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Why Switch to Semesters?

Columbus State is switching from quarters to semesters for Autumn 2012 for a number of reasons, chiefly:

  1. The Ohio Board of Regents called for such a conversion by all University System of Ohio (USO) institutions in its recent “Strategic Plan for Higher Education.”
  2. Switching to Semesters makes it even easier for students to transfer academic credits between colleges and universities across the state and across the country. (Additional advantages to semesters are listed below.)

thinking about the switchWith more the 90 percent of U.S. colleges and universities already operating on semesters, Columbus State’s move to a semester calendar is appropriate. Area students will benefit greatly from all USO institutions, including Columbus State, operating on a similar academic calendar.

The Columbus State Community College Board of Trustees voted at their May 2009 meeting to make the transition to semesters for Autumn 2012. This means that Columbus State is converting to semesters, along with the 16 remaining state colleges and universities still operating under a quarter-based academic calendar. Almost all of these institutions are activating their semester-based calendars for the fall of 2012.

After receiving the charge from the Board of Trustees, the college appointed an overall Conversion Steering Committee, which in turn created five subcommittees, to complete the conversion effort. These subcommittees (Communications, Curriculum, Enrollment and Student Services, Information Technology and Operations) are comprised of individuals from across the campus, including students.

One of their many early tasks was to come up with a logo/slogan for the conversion effort. They selected the lively "Switch2Semesters," shown below.



Currently, the five subcommittees are busy coordinating the curricular, operational and system-wide (e.g., technological) revisions that the switch requires. As these are completed, the subcommittees will communicate the next steps in the process.

Semesters offer many advantages. The semester-based academic calendar:

  • Facilitates transfer of credits earned by students and program articulation between institutions because of common calendar
  • Provides more time for students to learn and experiment with course material
  • Enhances the chances for students to take classes or attend events at multiple institutions as a result of aligned academic calendars
  • 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, financial aid activity, book purchasing, etc., 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

student walking