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No School on Fridays for U. of Akron Students

The University of Akron is adopting a new academic schedule come Fall of 2018, largely ending Friday classes.

The university intends to adjust its academic schedules by either extending Monday and Wednesday classes from their current 50 minutes to 75, or offering a Monday, Wednesday, Thursday option.

University President Matthew Wilson said the change is the result of a three-month review process that began in September, engaging students, faculty, staff, administrators and area high schools through discussions, focus groups and a campus-wide survey.

Ultimately, Wilson said, the change is for students.

“It really enables us to eliminate a lot of conflicts that were precluding students from taking advantage of academic assistance, student success initiatives, hands on practical learning, and getting valuable experience that would be applicable to the workplace,” Wilson said.

The initiative, which the university has titled Five-Star Fridays, will not result in a closure of the university on Fridays, though, or in any anticipated cost savings, Wilson said. Instead, it will allow Akron to schedule student focused activities, give professors a dedicated day for engaging students outside of the classroom and will remain an option for student lab work.

It will not result in additional student work or internship requirements.

Like many Ohio higher education institutions, the University of Akron has struggled with declining student enrollment over the past several years. Overall enrollment in Ohio declined by 8 percent from 2011 to 2016.

Wilson said this is just one more opportunity for the university to set itself apart from other public institutions when recruiting.

“It’s our goal to be distinctive,” Wilson said, “and Five-Star Fridays is distinctive.”

It shows potential students that Akron is focused on student success in the real world, he added.

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