OSU bids adieu to quarters, welcomes semesters
Published: Monday, May 14, 2012
Updated: Saturday, June 16, 2012 00:06
After a 90-year courtship, Ohio State is parting ways with the quarter system and acquainting itself with a semester model.
The days of 10-week classes that seem to fly by are gone, as longer 14-week stretches of classes are to become the norm. A pair of these lengthier periods will begin mid-August and run until the beginning of May. OSU officials suggest that students should generally take five courses each semester at an average of three credit hours each.
Jay Johnson, assistant provost at the Office of Academic Affairs, said that considering and implementing semesters in not a new idea to the university, according to a Jan. 24 article in The Lantern.
“Ohio State seriously considered moving to semesters three times in the past 20 years,” Johnson said. “In the 1990s, the faculty was not supportive of the change to semesters. A calendar change was reviewed in 2000-01 and at that time, the university community seemed more in favor, but we were constrained by the IT infrastructure.”
As the end framework nears, some students said they are apprehensive, while others are excited to see what advantages the switch will bring.
Kyle Craft, a third-year in speech and hearing science, said he thinks the switch will make students more competitive in the job market.
“By the time that we get off on quarters, a lot of the jobs are already taken up, especially the summer jobs, (semesters) will help level the playing field,” Craft said.
On the other hand, Jillian Shipley, a first-year in communication and business, said she’s not looking forward to starting earlier and taking more classes.
“I like the fact that if I don’t like a class, I’m not stuck with it for a long period of time,” Shipley said. “I like that they go really fast.”
While the transition will cost OSU $12.6 million, the university has promised that tuition will not go up because of the switch, and students will receive the same amount of instruction throughout the course of the school year. Furthermore, financial aid will not be adversely affected.
In fact, the university also promises that students will be able to graduate on time as long as they decide on their major and degree within a time frame compatible with a four-year graduation, remain on track with their course load and actively develop academic plans with their advisers.
Ali Esfahani, a fourth-year in biology, said he has friends at other universities on semesters and said there are advantages to both sides
“You don’t really know what you have until you’ve experienced it,” he said. “I’m sure semesters have its own advantages, but then quarters has its own disadvantages. They were telling me, ‘If you don’t like a class, that’s too bad, you’re going to be stuck in it longer.’ But with quarters … you just hold your breath and just get it done with. Or with quarters, you feel like it’s kind of a sprint, but with semesters you might feel more relaxed.”
OSU’s first semester officially begins June 18, but most students will get their first taste of the switch beginning Aug. 22.