By the time her evening class at Carroll Community College breaks at8:15 p.m., Cherie Caple's energy is waning.
"By that time, you'veput in a full day and you're tired," said the 26-year-old business administration major. "It's too late to be in class."
Responding to such concerns, CCC officials have altered course schedules for next fall. Some evening courses, instead of meeting once a week, will meet twice weekly and dismiss by 8:30 p.m.
"That addresses those students' concerns about staying in class until 10 p.m. and then going to work the next day," said James Bruns, director of instruction. "These are concerns students have brought up, and we're responding to their concerns."
And for the first time, CCC students will be able to take once-a-week Friday classes, which Bruns said should accommodate students who live in the outmost areas of the county.
"Hopefully, it will save those students transportation costs and driving distances," Bruns said. "The key is that we're providing a lot more options."
These options will allow students to build schedules based on classes that meet Mondays and Wednesdays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, or just Fridays.
Caple,a sophomore from Westminster, said the schedule changes are welcomed.
Jane Eppig and Maya Keoseian, both nursing majors, agreed that early evening classes would be more convenient for many.
The new schedules not only will be more convenient for students, but also will provide greater use of classrooms. More classes will be meeting in the main campus, which opened last fall, Bruns said.
"We're also using classroom space as efficiently as possible -- and that's good froma county taxpayer's standpoint," he said.
In other changes, CCC administrators have consolidated previously offered honors courses into an honors program. The change will allow students to follow an honors schedule and graduate from CCC as an Honors Program Graduate.
"We've worked hard to put it together," said Donald Jansiewicz, coordinator of curriculum. "It's now a coherent program that will allow students to graduate with honors. We think this program will do very well."
In similar fashion, CCC administrators have consolidated office skills programs to allow students to take courses at an acceleratedpace and at more convenient times. Courses will be held during the day, which will allow mothers to return home before their school-age children.
Teacher-education courses, previously offered through Catonsville Community College, CCC's parent institution, will be available at the Westminster campus in the fall.
"What we're letting people know is that we're committed to teacher education," Jansiewicz said. "People will be able to get an Associate of Arts degree at Carroll and then transfer to a four-year school and move into either elementary or secondary education."
He said the long-term future is bright in education, and CCC officials want to have all the beginning courses in place for students.
CCC administrators have guaranteed prospective students that courses will continue to be available at Liberty and North Carroll high schools. By holding classes at those schools, CCC officials are able to reach more students, Jansiewicz said. There is also talk, he said, of providing courses at Francis Scott Key High School.