If you want shorter fall and spring semesters, you’re in luck. That’s right folks, the Contra Costa Community College District is considering changing the academic Calendar from 18 to 16-week semesters. Though there are notable concerns, the possibility of improvement and increased productivity outweighs any of the negatives. The Student Learning Outcomes Work Group surveyed other colleges who’ve switched to having shorter semesters, and studies have shown an increase in student success.
This would mean the class periods would be longer. This could be a valid point against a compressed calendar given the fact that the average attention span is that of a goldfish, but because we would get out earlier, the summer semester could be possibly lengthened and it might open the door for a possible winter semester, allowing students to take more classes and get out of school sooner.
In order for this to work, instructors would have to make their syllabus adaptable to the new timetable, which creates extra work for them but a little change can be refreshing for everyone. Besides, if a compressed calendar is implemented, they will have an extra two weeks to complain about said changes.
If you are concerned about the affect a compressed calendar would have on sports programs, don’t fret. According to a summary of a California community college Compressed Calendar Study, other programs would possibly be allowed to go a full 18 weeks rather than comply with the shortened semester.
There are some things which still need to be worked out, after all such a big change isn’t without flaws. For example, faculty members are required to work 175 days out of the year, how is this possible with only a 16-week semester? Other districts have started counting Saturdays and Sundays. We’re not sure if this is the ideal way to handle this problem but at least we’re moving toward a solution and with serious discussions, we will find a way to work around this issue and whatever else may come up.
Some of the other community colleges in California have already done so and have found success with a 16-week calendar and the goal at LMC is to be the most successful person you can be. So let’s try something different and give this system a chance.