The College of Southern Nevada is expanding its late-night menu of class offerings for students whose work shift ends at the time when many others are going to bed.
With an increasing enrollment as people look to retool themselves, and positive feedback from students in the eight red-eye classes offered in the spring, CSN is offering another 17 late-night class sections this fall. Registration is under way for classes that will begin at 12:05 a.m., as well as 10:35 p.m.—a new addition to the schedule—at CSN’s Charleston Campus.
“The late-night classes seemed to be a real success, so the thought was, ‘Let’s try it with others; it worked for X, Y, Z course,’” says Darren Divine, CSN’s vice president of academic affairs.
The school’s enrollment climbed 7 percent from 2008 to 2009, much of it directly related to the economic downturn as more people look to switch careers or become more competitive, Divine says. The 10:35 p.m. slot was added under the philosophy that students could bounce from that class to a midnight class.
CSN is expanding beyond the general, required late-night classes it offered last spring to include in-demand courses such as criminal justice and astronomy.
David Goldwater will teach astronomy at 10:35 p.m., which he says will enhance the course’s curriculum. When students look through a telescope, they’ll be able to see star clusters, gas clouds and planets such as Saturn and Jupiter, which they wouldn’t be able to see during the day.
Goldwater will receive the same rate of pay for the late-night classes, but he doesn’t mind. “Most of us [astronomy professors] are night owls anyway,” he says. “It goes with the territory.”
The professors keep weary students on their toes, says Carl Koterwski, 41, who took late-night algebra last spring. “The teacher joked, kept things lighthearted and was much more amusing than daytime lecturers,” he says.
Koterwski, a stage manager at Harrah’s, is working on the prerequisites toward a physical therapy degree, and the late-night course offerings are helping him to get through them faster. “I don’t want to be 60 years old and still carrying a ladder,” he jokes.
Koterwski hopes to transfer to UNLV after finishing at CSN, but he will have to adjust his schedule at that point. UNLV has no plans to offer late-night courses, says Dave Tonelli, senior director of public affairs. “CSN, as a community college, and UNLV, as a university, are differentiated in their missions,” he says. “Thus, midnight classes may make sense at CSN but are not feasible or appropriate for us.”
Nevada State College, a four-year school in Henderson, is looking at “making class times more convenient for students,” spokesman Spencer Stewart says.
CSN is leading the way with late-night classes along with a few other schools across the country. Bunker Hill Community College in Boston and Clackamas Community College in Oregon City, Ore., offer midnight courses. Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, Md., is planning to offer midnight sections of psychology in the fall.