Say goodbye to class-free Fridays
Published: Monday, October 25, 2010
Updated: Friday, June 15, 2012 23:06
Expect more Friday classes in 2012. And for that matter, expect to take more classes throughout the week, Ohio State officials say.
It's all a part of the multi-million-dollar conversion from quarters to semesters.
"The big question that students have is, ‘How is this going to affect me?'" said Jay Hobgood, co-chair of the Council on Academic Affairs. That council is leading the daunting task of moving the university to a new schedule by summer 2012.
Officials at the Office of Academic Affairs made a pledge to students that the conversion won't delay their graduation as long as they work with academic advisers to make sure they are on the right track.
That means that students shouldn't start a new course sequence that they can't finish before the transition, University Registrar Brad Myers said.
Curricula in those sequences likely will change after the switch, as professors will have more time than a 10-week quarter to cover more material.
For students who don't heed Meyer's advice, though, the university might offer "bridge courses" to get them up to speed in the sequence, said Jay Johnson, assistant provost for the Office of Academic Affairs. But that would be up to each department to decide, he said.
Students will have to get used to traditional semester schedules, Johnson said, which typically means a higher courseload to make up for fewer terms throughout the year.
In the end, though, the workload remains about the same, he said.
"I think that you're not studying more under semesters than you are under quarters, or less," Johnson said. "It's roughly the same amount."
Although many students — and professors — avoid Friday classes on the quarter system, Myers said that won't be possible with semesters.
"There's just no way we can make (semesters) work with the classroom pool that we have without … taking advantage of Friday," Myers said. "We just have to."
Classes that meet Monday, Wednesday and Friday for 55 minutes will be the most common, according to the curriculum conversion guide.
Classes will begin as early as 8 a.m. and end as late as 10 p.m.
OSU has been preparing for the switch to semesters since 2009, although officials considered the conversion three times in the past 20 years, OSU spokesman Jim Lynch said.
The brunt of the work is converting 12,000 courses from a 10-week schedule to 14 weeks.
"We have some 200 different academic programs," Johnson said. "All of those need to be converted … and every single course needs to be reapproved."
Each department is required to re-evaluate its courses and draft a proposal to be approved by a conversion committee. Professors and department heads might add, split, drop or combine classes to adapt them to the 14-week schedule.
The departments send curriculum proposals to the college they're in before it moves on to the Council of Academic Affairs. Members of that council spend weeks looking at each program to make sure it matches the university's goals and won't be an obstacle to graduation. Johnson said the council should have all the proposals for review no later than winter 2010.
All semester courses will be available online in spring 2012 so students can register for summer and fall 2012 courses. But academic advisers will get course information ahead of time, so students can consult their advisers about courses they will take after the conversion, officials said.
Despite promises that the switch will be a smooth one, some students are still resistant to courses that require a 14-week attention span.
"The classes I've taken, I can't imagine taking them for any longer," said Tiffany Belton, a fifth-year in fashion retail studies. "I'm just glad I won't be here for it."
Dylan Tussel contributed to this story.