Having completed the flagship schools, I turn my attention to the localities where I have found the least use of Friday. The worst is Los Angeles, where we have already seen the Claremont Schools and two less selective state schools, Long Beach and Dominguez Hills and UCLA. To these I now add the other 4 year state schools, Biola, Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State LA and Cal State Northridge. At Biola Univ. 13 percent (S14) of the courses meet on Friday on the La Mirada campus. Cal Polytech at Pomona has a much more respectable percentage of its classes on Friday, 31 percent (W14) . But for an engineering school, this is very low. Inspection of such schools that I did in 2011 shows that they typically have not slid toward the 4 day week and at least half of their courses still meet on Friday. Cal State LA is just as bad as Long Beach (7%) and Dominguez Hills (3%), only 6 percent (W14) of its courses meet on Friday. Cal State Northridge does better with 23 percent (S14) of its courses meeting on Friday, but that’s still less than even UCLA (32%, 012) which has near the lowest of any flagship school.
These schools may say that they have four day weeks so commuting time is reduced. Maybe so, but why then don’t they all have percentages below ten percent? Are courses at Cal Poly, Northridge and UCLA more demanding and have to use Friday? Aren’t the students stronger at the more selective schools? Whatever the explanation, the quality of education looks lower at schools that pack their classes into a four day week and when possible it seems wise for a student to choose and employers to hire from a school that looks like it cares more about quality.
Here’s a suggestion for big city schools: keep your four day week for commuting purposes, but spread it out. Have MTh and TF classes. Let Wednesday be the open day, where perhaps some one day classes meet and when the students will more inclined to study.