It's 7 a.m. The alarm has just sounded and you're slowly padding into your kitchen to start the morning's coffee.
Rosemary Jordan Contreras is already at her desk, participating in a spirited discussion that's part of a management course in Human Resource Development, MGT 5315-202, offered at Texas A&M International University from 7 a.m.- 8 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.
And Rosemary's not alone. Some 28 other A&M International graduate students have forsaken the comfy confines of bed to take a course that overviews basic personnel functions from the perspective of line managers and staff specialists in a human resource department.
Dr. John Kohl, Dean of the College of Business Administration and the class' professor, said the early bird class is a new initiative that has proven popular with the University's graduate business students.
"We believe that this addresses a real need for our graduate students, many of whom are working in their chosen field and have limited evening time available to attend classes. This provides them with an early opportunity to continue on their degree plan, without compromising their work schedule," he observed.
Kohl said that based on student response, the College is now developing additional courses that can be offered on the early schedule.
"We'll definitely be looking at including this option for other courses next Fall. We are reviewing our course offerings to see which courses would have the greatest interest for our students. There's tremendous potential to help our graduate students more speedily reach their degree," he explained.
For her part, Jordan Contreras is pragmatic; admitting that getting up early necessitates going to bed earlier, something the former late night fan has had to change.
"Instead of waking naturally about 7 a.m., I have to set the clock to wake me at 6 a.m. Of course, I am usually awake waiting for the alarm to ring. I recommend that a person go to bed by 10 p.m. the night before in order to rise early and be alert for class, " she advised.
She admitted that the classes' offering has become a wake up call for her and will speed her degree progress.
"I was motivated to take this class at this hour because I plan to graduate this May. I needed an elective to complete my requisites and I was just lucky," she explained.
An accountant for over 22 years who is now seeking a career change, she said she would encourage others to consider the early bird option.
"I would consider taking them if I needed the courses. I personally like to stay up late. As for others, I think it is a good hour for working people and early risers," she concluded.
Pablo Reyes, a Master of Information Systems major who also works in the University's Computer and Telecommunications Services area, admitted he initially found the early class meeting time daunting, but now feels differently.
"At first I was not excited about taking a class this early, but now I feel like I get more done during the day... But if I were to take a full load, I would like to take all my classes early in the morning, not one class at 7:00 a.m. then another from 7:00 p.m. to
9:00 p.m.," he explained.
For additional information on early bird class options with the College of Business Administration, contact the Office of the Dean at 326.2480, visit offices in Pellegrino Hall, room 301 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.