“Jan”mester Proposed But is another mini-mester a good idea?

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Written by Toni Stauffer

 

   A three-week semester has been proposed to begin in January 2018. President Chris Markwood said that the goals will be to “allow another opportunity for students to earn credit, hopefully shortening the time to a degree.” He also hopes to be able to waive all fees, except for those mandated by the state. This will mean significant savings for students. A three-hour course should drop from more than $1,300 to a little more than $500. The “Jan”mester will also afford students an additional opportunity to experience the study abroad program.


In order to make the “Jan”mester possible, the other semesters will have to lose the dedicated finals week, so exams will occur during the last week of classes. Other Georgia universities have successfully adopted the 15-week semester, such as Georgia Tech.

 

 


“[The 15-week semester] is not uncommon at all,” said veteran English professor Jim Owen. “In some places [it] is considered to be the gold standard.” Owen went on to say that what he wouldn’t want to see is for the university to drag out the spring semester by a week, which will interfere with the ability of students to get summer jobs and make summer travel plans.


As for how it affects faculty, Owen said that he’s comfortable with it, because he has taught 15-week semesters at other universities; however, the change will affect disciplines differently because professors will have to cut material from courses.

   “I don’t like it,” said Austin Icard, a rising junior in computer science. “I think we should have that extra time to prepare for finals.” Icard likes that with the current schedule professors can go over material “in-depth,” and that he has the time to get any additional assistance with assignments or have questions answered before finals.


“I think it’s a great idea,” said Adrian Roman, a biology freshman, “but I think a week other than finals week should be taken off the other semesters.” Roman feels that the shorter semesters will cause conflict, because many professors will not be willing to take a day out of an already tight schedule to accommodate finals.