CLASSROOM UTILIZATION

Overall classroom utilization, a combination of scheduling and section fill, is approximately 55%. Section fill averages 62% versus the goal of 65%. The average classroom is scheduled 30 hours per week compared to the goal of 32 hours per week (or approximately 26 hours per week if you informally modify the model to represent four-day per week scheduling). The Technical Vocational Building (TVB) is the dominant provider of both classroom capacity and weekly contact hours with almost 50% of the campus total for each. For TVB, section fill averages 68% versus the goal of 65%. The average classroom is scheduled 28 hours. The buildings most “stressed” for additional capacity, as measured by at or exceeding theoretical maximum, include Science and Math (81%), Public Service Career Building (83%) and Industrial Education –Welding (107%), although the scheduling mechanisms for Industrial Education –Welding suggest the indicated utilization overstates actual demand.

CLASSROOM UTILIZATION: PEAK PERIOD DEMAND

Peak period demand for classrooms is between 8:00 AM and 12:00 AM, Monday through Thursday. Limited classroom instruction occurs on Friday with peak scheduling of approximately 25% of classrooms between 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM. On Monday through Thursday, during the peak period morning hours, between 80% and 90% of classrooms are scheduled. This suggests that classroom scheduling during peak periods is at or approaching effective full occupancy.

THE UTILIZATION MODEL

THE CB UTILIZATION TARGETS

         CLASSROOM: 32 hours per week

          CLASS LAB: 25 hours per week

          AVERAGE CLASSROOM FILL: 65% minimum

          AVERAGE CLASS LAB FILL: 75% minimum

All analysis was calculated based on information provided by the College.

ROOM UTILIZATION AND SECTION OCCUPANCY

Distinctions can be made by looking at the components of utilization measurement. Room utilization measures only the hours per week that sections are scheduled against the standard of 32 available per week. How full the sections are is ignored. A measure of 100% room utilization indicates that rooms are scheduled for an average of 32 hours per week. Counterintuitively, room utilization can, and often does, exceed 100% for popular heavily used classrooms or laboratories. This simply means the room was scheduled more than an average of 32 hours per week. Section Occupancy only measures the fullness of scheduled sections that are assigned to rooms. How often the rooms are scheduled is ignored. A measure of 100% Section Occupancy indicates the rooms are full when in use. Section Occupancy above 100% can only be achieved by crowding additional seats into the room. Management of Section Occupancy can be used to indirectly manage the efficiency of operating costs related to faculty.

Although the model specifically analyzes classrooms and laboratories separately, overall utilization can provide a general sense of scheduling demand versus capacity for a campus. The College of the Mainland is effective at scheduling of instructional space Monday through Thursday to meet the standard target. Limited scheduling occurs on Friday or weekends. Further observations require looking discretely at classrooms and laboratories.​

LABORATORY UTILIZATION

Peak period demand for laboratories is Tuesday and Thursday in the morning with a significant secondary peak in the evening. Limited laboratory instruction occurs on Friday with peak scheduling of approximately 20% of classrooms between 8:00 AM and 10:00 AM. On Tuesday, during the peak period morning hours, between 60% and 70% of classrooms are scheduled.

OBSERVATIONS

The utilization analysis indicates classroom scheduling Monday through Thursday in the mornings is at effective full occupancy. Additional peak period demand must be accommodated by a combination of increased section fill or additional scheduling on Friday. As currently scheduled, any significant additional demand will not be able to be accommodated during peak period creating a potential barrier to use that could slow enrollment growth. The campus is heavily dependent on TVB for classroom capacity. TVB is approaching goal for utilization and has significant issues beyond capacity and utilization in both the quality of instructional spaces and inconsistent capacities that create inherent inefficiency. The Science and Math and Public Service Career Building both indicate a shortage of classroom capacity. Overall, laboratory utilization suggests available capacity, but analysis of individual buildings indicates little or no available capacity in the Science and Math Building with specific laboratories scheduled above theoretical maximum. In addition to lacking capacity to meet demand, the Science and Math Building suffers from low quality of instructional laboratories and a limited range of capabilities.

LABORATORY UTILIZATION: PEAK PERIOD DEMAND

Peak period demand for laboratories is Tuesday and Thursday in the morning with a significant secondary peak in the evening. Limited laboratory instruction occurs on Friday with peak scheduling of approximately 20% of classrooms between 8:00 AM and 10:00 AM. On Tuesday, during the peak period morning hours, between 60% and 70% of classrooms are scheduled.

Utilization measures the extent of the current practical use of existing instructional facilities in conformance with goals established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). These goals are derived from and consistent with standards established by the Association for Learning Environments (formerly the Council of Educational Facilities Planners, International). It is important to note the utilization model assumes instructional spaces will be scheduled five days per week.


For classrooms, Target Utilization - by definition - assumes that 65% of the available classroom seats are occupied 32 hours per week (on average). In the Utilization Model, a building or campus at the Target Utilization measures 65%. A measure below 65% Utilization indicates that sections are small relative to the available seats in the classroom, and/or more sections could be scheduled during weekdays.


For classrooms, Theoretical Maximum Utilization - by definition - assumes that 65% of the available classrooms seats are occupied for 40 hours per week on average. In the Utilization Model, a building or campus at Theoretical Maximum Utilization, measures approximately 81%. A measure between 65% and 81% Utilization indicates that sections are practically full or that few classrooms are available for additional sections during weekdays. A measure above 81% Utilization usually indicates that sections are practically full and additional sections would most likely have to be scheduled during weeknights or weekends. In this scenario, with some classes already being scheduled outside normal hours, access is likely being denied to students unable to attend classes during non-standard times. At a minimum, the lack of capacity during peak periods of demand creates barriers to use.

OVERALL UTILIZATION

CLASSROOMS VERSUS INSTRUCTIONAL LABORATORIES

Utilization for instructional laboratories is evaluated separately from classrooms. Their specialized capabilities and usage often prevents them from being used as intensely as classrooms. Evaluating classrooms and laboratories together is likely to present a lower utilization than actually exists. For laboratories, Target Utilization, by definition, assumes that 75% of the available classroom seats are occupied for 25 hours per week on average.