Posted at 2 p.m., Dec. 8 2015

College not meeting minimun in-seat requirements

LCCC has faced several changes this semester

When compared to the federal regulations and requirements for college instruction time, having a finals week was problematic for LCCC.

The federal government requires that students be in-seat for three, 50-minute sessions per week as its definition for weeks of instruction. LCCC didn’t meet the requirements.

This issue was brought up during the spring 2015 semester when the college did a random sampling of courses to see which met the required seat time to meet the amount of credit hours. This led to the discovery that several courses were not meeting the requirements.

Financial aid recipients are required to complete a certain number of seat hours under federal borrowing regulations. After discovering this information, a group evaluated and recommended scheduling regular classes into finals week so courses would consist of 16 weeks of classes instead of 15 weeks and a finals week, which LCCC is scheduled for in the current semester. This was the best solution to meet the required amount of seat time without interfering with other courses, Terry Harper, the vice president of Academic Affairs, said.

However, Harper, who is on the finals week ad hoc committee, said that this semester has seen many changes to LCCC’s academic offerings. Curriculums have been revised, there are new methods and new courses. Also, some courses have become a requirement for every curriculum such as COLS 1000. She said it has intensified the seat-time problem, making it an issue that needs to be addressed for future semesters.

Before the finals week committee, there was a small committee that met in October that included a student representative, instructor representatives, faculty members and others from the campus who looked at the issue and described the positives and negatives to having a finals week. The committee also came to a decision for a recommendation, which was to not continue with finals week moving forward.

Since then, the committee sent out a document that states the positives for both having a finals week and not continuing with finals week as well as a recommendation for feedback.

In a survey of 65 faculty members, 63 percent said they can and will adapt to not having a finals week. The survey was conducted by LCCC library staff.