The college experience is rapidly changing, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 global pandemic. College students are demanding more flexibility, and demographics are changing as well. However, with that flexibility, does that mean that you’ll soon have college classes on the weekends?
While some college students have weekend classes, not every college allows weekend classes. Traditional college programs hold classes throughout the week, which leaves weekends free for students to study. However, some colleges hold weekend classes for those with odd work schedules.
If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about taking classes on the weekends, or if you don’t have a schedule that allows you to take classes during the week, keep reading.
Do You Have Classes on Weekends in College?
Most colleges do not hold classes on weekends. A traditional college program runs Monday through Friday, and weekend classes aren’t typically available. There are circumstances where students may schedule a make-up class occasionally, but this is very rare.
When you register for your classes, you will have the days and times of the class listed. You must attend class each scheduled day, so make sure that you plan ahead of time. College professors assume that you will manage your time, so they will not take any additional steps if you miss a lot of class.
The weekends in college are supposed to be for studying, as well as making the social connections that you’ll carry around for a lifetime. Don’t let yourself lose track of your homework assignments.
The professor will not accept your excuses as a reason you can’t turn in your work on time.
Can You Attend College Only on Weekends?
You can attend college only on weekends, but it’s important to look for a weekend-only degree plan. Unfortunately, most of the weekend only college plans were aimed at those getting an Associate’s degree.
If you want to get a bachelor’s degree or even get into a graduate program, you may have to dig deeper and ask more upfront questions before enrolling. The good news is that colleges aren’t hiding what they have to offer in terms of flexibility.
Each college website will have a course catalog showcasing what the college provides its students.
Be sure that when you’re looking at programs, you ensure that you have the right one for when you wish to attend. For example, if you want to go to school for the spring semester, looking at fall catalog offerings isn’t going to work.
The Upsides of Weekend Classes
There are multiple advantages when it comes to weekend-only classes. Let’s talk about them right now.
You Can Keep Your Job
If you have a job during the week, you don’t have to reduce hours or employ any workarounds to attend school. You work during the week and then attend class on the weekend. This is helpful, because if you’re using the income from your job to pay for school, you may not need to take out as many educational loans.
Classes Move Quickly
Another advantage of the weekend class structure is that it moves quickly. There is little room for distraction when classes are compressed to fit an evening or a weekend structure.
When you attend class, the professor is going to get right to the point. If you’re worried about attending college because the professor might fill it with fluff and not enough substance, a weekend class is great for you.
You Save Money on Childcare Costs
For people that have to arrange childcare during the week, weekend-only classes are great. It means that they can save on childcare costs, especially if there’s already someone at home that can take over the childcare duties.
The Benefit Of Virtual Weekend Classes
Virtual weekend classes make these benefits even more interesting because there is no hectic commute or rush. You log on at the appropriate time to your school’s portal for the class and participate.
Virtual classes held in a live format do have strict attendance, and the professor will want to make sure that you’re present. Some schools require that cameras remain on so that the professor and the teaching assistants can see whether you’re paying attention or not.
How to Actively Participate In Virtual Classes
Even if you’re allowed to keep the camera off, you still want to try to participate as much as you can. Why? Well, professors like to be helpful, and the best way to get a professor’s attention is to make it clear that you care about the subject matter.
Asking, answering, and participating in discussion threads always make you look better than just logging on and taking no other action.
If an extraordinary situation arises where you can’t attend class or turn in an assignment, a professor who knows you’ve been participating may make arrangements that they wouldn’t otherwise.
Even if the syllabus says that they won’t take late assignments or reschedule an exam, you’d be surprised what college professors will do for students that prove that they’re determined to learn the material. It never hurts to ask!
Source: Southern Utah University
Simply put, weekend classes make the most out of your schedule and give you a chance to get your degree even if you don’t have much time.
The Downsides of Weekend-Only Classes
While there are real advantages to weekend-only classes, there are some downsides to note. Let’s look at those now.
Weekend Classes Are Accelerated
One of the first downsides of weekend-only courses is that they are highly accelerated. You will be expected to get up to speed quickly. There isn’t as much room for error compared to a traditional class setup. So if you don’t have a high capacity for learning quickly, you may want to check out traditional classes.
Limited Availability Of Weekend Classes
Another disadvantage to consider would be limited availability. Your college may not have weekend-only classes. While colleges are trying to be more flexible to accommodate different types of students, the dominant schedule will still be classes during the week.
You Might Not Find Financial Aid
Don’t let money keep you from considering weekend-only classes. Financial aid will still exist, and you can also get student loans if you don’t qualify for need-based aid.
