With the transition from quarters to semesters fast approaching, officials at Ohio University are working to put the final plans together.
The university announced the class meeting times for the semesters this Tuesday. Athens campus students, faculty and staff members can start to look at what is about to unfold over the next year before the switch is made in fall of 2012.
Currently, OU students typically take four four-hour classes as the standard class block. A four-credit class is considered the “norm” on the quarter’s system. With the switch from quarters to semesters though, Associate Professor Jeff Giesey, who is the Co-Director of Q2S Transition (Quarters to Semesters Transition), says that standard class block will go from four four-hour classes to five three-hour classes.
These classes won’t remain the current 50 minutes they are now. “One-hour” classes will now be 55 minutes long and rather than “two-hour” classes, they will be 80 minute classes.
The daytime schedule for the semesters will start at 7:30 a.m. and run to 5:05 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays. On Tuesday and Thursdays, classes will run to about 4:25 p.m. Any class after 5:15 p.m. will follow any meeting plan, except for those classes held in large classrooms. This schedule applies ONLY to the Athens campus.
"It's not trying to make people just go to class on Friday because we want them to go to class on Friday, but rather it's we're going to have to utilize the full week for the classrooms in order to get everything, everyone in." Giesey says.
With the transition coming in 2012, some students attending OU currently will be trapped in the switch. Giesey emphasizes that current students will NOT be a disadvantage during the switch. Advisors and professors will meet with these students and tell them how they will be affected and how their course load will be affected.
OU students love their long winter breaks and how late they start up in the fall. Not anymore. With the transition, these breaks are changing too.
Rather than begin classes after Labor Day, classes will start the fourth week in August and end a week before Christmas. Rather than a six-week break off for winter, OU students will see their break reduced to four-week break. Spring semester will start up again the second week of January.
One break that is being lengthened is summer. On the quarter system, summer break is 12 weeks long, but under the semester system, it will be 16 weeks long. No worries, other breaks will still be implemented.
"Spring Break we'll have and then in the fall there will be days for Thanksgiving and then some various holidays." Giesey reassures.
Advantages vs. Disadvantages
Quarters and semesters both carry advantages and disadvantages. An advantage for switching to semesters is that courses can go more in depth. Classes on the quarter system teach the basics of the class and then it’s already finals week. With 16-week classes, courses can be combined (such as Spanish 110, 111, and 112) and they can go in depth.
With advantages, come disadvantages. On the quarter system, students have the capability of taking several classes over the course of a school year. However, on the semester system, you don’t have the option of taking as many classes, which some students aren’t happy with.
A big change like this is bound to have backlash. Some OU students are groaning about the move from early classes being at 8 a.m. to them being at 7:30 a.m. after the switch.
However, Giesey stated that the 7:30 a.m. time slot will be used minimally, but is necessary to ensure the best use of classrooms.
“We’re going to have to utilize the full week for the classrooms to get everyone in.” Giesey says.
To see a complete schedule of meeting times for the semesters, you can download Q2S schedule.