College Hour is an effective way to increase extracurricular activities and involve students in campus life. It also creates a window professors are available for meetings and to run clubs.
College Hour is an hour of school where there are almost no classes scheduled on campus taught between the morning and afternoon blocks. For example, there will be no classes between 12:35 p.m. and 1:35 p.m.
This creates a time where all students are free and available to join a club that matches their interest. It is also convenient for the mass of students who take morning classes and are already on campus when their last class ends at 12:35, as well as those who attend in the afternoon. Students achieved much higher rates of retention and graduation, maintained better GPA’s and had higher good standing rates when participating in extracurricular activities, especially at a leadership level, according to a study from California State University Sacramento.
The study followed freshman students from 2002 to 2007, and said this is especially true for students who do not live on campus and commute to school, which makes up a large demographic of Pierce College. Commuters who participated in at least one extracurricular activity graduated within 6 years 74 percent of the time, opposed to only 34 percent for those who did not.
Clubs meeting during college hour will make it far more likely to fit into the schedule of students and more convenient to participate if they are already on campus.
Other activities such as lectures, panel discussions and movie screenings in The Great Hall can also be organized during this time to engage students.
Once this hour is available we can use our creativity to have regular events every day that will captivate students and make them want to stay on campus and participate in student life.
We can hold a weekly outdoor open mic on the stage. Whether playing guitar, singing, reciting poetry or a collaboration, students can relax in the grass and socialize with each other while watching live entertainment.
Students can also use this time to unite and work on group projects, or for study sessions.
After implemented, more students will become more immersed in their education. When students befriend each other and become more active on campus they are more likely to continue coming to class and maintain good grades, according to the California State University Sacramento study.
College Hour is a terrific way to improve retention, and create a college atmosphere on campus that everybody wants to be a part of. Pierce College should look to implement this idea and make it a reality.