Due to the newly implemented common hour, education students cannot participate

By Amy Kodrich
February 7, 2020

With the implementation of the new common hour, Cabrini education majors are unhappy that they will not be able to participate in this new campuswide event.

“I am disappointed that I will not be able to participate in the common hour… it is frustrating that they made the common hour on Wednesday, even though it is known that education is one of Cabrini’s most popular majors,” Tamara Rutkoski, sophomore early childhood education major, said.

Beginning sophomore year, students participate in a full-day field experience at local schools in the surrounding area. Senior year they begin student teaching, which takes place throughout the week. Field experience is a requirement for all education majors in the department.

The idea of the common hour was brought to fruition by Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Chioma Ugochukwu. The common hour is a time for faculty, staff and students to participate in campus activities. “The point is that we will use the hour to build community at Cabrini,” Ugochukwu announced on Dec. 4 via email.

“As you can imagine, trying to create a common hour for the entire university community (faculty, staff and students) is an involved process,” Ugochukwu said. “We first had to work with the Registrar to identify an hour that is the least disruptive to classroom instruction.”

Chioma Ugochukwu at the first Cabrini Common Hour event, Field Day held on Wednesday, Feb. 5 in the Dixon Center gym. Photo by Sierra Dotson

Ugochukwu added that the university needed to find a time that would not impact the schools Carnegie Hours, because every institution must maintain a certain number of instruction hours each semester.

However, education students are still baffled as to why the university would pick a day that so many students cannot participate in.

“If it’s [common hour] for the whole university, it doesn’t make sense to me that they’d do it when Ed majors are at field, especially since there’s a decent sized education department,” Kaylie Bereda, junior early childhood education major, said.

The proposal was brought to the President’s Cabinet for discussion and approval. Then the vice presidents were asked to get feedback from their areas to ensure the program and time would work best for the faculty, staff and students.

“We discussed with all the school deans, whom we asked to share with their schools to get faculty members’ feedback in order to ensure that classes would not be disrupted,” Ugochukwu said.

For example, the Dean of the School of Natural Sciences and Allied Health shared that a previously proposed Tuesday/Thursday schedule was going to negatively impact lab times. They came to conclusion that Wednesdays at 2 p.m. to  3 p.m. appeared from all indications to be the least disruptive hour.

Junior early childhood education major Tori Vernon admits that she is not bummed out on missing the Common Hour because she loves field since it is part of her career. However, if the Common Hour was another day, she would partake.

“We regret that the Wednesday time slot has not been ideal for some of our education majors. We are looking into all the feedback to see if further adjustments can be made to the time without creating new conflicts for another group,” Ugochukwu said.

Finding an hour that would work for everyone on campus proved to be challenging. This is the first time Cabrini is trying to implement a common hour on campus.

The goal remains to ensure that regardless of the hour, that the university maintains classroom instruction hours, and that the hour selected remains the least disruptive to the academic calendar.

The first event held during the Common Hour, Field Day, received many positive impressions. The most recent event was held on Wednesday, Feb. 19 celebrating the relaunch of the Nerney Leadership institute.

“I am happy that in the meantime…We want everyone to be able to participate; that is why the Common Hour was developed; to create a time for all of us to come together as a community for mission-centered activities,” Ugochukwu said.

Poster advertising information regarding first Common Hour activity: Field Day! Photo by Kerry DiNardo

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Amy Kodrich

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