UNC Charlotte Academic Procedure: Class Scheduling Guidelines and Classroom Utilization

I. Executive Summary

This policy defines the scheduling and classroom utilization guidelines for courses taught on the main campus of UNC Charlotte. The goal is to ensure the effective use of instructional space and, through the effective distribution of classes throughout the day and week, ensure a lively campus culture.

II. Procedure Statement

Instructional Requirements

All classes must meet system-wide standards by scheduling over the semester 750 minutes of instruction per credit hour.

Course Distribution

  1. A minimum of 40% of classes must be scheduled during non-prime time: defined as classes starting before 9:05 a.m. and late afternoon classes with start times at or after 2:30 p.m.

Guidelines for Scheduling Classes

  1. The use of all instructional space, defined as general instructional space (classrooms that could be used for instruction by any unit) and specialized space (such as labs and studios), must be scheduled according to the UNC Charlotte Standard class scheduling guidelines and must follow the course distribution parameters described above.
  2. Academic Departments and Programs must make efficient use of all general instructional space and are encouraged to match maximum class enrollments to the enrollment capacity of the room in which a class is scheduled.
  3. Standard period start times are to be used. Requests to schedule courses at other than standard times will be processed on a “space available” basis, AFTER conforming courses have been scheduled. Avoid 3-hour classes in prime time. If you have to offer such classes, then balance room use to avoid inefficient use of rooms (e.g., scheduling a three hour class in the same block on MWF or TR).
  4. Blended/hybrid classes must be matched by another class on corresponding days (MWF or TR) where possible to maximize efficient use of rooms.
  5. Units that have priority for classrooms must use the 8 a.m. slot and try to have 90% seat capacity utilization. For rooms that have a capacity of 80 or more, the Office of the Registrar will monitor and enforce the seat capacity utilization rule.
  6. Rooms with a capacity of 25 or more for which the department has priority should also aim for 90% seat capacity utilization. Associate Deans can waive this requirement in special cases.
  7. Graduate classes can take into account special needs and location (such as Center City).

Guidelines on Scheduling Recitation or Other Course Activities beyond the Minimum Credit Hour Standard

Scheduling beyond the minimum credit hour standard may be a useful pedagogical tool, in cases where evidence has shown additional time spent in structured student-centered learning to impact student performance (e.g. small group problem sessions or adaptive learning activities), but attention should be paid to the impact on student schedules and classroom usage. For this reason:

  1. Scheduling beyond the minimum credit hour is an exception that must be approved by the Associate Dean
  2. Normally, scheduling beyond the minimum credit hour is only allowed for multi-section courses
  3. Attention should be paid to classroom pairing such that in compliance with classroom scheduling guidelines
  4. Approved exceptions should be made for all sections of a course (other than fully online sections)

Exceptions and Evaluation

  1. Associate Deans are charged with the responsibility of monitoring course scheduling and exceptions to the minimum credit hour standard within their respective colleges.
  2. Academic Departments and Programs may not deviate from these scheduling parameters without approval of the Associate Dean of the College and the Office of the Registrar.
  3. Academic Departments and Programs that fail to abide by this policy as administered by the Associate Dean will results in a review of their priority room assignment.
  4. Academic Affairs will conduct periodic reviews to ensure compliance.

III. Definitions

  • Prime time – Classes that have start times of 9:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 2:00 p.m.
  • Non-prime time – Early morning classes with a start time of 8:00 a.m. and afternoon classes with start times at or after 3:30 p.m.
  • College – An academic unit of the University. Each of the seven discipline-based colleges at UNC Charlotte represents an organization of related departments.
  • Credit hours – Credit hours, also known as semester hours, are the number of hours the course is allocated. The majority of undergraduate courses have three (3) credit hours, while labs and other courses may have one, two, four, or more credit hours. Attempted, passed, and earned credit hours are reported on transcripts.
  • Semester or Term – A period of study, usually a third of the academic year (i.e., Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters). Fall and Spring semesters generally include a period of study of one 15-week and two 7-week half terms. The Summer semester generally includes one eleven-week and two five-week half terms. UNC Charlotte offers courses for the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters, as well as varying term lengths associated with each semester.  For the definition of each term refer to the Office of the Registrar.

IV. Policy/Procedure Contact(s)

V. History

  • Approved: January 1993
  • Revised: November 17, 2005
  • Revised: June 4, 2012
  • Revised: March 1, 2018
  • Revised: September 27, 2018 [added “Guidelines on Scheduling Recitation or Other Course Activities beyond the Minimum Credit Hour Standard” section]

VI. Related Policies, Procedures, and Resources

VII. Frequently Asked Questions

There are no Frequently Asked Questions for this procedure.