Student Success

How can a classroom day and time schedule improve Student Success?


Faculty have been aware of an anecdotal sweet spot for courses about mid-morning for years. If the course is scheduled too early in the morning, then the students seem to still be waking up and are harder to engage than similar students at ~10:00.  The analysis of student success in the same course during different times of the day begins to quantify the anecdotal feeling that instructors have had for sometime, students perform poorly in early morning courses.


The tables below show the DFW (D’s, F’s and Withdrawals) for courses taught during the Fall and Spring semesters between 2013 and 2015.  The analysis focused on First-Year Students, traditional mode of delivery course, and courses before 1 p.m.

  • Generally within a Units courses, the earlier the course is offered the higher the DFW rate relative to the Units average DFW rate.
  • Some Units did not show as significant a time impact (MATH and ENGL), although there were small time related differences in DFW rates.


Bar Graph


The aggregate highlights some of the insights that have been coming to light in the retention efforts with the President’s Graduation and Retention Task Force and other teams working on increasing Student Success.

Graph of Student Success data CHEM
Graph of DFW data for SPAN


This specific courses are highlighted not due to a specific concern with this course, but that they indicated the concerns.  Other courses had somewhat similar trends, but due to a low number of section offerings the trend of poor student success in early morning courses was not demonstrated as well as with the courses with multiple sections during a range of morning time slots.