Community College Students to Burn the Midnight Oil

School will soon offer midnight credits

By Pat Lawson Muse
|  Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010  |  Updated 4:11 PM EDT
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Community College Students to Burn the Midnight Oil

Most college students know all about sleepless nights spent writing term papers and cramming for finals, but what about 2 a.m. lectures?

Since many students are already up, administrators at Anne Arundel Community College figure they might as well help students make the most of that midnight oil. Beginning this fall, the school will start offering midnight classes.

Students will be able to take a psychology class from midnight to 3 a.m. on Thursdays. It’s being dubbed “Midnight Madness,” and it’s the college’s strategy for dealing with surging enrollment, according to a report published in the Baltimore Sun.

In fact, it’s a strategy being tried at two-year schools all over the country this year in an effort to keep pace with a 17 percent jump in enrollment, according to Norma Kent, spokeswoman for the American Association of Community Colleges.

“It really fits into the notion of access, which is what we do,” Kent said. “We’re known for being agile in our attempts to meet demand, and this is just an extreme example."

The overnight class at Anne Arundel was the brainchild of Matt Yeazel, who heads the psychology department. He said introductory courses have been overflowing in recent semesters, so he settled on the new time slot as a way to reach more students.

Paul Vinette, who will be teaching the class, called it a bold and innovative move for a "brick-and-mortar institution," the Sun reported. “We’re trying to be as innovative as possible,” said Vinette.

The first two-year college to offer courses in the wee hours was Bunker Hill Community College in Boston, which started them last year. Since then, schools in Indiana, Missouri and Oregon have followed suit.

“We’re basically casting a wider net,” said Yeazel.

Apparently the fishing’s pretty good at midnight.

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