Cleveland State University

Proposed Time Block Grids


New Time Block Grid

Critical to building a successful class schedule, universities must adopt a standard time block grid that conforms to a semester or quarter system. The time block grid is a common set of start and end times for courses that facilitates scheduling of the required courses sequentially across multiple disciplines and coordinates the use of classroom space. A new time block grid is intended to minimize the impact of “off grid” courses and maximize efficiencies for student schedules and classroom space.

CSU’s current time block grid was last adopted in 1977 when the university was on a quarter system. The grid has 35 meeting patterns which the university has not adhered to. This practice has led to going “off grid” with over 250 different meeting patterns. When courses go “off grid”, it contributes to course scheduling barriers for students and less than premium utilization of our classroom facilities. More specifically, students that take courses which are off the meeting pattern are frequently unable to take courses consecutively and most often lose out on two time block offerings.

Staying on grid serves two key purposes: it gives students an array of registration options, making it easier for students to create efficient schedules, get needed classes and graduate sooner. It also allows the university to maximize classroom use.

The new time block grid models were developed by researching best practices. Three models are currently being reviewed by the university community. Feedback received will be reviewed and incorporated where feasible to finalize a new time block grid for fall 2014 implementation.

Benefits of the proposed time block grid models are as follows:

  • Increases time options during the day – the new models provide 2 additional MWF time blocks and 1 additional TR block. These additions present more options for students and may provide more students the opportunity to reduce the number of days on campus and still complete a full schedule.
  • Reduces required down time between classes for students. Students who choose to schedule breaks into their day will still have this option, but the new grid models streamline course start times allowing students to spend less time between courses if they choose.
  • Provides options for all course credit offerings (not just 3 hour & 4 hour).
  • Still allows flexibility for educational needs. (i.e. a 3 credit course can be offered 1x/ per week 2x/per week, or 3x per week).

Differences Between Proposed Models

The three proposed models have slight differences. The major difference between the three is the time of the common hour. The options also differ in the amount of time allotted between classes.

Proposed Time Block Grid Options


PDF IconTime Grid Option A

PDF IconTime Grid Option B

PDF IconTime Grid Option C


Time Block Grid Q & A

Posted April 12
Q: Will the new time block grid affect students’ schedules?

A: A new time block grid is intended to provide a better course schedule that will allow students to register for classes that meet one after another. This will give students the chance to take classes with shorter wait times between them. It is our goal to create a schedule that will provide more options for students and may provide more students with the opportunity to reduce the number of days on campus while still taking a full course load. This has the added benefit of allowing the students more time for class preparation and assignment completion, as well as more participation in university activities.

Posted April 12
Q: Why do we need a new time block grid?

A: Current research shows that the complexity of our current class scheduling practices makes it challenging for students to register for classes. One of the university’s goals is to improve retention and graduation rates. This new grid is designed to make it easier for students to take the right classes at the right time.

Posted April 12
Q: The proposed new time block grid shows a time block of 7:00 a.m. Does this mean all classes will start at 7:00?

A: No. This time block has been proposed as an option. If there is a high demand for classes to be offered during the 7:00 a.m. time block it can be easily added. Most often, urban universities like CSU take advantage of their location by catering to a set of students that work within the vicinity of the University. Many times, the non-traditional student prefers this time block due to the convenience of attending a class before going to work.

Posted April 12
Q: Will students still be able to take a 4 hour class?

A: Under the proposed new time block grid, a student will be able to take a 4 hour course or a course of any credit value. The time block grid is designed with the flexibility to allow for this schedule while still allowing students to take a full class schedule.

Posted April 12
Q: When will a new grid go into effect?

A: The new time block grid would be effective in the fall of 2014.

Ask a Question and/or Submit Feedback

Click here to submit a question and/or comment(s) about the New Time Grid Proposals.
General questions submitted will be answered and posted on this page as they are received through the end of August.