In order to compensate for the instructional hour lost by eliminating a day from the traditional Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule, Eaton explained one-third of each three-credit-hour course will be delivered online.
“Many members of our faculty have become experts in Internet course delivery thanks to their experience with our successful online academic programs,” said Dr. Wilbur “Pete” Peterson, vice president for Academics at CU. “Not only will this new plan help our commuter students deal with the rising cost of fuel, but it will also fit well into today’s society, which has become increasingly mobile.”
“By offering additional academic enhancement opportunities each Wednesday, we feel our students only stand to gain from this new schedule,” Eaton added. “They’ll still take part in all of the required coursework. They’ll have an entire day open to meet with their respective professors, and they’ll save a little gas money in the process.”
With the average price of a gallon of gasoline quickly approaching the $4 mark in Tennessee and a recent statement by U.S. Energy Department spokesperson Guy Caruso that the price is expected to remain at $4 per gallon through 2009, Eaton said it was imperative that Cumberland take action.
Roughly two-thirds of Cumberland’s student body is composed of commuters who regularly travel anywhere from 5 to 20 miles between their homes and the University’s Lebanon campus, he explained.
“Everyone is susceptible to the skyrocketing price of gasoline, particularly college students,” Eaton said. “At Cumberland, we talk of being personal, of our willingness to go above and beyond to make certain our students’ needs are addressed. We believe that taking a step such as this will demonstrate our concern for our students’ welfare while helping them learn to communicate responsibly in today’s mobile world.”