The four-day plus one-day week

Mondays will be vacation days in a rural Minnesota district. The four-day week should cut spending for utilities and busing.

At a Tennessee community college, few classes are offered on Fridays. To take advantage of empty classrooms and cut students’ commuting costs, Volunteer State is offering a semester’s worth of classes on “Full Time Fridays. Students can maintain full-time status by taking four Friday-only classes that meet from 8 a.m. until 9:50 p.m with one hour off for lunch and two 30-minute breaks in the afternoon and evening. The college hopes to attract students who work a four-day schedule, reports Inside Higher Education.

If spending 11-and-a-half hours in a classroom every Friday for a semester does not sound appealing, students have the option of coming to class for a long day only once a month if they choose to enroll in an online/classroom hybrid version of “Full Time Friday.”

That seems like a more humane option.

About Joanne


  1. At the community college where I teach, most classes are either M/W or T/Th. Fridays and Saturdays both are filled with classes that meet once a week. It’s a great situation for students (and instructors) who need to schedule around other jobs or childcare issues or who have a long commute. Most of my weekend students take 2 back-to-back classes (often one lecture and one lab) although some take 3 in one day. 3-4 lecture classes would be brutal, but a schedule with one(or maybe 2) lecture(s) and one lab works well for many students.

  2. “Full-time Fridays” sounds brutal. Both for the students and the instructors. I could not have hacked that when I was a student. And I don’t think I could manage that as an instructor, even doing lots and lots of discussion and lab-type exercises.

    Where I teach, our summer classes meet four days a week, with Fridays off. It works pretty beautifully, even if classes are longer each day. (We teach 4, 75 minute periods, plus one four-hour lab per class per week in my department). Not sure I’d want it in the fall, though – summer loads are lighter (2 classes rather than 3 or 4). I don’t think I could teach 3 or 4 75-minute sections a day PLUS labs for each of those classes. (Especially with all the meetings and committeework stuff during the regular semester.)

  3. Does the town have any sort of action plans for Mondays? It seems they’re be a large demand for full-day child care, opportunities for high schoolers to work, and the rest of the day for misguided teens to get into trouble. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. It’s just a shame that budget always plays a huge role in education.

    Hall Monitor

  4. That Minnesota district should’ve looked to their South Dakota neighbors to see how 4-day weeks are done. Mainly in the very remote western part of the state, these school districts choose Friday as the day off. And nearly all these kids are working on a farm or ranch, so no worries for daycare.