

Department-Driven Scheduling December to January
Departments and programs build provisional schedules in the Provisional Schedule Builder (PSB). Close adherence to scheduling policies will minimize the time required to finalize a provisional schedule during feedback-driven scheduling.
Feedback-Driven Scheduling February
Departments and programs revise provisional schedules in the PSB based on feedback from the Provost’s office and the Registrar’s office. Feedback may include information about part-time staffing levels, distribution of sections across the week, use of time slots, adherence to scheduling policies, availability of rooms, and anything else relevant to meeting course schedule objectives.
Approval of Provisional Schedules First Week of March
Departments and programs must have their provisional schedules, as entered in the PSB, approved by the Provost no later than this time period. 
Transfer to PowerCAMPUS Second Week of March
Provisional schedules are locked for changes and imported into PowerCAMPUS. No changes may be made to course schedules during this time period.
Schedules Released in Self-Service Third Week of March
Course schedules are released in Self-Service two weeks before registration begins. Changes to course schedules are made by communicating with the Registrar’s office.
Student Registration Begins Beginning of April
Students can begin to register for the Fall semester. Changes to course schedules are made by communicating with the Registrar’s office.

Building and Publishing a Course Schedule

The following policies will apply while building and publishing a course schedule.

Department-Driven Scheduling
  • Department and program heads will complete provisional course schedules for their areas of responsibility on the timeline and using the procedure provided by the Provost and Registrar.
  • The individuals authorized to change provisional course schedules for a given academic area are the department or program head, the Registrar, and the Provost.
  • Individual faculty seeking to change a provisional course schedule will be referred to their department or program head.
  • A department or program head may, by request to the Provost’s office, authorize her/his academic assistant to change provisional course schedules. The head is responsible for ensuring that the academic assistant follows the course scheduling policies in this document.
  • The policies found in Meeting Days and Times must be followed when adding a course to a provisional course schedule.
  • Provisional course schedules with courses assigned to part-time faculty will serve as requests for those part-time units. No separate part-time request will be necessary.
  • The Registrar may change a provisional course schedule at her/his discretion or at the direction of the Provost to meet scheduling policy objectives or to comply with any course scheduling policy. Such changes will be made only after consultation with the department/program offering the course(s) in question.
Feedback-Driven Scheduling
  • The Provost will review provisional course schedules and work with departments to make changes that better meet scheduling policy objectives while balancing student needs, staffing constraints, and pedagogic or curricular requirements.
  • Staffing decisions will be made dynamically in the context of course schedules throughout the entire scheduling period.
  • Department and program heads may be asked to adjust their level of part-time staffing at any point during the scheduling period.
  • Provisional schedules will be audited and reviewed regularly. Department and program heads may be asked to adjust the times that courses are offered at any point during the scheduling period.
  • The Provost must approve (lock) each provisional course schedule before it can be added to PowerCAMPUS for use in registration.
Transfer to PowerCAMPUS
  • Approved course schedules will be added to PowerCAMPUS exactly as displayed in the Provisional Schedule Builder.
  • The Registrar will make room assignments based on preferences provided by department and program heads and room availability.
  • Department and program heads may make no changes to any course schedule during the time period in which provisional schedules are transferred to PowerCAMPUS.
  • The Registrar may make changes to course schedules at her/his discretion or at the direction of the Provost to correct errors, eliminate scheduling conflicts, meet scheduling policy objectives or to comply with any course scheduling policy. During this phase of the scheduling process, the Registrar is under no obligation to consult with departments or programs before making the changes.
After Transfer to PowerCAMPUS
  • The individuals authorized to change approved course schedules transferred to PowerCAMPUS for a given academic unit are the department or program head, the Registrar, and the Provost.
  • Individual faculty seeking to change an authorized course schedule will be referred to their department or program head.
  • The Registrar may change an approved course schedule at her/his discretion or at the direction of the Provost to meet scheduling policy objectives or to comply with any course scheduling policy. Such changes will be made only after consultation with the department/program offering the course(s) in question.
  • The Registrar may deny any request for change to an approved course schedule from a department or program head if, in her/his opinion, the change conflicts with the scheduling policy objectives or otherwise conflicts with the Provost’s intent when approving the provisional course schedule.

New Courses

The following policies will apply when scheduling new courses, including those intended as new temporary courses or new permanent courses.

Department-Driven and Feedback-Driven Scheduling
  • New courses must be proposed to the Academic Policy Committee (APC).
  • When the Academic Policy Committee receives a proposal for a new course, the lead administrator will determine if the proposed new course should be made available for scheduling in the Provisional Schedule Builder library.
    • If yes, the lead administrator of the APC will ask the Registrar to add the course to the PSB library as a temporary or permanent course that is pending APC and/or Faculty approval (usually with "PEND" added to the end of the proposed course's title).
    • If no, the course will not be added to the PSB library.

