Oregon University System may make schedule changes

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Semesters instead of quarters a possibility

 

Nathaniel Kelly

https://www.midoregon.com/accounts/student.shtml

The Broadside

Students at Central Oregon Community College as well as Or­egon State University-Cascades Campus may find themselves tak­ing classes on a semester sched­ule rather than a quarterly one.

Oregon University System of­ficials are taking a close look at moving the entire Oregon higher education system from a quarterly schedule to a semester schedule. The change would have positive aspects including reducing admin­istrative work and making transfer­ring to other colleges easier. OUS is looking at making the change because most colleges nationwide use a semester system.

However, the process of con­verting is long and arduous accord­ing to COCC administrators.

“It would take significant [effort] to make such a major shift,” said Vicko­ry Viles, secretary at the CAP Center.

Michael Holtzclaw, the head chair of the social science depart­ment, believes that students will en­gage more meaningfully in projects and not feel rushed.He thinks the advantages of a semester sched­ule outweigh any disadvantages.

“Only about 20 percent of high­er education institutions nation­wide are on a quarter system,” said Kathy Walsh, an instructional dean at COCC.

When transferring from a quar­ter to a semester system, Walsh said that students lose some of the credits they’ve already taken. Courses taken at a quarter school do not count for full credits at a se­mester school. This can result in students taking longer to graduate after transferring.

In order to convert, colleges would make changes to curricula, schedules,holidays and record systems.

“The process of preparing chang­es to curricula, schedules, and re­cord systems must be thought of as a multi-year process,” said Kathy Walsh. This means that faculty mem­bers, administrative personnel, and students can expect a five-year plan to convert to a semester system.

“I personally preferred the se­mester system because I had a longer time to become familiar with my students, their work, and their learning styles,” said Walsh.

Elizabeth Coleman, a math­ematics teacher at COCC dislikes the semester system idea because it is just too long.

Right now, OUS officials are re­ceiving feedback on what students and faculty members think about converting to a semester system. A poll is underway on the OUS web­site at ous.edu.

You may contact Nathaniel Kelly at nathanielsea@gmail.com

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