After a hard day’s work, Marisa Seril,
21, spends her evenings, not relaxing and having a drink with
friends or hitting the clubs, but instead, taking night classes
Because I work full time, taking night classes seems like my
only option if I want to graduate by December,” she said.
Her motto is, “Get in, get out, get a job.”
For students who work during the day, HPU’s alternate schedule
offers a convenient way to get a college degree. Night classes
provide students with an opportunity to “get class over
with in a huge chunk,” Seril said.
Life can still be pretty hectic for working students. “It’s
exhausting since it’s right after work, and everything
is rush, rush, rush, and then ‘bam’ everyone in class
has to sit patiently through a three-hour lecture,” Seril
Another student, Kekoa McClellan, 19, is trying hard to graduate
as soon as possible. “I love night classes, I think they’re
great,” he said.
McClellan, who took night classes this summer, is grateful
for the opportunity to “get it all done in one shot.”
He would actually like HPU to offer more classes at night. “I’d
be able to take what I want to take, rather than what’s
available,” he said. He likes night classes because they “let
me work and go to school at the same time,” McClellan added.
Flexibility is also important to Siri Masterson, 20, who also
works during the day and takes classes at night. “It fills
my schedule pretty well,” she said.
Evening classes are also a good option for those who want to
avoid the average two or three trips to a class a week. “I
think that HPU is the only school providing an alternate schedule,” Masterson
However, Masterson realizes that some people do not like taking
night classes because they are three hours long. “If there
were no break it, would be hell.”
Seventy percent of the students who go to HPU’s Adult Service
Center (ASC) for help, choose to take evening, weekend, or online
classes, said ASC Director Shirley Zhuang. The center currently
serves over 600 students, not including those at military campuses
or register online.
ASC caters to those who have commitments to a family or a full-time
job. It usually assists students over age 25, especially those
who have been out of school for a while. ASC advisor, Mary
June calls the office a “one-stop shop” where students
can register and get advice about their classes.
While taking night classes is convenient for those who work
full time, some students are doing it because it’s the only
time they can enroll in certain courses.
Other students, like Christine Ah Yee, 31, would rather be
with their kids at night instead of being in class. “I don’t
like night [classes]. I want to be in class when my children
are in class,” she said.
However, Ah Yee also explained that many of the courses she
needs to graduate are only offered at night. “That’s what’s
preventing me from going to get my master’s.”
For whatever reasons students take night classes, enrollment
is high, said Zhuang. “Evening classes are usually filled
and we often ask the deans for overload permission.”
Although HPU has no policy on rotating day and evening classes,
other big factors involved in scheduling night or day classes
include program requirements, faculty availability, and cost
When developing a night schedule, “the deans give preference
to graduate courses and courses that cater to the adult students,” said
Dr. Leslie Correa, assistant vice president for academic administration.
Of the 900 course sections HPU offers each semester, most classes
are scheduled during the day because there is more time available
from 7:30 a.m. to 5:05 p.m., he said. Correa also explained
that night classes are “one of the most popular,” but
only run from 5:15 p.m. to 8:10 p.m. “We use all of our
classrooms consistently during that time at both downtown and
Hawai‘i Loa campuses.”
Since the number of available classrooms is limited, HPU is
not planning to increase the number of night classes offered
near future, said Correa. For now, they are focusing on a schedule
with “a good mix of upper-division and lower-division classes.”