While Others Party, Some College Students Take Midnight Classes

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This brings new meaning to “burning the midnight oil.”

Aimed at enabling full or part time students to attend class, some U.S. colleges are providing “midnight classes” for people with demanding schedules.

Only a small group of schools are entertaining the late night time slot, but the concept is a growing trend in community colleges. With about two-thirds of community college students working full or part time and an influx in enrollment, the idea doesn’t seem all that unsound.

“If you’ve got faculty that’s willing to teach at an unconventional hour, then it’s a solution for a lot of things,” Norma Kent, of the American Association of Community Colleges, told USA Today.

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At Bunker Hill Community College in Boston, the idea allowed for the school to better accommodate its 13,000 students. Bunker Hill, where the concept of midnight classes was created, now offers five midnight courses. “We found out there are many more folks than we’d imagined in the Boston area who are working third shifts,” Bunker Hill President Mary Fifield said. “It’s a population that we didn’t know existed.”

Joyce Goodie, a Community College of Baltimore County psychology instructor, teaches a psychology class she dubbed “Insomniac Institute.” The class meets once a week from 12:01 a.m. to 2:55 a.m., and includes a potluck dinner that the class also invites janitors and security guards working the night shift.

Goodie said the class is composed of two types of students: those who are insomniacs and up at that time anyway, and those who confused the time slot for a noon class and couldn’t transfer out.

Still, she keeps the class engaged and active, but said “everyone is pretty miserable” as the witching hour nears.

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