Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana calendar in semesters

Augustana College has been preparing for a term transition from trimesters to semesters on September of 2019.
The new school year will be comprised of a first term, J-Term and second term. First and second term will be 14 weeks of classes and a week of final exams, a total of 15 weeks. To qualify as a full-time student the minimum credit requirement for first and second term will be 12 credits coming from three four-credit courses. Student tuition will cover 34 credits across the year.
The first J-Term will occur on January 2020. Incoming freshmen, current freshmen and sophomore students, also called “the transition cohort” will experience both calendars. Professors Gillian Lederman and Jayne Rose, the term transition coordinators, have been working with admissions, with communications and marketing and Student Government Association to inform existing and prospective students.
“One of the things we think is most appealing about the transition is the J-Term which is an intensive opportunity to take study one course on campus. As faculty have been working and developing the courses and new calendar, and developing the program, they have come up with some really unique and interesting J-Term experiences. So when a student takes a J-Term course, it will feel very different from the semester course,” Lederman expressed.
All first year students with be required to take J-Term, but for sophomores, juniors and seniors it is optional. There will also not be any additional charges for J-Term as it is included in the tuition cost. Most of the international programs will be held during J-Term instead of spring break, as is done currently.
Every student who is on schedule to graduate should continue to stay on schedule to graduate. To ensure this, current freshmen and sophomore students must meet with their major advisors. If you have one major, you will have one meeting. If you have two, two and so on.
Reasons behind the transition include the fact that a trimester calendar doesn’t align particularly well with other institutions, with students transferring in and with athletics. The pace of trimesters is very fast-paced and intensive, and there was a focus on facilitating a more comfortable learning experience. After speaking to multiple different institutions that implemented semesters and J-Term, the college found that many expressed positive feedback about the transition including students who benefited from the semester vs. J-Term contrast.
“Lots of schools transition from trimesters to semesters. Nobody moves back,” Rose stated.
“I’m concerned about the course load during the semester calendar year. I’m not sure how it will feel, but I look forward to the new experience,” Yafet Zeleke, a first year student expressed.
The coordinators for the transition have hosted two informational sessions: one at the end of the last academic year and the other during this year’s Fall term. As the transition comes closer, they have found students are becoming more curious and seeking out answers for their questions.
The admissions office tells prospective students about the transition when they visit campus. Emails are sent to applicants to notify them of the transition and direct them to the online resources about it on the Augustana website.
Lederman and Rose have an informational table set up at the Brew every Tuesday from 10:30 to noon to answer any questions concerning the new academic calendar.

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Augustana calendar in semesters