  • The Registrar will add a proposed new course to the PSB library only in response to a request from the lead administrator of the APC. Requests from individual faculty or department and program heads will be redirected to the APC.
  • The Registrar, using input from the course proposer and the Academic Policy Committee, will determine the appropriate course number for each new course to be added to the Provisional Schedule Builder library.
  • Each proposed new course intended as a temporary course must be approved by the Academic Policy Committee before its status as a pending course may be removed.
  • Each proposed new course intended as a permanent course (temporary course that has been offered twice) must be approved as a permanent course by the Academic Policy Committee and the Faculty before its status as a pending course may be removed.
Transfer to PowerCAMPUS 
  • Department and program heads may make no changes to any course schedule during the time period in which provisional schedules are transferred to PowerCAMPUS. This includes new courses.
After Transfer to PowerCAMPUS
  • New courses must be proposed to the Academic Policy Committee (APC).
  • New courses approved by APC (temporary and permanent) will be added to an existing PowerCAMPUS schedule as deemed necessary by the department or program, the Registrar, and the Academic Policy Committee.

Meeting Days and Times

The following policies apply when selecting meeting days and times for individual courses. All department and program heads should adhere closely to these policies when building provisional course schedules. These policies help make it easier for students to plan their schedules and makes it easier for the Registrar to find available rooms. A department or program provisional schedule may not be approved until it conforms to these policies.

  • The standard time slots shown in Table 1 and the evening time slots shown in Table 2 should be used whenever possible.
    1. No class should be scheduled between 4:00 PM and 6:30 PM to accommodate athletic team practices and music ensembles.
    2. Unit classes should not be scheduled from noon to 1:00 PM any day of the week because this is reserved for special activities. Fourth hour additions to the standard MWF 50-minute time slots are excepted from this policy.
    3. No class should be scheduled from noon to 1:00 PM on Wednesdays so that faculty have a common meeting time without class conflict. Fourth hour additions to the standard MWF 50-minute time slots are excepted from this policy.
    4. Evening classes must select start and end times in increments of one-sixth of an hour -- i.e., 0, 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50 minutes past an hour.

  • Classes meeting on TR or on MW for more than 50 minutes must stay within the standard time slots in Table 1 but may adjust the times within a time slot. For example, a class may meet 8:30 AM - 9:50 AM on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Start and end times must be selected in increments of one-sixth of an hour.
  • Courses which must meet four times a week on different days should meet in a MWF 50-minute standard time slot shown in Table 1 and one of the fourth hour additions selected from Table 3. This schedule may not be changed once students pre-register.
  • Classes that meet for more than 2 hours once a week (labs, upper-level writing workshops, and seminars) or that have 6 hours of contact time per week (studio art courses) may select meeting times that include all or portions of multiple adjacent standard time slots. These are called derived time slots. Derived time slots must minimize the number of standard time slots utilized. For example, a 170 minute meeting 8:00 AM - 10:50 AM on Monday (three standard time slots) is preferred over a 170 minute meeting 8:30 AM - 11:20 AM on Monday (four standard time slots). Start and end time must be selected in increments of one-sixth of an hour.
  • Multiple sections of the same course should each be scheduled for a different time slot.
  • Full unit 100-level classes should meet at least two days a week.
Standard Time Slots
Table 1: Standard Time Slots
Days Morning (AM) Afternoon (PM)
  Start End Start End
MWF 8:00 8:50 1:10 2:00
  9:00 9:50 2:10 3:00
  10:00 10:50 3:10 4:00
  11:00 11:50    
         
 TR 8:00 9:50  1:10  2:30
   10:00 11:50  2:40  4:00 
         
MW -- -- 2:10 4:00
Evening Time Slots
Table 2: Evening Time Slots
Days Start End
Any combination of days (MTWRF) 6:30 PM or later in 10 minute increments Before midnight in 10 minute increments
Fourth Hour Additions
Table 3: Fourth Hour Additions
Day Morning (AM) Afternoon (PM)
One of Start End Start End
MTWRF     12:10 1:00
MTRF 8:00 8:50    
TR     3:10 4:00

Target Goals for Section Scheduling

The following target goals have been established to help achieve the course scheduling policy objectives. Departments and programs can reduce the time needed for review of their provisional course schedules by working to meet these targets for their areas of responsibility before review by the Provost.  

  • Use All Hours of the Class Day: At least 40% of courses in each department should have a starting time before 10 a.m. or an ending time after 2 p.m.
  • Use Both MWF and TR Class Times: No more than 60% of courses in each department should be scheduled for MWF or for TR.
  • No Classes Between 4:00 PM and 6:30 PM: Each department should offer 0% of their classes between 4:00 PM and 6:30 PM.
  • No Classes at Noon Except Fourth Hours: Each department should offer 0% of their classes between noon and 1:00 PM any day of the week, fourth hour additions excepted.

Staffing

Departments and programs should limit their part-time requests to only those units that are essential for their curricular and enrollment needs. The task of balancing budgetary and curricular needs is complex, and all departments and programs are asked to work toward the optimal ratio between full-time and part-time faculty. In many cases, the units taught by part-time faculty are a critical part of the department’s program. In spite of this fact, it is important to realign our resources since the optimal long-term solution is more full-time rather than part-time units. With this in mind, please continue to adjust your full-time faculty teaching loads to accommodate not only advanced courses but also introductory courses in your department. You should limit the number of part-time units assigned to any one person to 5 or less units or their equivalent per year.