However, the only way to know for sure what you will qualify for is to fill out the FAFSA and let the school tell you what you’re eligible for. Make sure that if you’re worried about the cost of attendance, you look into as many scholarships as you can.
Source: Federal Student Aid
What You Need To Be Successful With Weekend Only Classes
If you’re convinced that going with weekend-only classes is the best path forward, then there are some things that you’ll need in order to make it work.
The first is going to be to ensure that you have a quiet space to take additional notes.
Sure, if you’re attending live classes on the weekends, you’re going to be taking notes in the lecture hall. But the key to making weekend-only classes work is to give yourself as much exposure to the material as possible.
There will be new connections you make in your brain by taking notes at multiple points within the course.
Are you taking the class with a friend? You can study together, even remotely. Getting on a Zoom call to quiz each other can make the difference between passing the exams and not making as good of a grade.
The better you do in your degree program, the more chances you have to get additional money for school and even impress future employers with your dedication.
Consider Other Accelerated Programs For More Flexibility
If you’re looking for the ultimate in flexibility, weekend-only classes aren’t the only way to go. Accelerated programs are available in a wide variety of formats, including night and weekend classes or even the opportunity to go at your own pace.
Going at your pace means that you simply pay a flat fee, and then you can take as many courses as you can handle in a term.
Most terms are going to be six months long, giving you the chance to complete a wide range of classes within that time. It’s going to take great time management skills in order to make a system like this work.
It isn’t for everyone, of course. Going at your own pace means that you are ultimately responsible for how you learn and how quickly you complete the class. You will have a course instructor, but they aren’t going to be doing live lectures.
You’ll have to look through the resources in each class and get ready for the test.
There’s a test at the end of the class, as going at your own pace is synonymous with competency-based learning programs. Instead of a live lecture, you’re testing that you understand the subject matter by completing a test or writing a paper demonstrating you understand the body of work.
Competency-based programs have been around for a long time, and they are accredited, which means that your degree holds up to rigorous standards set up by a college accreditation body.
Source: Intrust Magazine
The Integrity of Accelerated Programs
It is critical to note that testing will be proctored, which means that you will be monitored by a third party. It is very important that you never share any testing materials with anyone.
In addition, when you are being monitored, you will be asked to show that your workspace is free of study materials or anything else that can be used to give you an unfair advantage.
Every college has rules about academic integrity, with good reason. If people are academically dishonest and the college doesn’t address it, it can be seen as the college not being rigorous enough, thus making the degree not as valuable.
Online degree programs have been repeatedly tested, and this path to your degree is just as valid as going in person. But if you don’t take academic integrity seriously, it can have long-term effects on your college of choice.
Source: Luther University
If you’re caught passing test materials or discussing the material with someone else, the consequences can be severe, which can range from losing credit for that specific course all the way up to being ejected out of your entire degree program.
Colleges take plagiarism just as seriously, especially when you’re going to school online.
Keep these points in mind as you begin exploring whether or not you want to enroll in accelerated courses of any type, including weekend-only classes.
If you don’t want to pursue competency-based and/or accelerated programs, that’s perfectly fine. You can go in person at night, which would still give you the flexibility to have a full-time job.
You may have to let the employer know that you need to leave a little earlier, but they may be fine with the new arrangement if you agree to arrive earlier.
A Few More Cautions About Accelerated Programs
Everyone learns differently, and learning styles become extremely important when you’re trying to join an accelerated degree program. If you’re someone that needs more time to absorb the material, taking an accelerated program could be problematic if you can’t keep up with the pace.
There may be fewer resources available in an accelerated format, as there is a higher expectation for students to perform their own research.
When we spoke to students who took on an accelerated program, the speed of the course was one of the top reasons many students opted to look at slower degree programs.
But if you’re someone that really thrives on speed, this could be the challenge that you’re looking for.
Accommodations for Disabled Students
All is not lost if you have learning delays or other issues that would require accommodation. Colleges are required to provide reasonable accommodations if you have medical issues.
If you are a disabled student, you have rights, and the college should have a point of contact that can walk you through the process of getting accommodations. This is the case even if you’re attending school online.
Common accommodations might include taking extra time with exams or having the questions read to you as you take the exam. Every college approaches accommodations a little differently.
The important point here is to make sure that you’re reaching out before the end of the term, as many students tend to do. Procrastinating on this important issue will absolutely slow down your progress.
Source: Understood For All
College is an investment that pays off for the long run, and designing a successful path is about knowing what schedule you can handle, as well as the demands of the program you’re looking into.
While weekend-only classes aren’t common, they exist and can be the difference between getting your degree and not making your dream come true.