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Questions And Answers
When will Columbus State switch to a semester-based calendar?
Columbus State will Switch to Semesters in Autumn 2012.
Why is Columbus State converting to a semester system and why now?
The Ohio Board of Regents called for such a conversion by all University System of Ohio (USO) institutions in its “Strategic Plan for Higher Education.” In response, all 17 Ohio public colleges and universities currently on quarters, including Columbus State, will be changing to semesters. Most are making the conversion effective Autumn 2012.
What are the advantages of a semester academic calendar?
Semesters provide multiple advantages. A semester calendar:
- Facilitates transfer of credits earned by student and program articulation between institutions since more than 90% of U.S. colleges and universities are on semesters
- Will afford students more time to learn and experiment with course material
- Enhances student options for taking classes at multiple institutions and participating in collegiate activities because of calendar alignment
- Allows graduating seniors to enter the job market earlier
- Offers more time for summer internships
- Gives students a better chance at summer jobs since the school year ends earlier
- Reduces registration and financial aid activity from three times to two times per academic year
- Allows better scheduling of off-campus learning experiences such as clinical placements and internships
- Provides an opportunity for faculty to review, redesign and update course curriculum and program requirements
What is the difference between quarters and semesters?
Quarters and semesters are calendar units that educational institutions use to organize their academic year. Currently, Columbus State operates on quarters which are 11 weeks long (10 weeks of classes and one of exams). Semesters here, once operational, will be 15 weeks of instruction followed by one week of exams.
Who will be affected by the Switch2Semesters?
Any Columbus State student who begins his/her degree or certificate studies under a quarter-based academic calendar and does not graduate prior to Autumn 2012 (when the college switches to a semester-based calendar) will be impacted by the transition.
When will classes begin and end under the semester system?
See the Academic Calendar page. In general, autumn semester courses will begin in late August and end in mid-December. Spring semesters usually will begin in mid-January and end in early May while summer terms will run from mid-to-late May to early August.
How should students prepare for the change to a semester calendar?
One really great way to prepare for the transition is to complete your studies and graduate before Autumn 2012 if you can. Meet with an academic advisor now to map out a plan for completing your course work prior to the transition.
If you cannot finish before the conversion to semesters, make sure you have declared a major and then meet with an advisor (individually or by program) as soon as possible. Together, you can create a transitional plan of study based upon your Degree Audit Report (DARS). Also, stay informed by visiting this site and checking your student email regularly. See the Resources page of this website for more semesters tips.
How will students who start under the quarter system but will finish under semesters know which courses to take?
Curricular information and advising resources are available to students to help them define a specific path to degree/certificate completion. The online college catalog, Degree Audit Report System, individual program departments and Advising Services all have semester curriculum information available to assist students. It is a good idea for every transition student to meet with an advisor or attend a program advisory session to work out a plan to guide his/her path to graduation.
When can I develop a plan of study?
The curricular and system modifications already have been made at Columbus State so you can run a Degree Audit Report in preparation for meeting with an advisor or during the actual session. You can jointly work out a plan of study with an advisor and/or attend an appropriate advisory session that will give you important program information for use in scheduling. Check your program's departmental homepage for details on any upcoming sessions.
Will I need to schedule more classes per semester?
Because many semester courses earn fewer hours of credit, you probably will have to schedule an additional class or two per semester to maintain full-time status and finish on time. Taking just 12 hours (minimum full-time amount) per semester for 4 semesters (two years, no summers) will not add up to the total degree required hours for many programs. Luckily, with 15 weeks of in-class time per semester, you will have more time to master the material and adding a class or two will be doable.
How will the credit hours I’ve already earned be counted under the semester system?
Credit hours you’ve earned under the quarter system will be converted to a corresponding number of semester credit hours according to an established formula. You will maintain your academic progress to date.
Will my grade point average (GPA) be affected by the Switch2Semesters?
A student's GPA will be combined and weighted proportionately for the amount of quarter and semester credit earned.
Will my tuition and fees be higher under semesters than under quarters?
The tuition and fees for a full academic year of semesters (i.e., two semesters) will be the same as they would have been for a full academic year under quarters (i.e., three quarters) at the time of conversion. However, charges for one semester will be higher than the charges for one quarter because a semester is about 1½ times the length of a quarter. But, remember, under semesters, students will pay fees just twice a year instead of three times per year. Financial Aid disbursements will be proportionately adjusted to meet semester requirements. Note that the college may implement annual tuition increases as deemed necessary and authorized by the Board of Trustees.
How will the transition to a semester system affect my ability to receive and use financial aid?
Once semesters are instituted, if you receive financial aid, you will receive the same annual amounts per eligibility as established by the awards you receive. The amounts will simply be divided between two semesters as opposed to three quarters. Please be aware that you should plan your schedule well in advance in order to request sufficient funds for the needed number of terms, especially right before the start of semesters
If I have additional questions, where can I get them answered?
For now, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or your advisor.
Columbus State Community College
550 East Spring Street
Columbus, OH 43216