George Mason University
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George Mason University

Class Scheduling and Staffing

Getting the Numbers Right

Class scheduling and staffing are closely tied to enrollment management. Understanding the instructional staffing need as it relates to class size and format is an important factor in student experience and outcomes.

This is an essential priority for department heads.

Class schedules are due at least six months in advance of a given semester:

Term Schedule Due
Summer November
Fall November
Spring July

Steps to Take:

  1. Examine your enrollment data from the previous year and incorporate your targets as you plan your schedules for the following semesters.
    • Some, but not all, of your course staffing will have been determined during the scheduling process.
    • This can vary widely across different departments, depending on the number of adjunct faculty and graduate teaching assistants your department might rely on.
  2. Inventory your staffing needs after your schedule has been completed.
    • For example, how many graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) are you expecting to be able to support?
    • Looking at your proposed course schedule and your GTA support, how many adjunct faculty members might you need to hire?
  3. If necessary, begin recruiting adjunct faculty for your departmental needs once class schedules have been determined.
    • E.g., as early as December for summer and fall term classes and as early as July for spring term classes.

About Adjunct Rehires:

It is important to review available data before deciding to rehire adjunct faculty members.

Data sources:

  • Student course evaluation results
  • Brief adjunct self-assessments regarding teaching and learning
  • Meeting with adjuncts who have taught for the department to gain support insights
  • Classroom observation