1. What is happening now and what's next?
A Semester Conversion Steering Committee has been established with broad representation from all members of the campus community, including students. Faculty members started the curriculum development in summer 2014, and have submitted pre-proposals for all programs. Final proposals will be submitted by academic departments in spring 2015 through fall 2015, with reviews at the college and Academic Senate levels.
The advising timeline is being finalized and will be provided to the students later. The semester conversion team envisions two tracks for student advising. The first is directed to students graduating before fall 2018. The second track of advising will be directed to students who will be graduating in the semester calendar.
2. What will a student’s schedule look like under the semester model?
For example, in the quarter calendar, an undergraduate student who needs 180 units to graduate would take 45 units per year for four years, or 15 units per quarter (approximately four courses). Under the semester model, students will need to complete 120 units to graduate. That works out to 30 units per year for four years, or 15 units per semester. Most semester courses are 3-unit courses, so a full-time student will take five courses per semester.
The length of a semester is 15 weeks, with another week for exams, as compared to 10 weeks plus an exam week in the quarter model. The individual class sessions will be shorter (for example, 45 minutes three days a week rather than 65 minutes), but the time over the entire term will be approximately the same.
3. What should I be doing if I am a current student?
If you anticipate graduating before fall 2018, stay on track! Keep making progress toward completing your degree so you can finish before the conversion occurs. In the next year, tools will be developed to help you ensure that you are on track to graduate.
If you anticipate graduating after fall 2018, continue with your study plan. A coordinated strategy of advisors and software tools will help you transition to semesters once the semester curriculum has been more fully developed.
You may want to take advantage of summer session classes to fit in a few extra credits before fall 2018.
Stay informed and pay attention when you receive messages about semester conversion and advising. Take the actions recommended and make a plan.
4. Will all of the student’s existing quarter units count toward their degree following the conversion?
Every effort will be made to ensure that the units students already have earned will count toward their degrees. We have made a “Pledge to Students” assuring that you will graduate on time and will not lose earned credits provided you meet certain requirements: meet with advisors, develop an academic plan, and follow the plan.
5. How will financial aid be impacted?
A semester schedule will decrease the number of financial aid check disbursements. However, the student’s financial aid awards are given for an academic year regardless of whether the school’s calendar is quarter or semester based.
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