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Some students cram GECs into last quarter

With Spring Quarter planning under way, some students are scheduling for their last term at Ohio State before the $12.6 million semester conversion.

The semester conversion, set to be implemented for the 2012 Summer Semester, was a state-mandated change affecting OSU and all other public universities, such as Ohio University, University of Cincinnati and Wright State University.

Anxious about the semester conversion, some students are making it a priority to finish certain classes or subjects this spring.

“I want to knock my introductory math out next quarter,” said Faren Morris, a second-year in exploration.

Other students have similar motivations and are eager to finish classes they said they don’t think they will enjoy.

“I’m really not in any sequences right now, but I wanted to get all of my introductory courses done because I don’t want to be in those classes for 14 weeks,” said Megan Barahona, a second-year in psychology.

Graduating on the semester system, Barahona said she is thankful she knew about the conversion well in advance.

“I’m glad I’m not a freshmen,” she said. “I had time to plan for this.”

While they didn’t have the time advantage older students had, first-year students have found success in their plans to complete key classes before the conversion.

“I want to finish my language requirements; I’d also like to get my sciences done. As long as I manage to get some GECs done, I’ll be fine,” said Andrew Rote, a first-year in international studies.

John Wanzer, assistant provost of the Office of Enrollment Services and Undergraduate Education, said he expects freshmen to adjust well to semesters as long as they think ahead.

“The transition will be pretty straightforward, they ought to see their advisers and plan what would be best for them to take under quarters, and what under semesters,” Wanzer said. “They need to develop a plan.”

President E. Gordon Gee said he doesn’t think the semester switch is going to cause problems for students.

“We gave large numbers of students particularly a chance to graduate early,” Gee told The Lantern. “People haven’t taken us up on that … It’s obvious that the students in the end felt that the conversion was not going to be detrimental to them.

While many students are anxious to finish specific classes, they have little stress about the conversion itself.

“It’s going to be fine, I don’t know all the details of it, but I think I’ll like semesters,” Morris said.

Other students agree.

“If I were in the middle of a language or math series, it would be a lot more stressful, but I’m not really worried,” Barahona said.

OSU students aren’t the only collegians in central Ohio that face academic changes in 2012. Columbus State Community College is also switching to semesters to accommodate students who take classes at both schools or plan to transfer.

Some CSCC students are finding it difficult to schedule for Spring Quarter.

“There’s one class that already filled up that I wanted to take, so I can’t take that, now I have to replace it with a class that’s harder. I just want to finish this class before the conversion,” said Abdullah Scheana, a first-year at CSCC.

Scheana, said he is planning to transfer from CSCC to OSU in the fall to pursue a degree in civil engineering.

On the semester system, students will be in each class for 14 weeks instead of the 10-week quarter term. Semester terms will begin in Summer 2012, and Wanzer said the goal is to have a class schedule available by March 1, with scheduling windows opening on April 23. The Fall Semester schedule is expected to be available on April 15, with scheduling windows opening on April 30.

Wanzer said he is confident students will adjust well to the semester system, but will feel better once the changes are fully in place.

“We’re all waiting to see how this goes,” Wanzer said. “And hoping it goes well.”


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