Jackson College is offering more 7-week classes!
December 21, 2018
As part of our Total Commitment to Student Success (TCS2), Jackson College is scheduling more class sections to take place over seven weeks in addition to courses that take place over a traditional 15-week time period.
What does it mean that Jackson College is offering more 7-week classes?
Seven-week classes offer the same quality of teaching, support, and content, but in half the time as 15-week classes. Typically, students should enroll in half of their registered classes in the first seven-week term and the other half of their classes in the second seven-week term. For full-time students, this will allow them to concentrate on fewer courses intently rather than spreading their attention over four or five courses per semester.
Why is Jackson College moving to seven-week terms?
We are pursuing seven-week terms as part of our Total Commitment to Student Success (TCS2). Our visits to other colleges and related research has shown that students who enroll in seven-week terms have higher course success rates, drop fewer courses, and progress more quickly to a degree.i Colleges that have moved to seven-week terms have seen significant jumps in retention and student completion rates for all students.ii
i. The corpus of literature on the benefits of compressed semesters is growing. A small sample of research includes Austin & Gustafson, 2006; Geltner and Logan 2000; Sheldon & Durdella, 2009; and Seamons 2004.
ii. For example, since Odessa College in Texas moved to eight-week terms, they have seen their student retention rate increase 11%. Some student groups increased their retention rate by nearly 30%. Trident Technical College in South Carolina moved to seven-week terms and has seen similar results.
What are some of the benefits of seven-week terms?
- Students can focus on fewer courses at a time. For example, instead of having homework for four or five different classes, a student would have homework for only two or three at a time.
- Students can maintain academic momentum more easily when life gets in the way. If a student enrolls in five 15-week classes that start in September and an event occurs in November that requires her to drop all of her courses, she would receive zero credits. But in a 7-week term model, she could earn some credits from the first 7-week term.
- Another benefit we’re hearing about is that students and faculty can get to know each other better because 7-week classes feature more active and frequent learning interactions that promote faculty-student and student-student engagement.
When is this happening?
Jackson College has regularly offered late-start, seven-week classes and has experience in this design. We have already started offering more seven-week classes. Some classes will remain in a 15-week format, but by fall 2019, a wide majority of our courses will be run in a seven-week format. This is so students have the best chance of realizing the benefits of seven-week terms.
What would a student’s schedule look like?
Typically, a student enrolled in all seven-week classes will be in class for the same amount of time as if he/she were enrolled in all 15-week classes. We will be offering more hybrid course options that will offer a combination of face-to-face and online instruction. There will be a one-week break between seven-week classes. Note: Students can be in a combination of seven-week and 15-week classes.
Snapshot of Fall 2019 Semester
15 weeks (September – December)
Fall 1 Term
7 weeks (September – October)
Fall 2 Term
7 weeks (October – December)
How should students prepare for taking a seven-week class?
First, students should make sure that they are only taking one or two (a maximum of three) seven-week classes at a time. Part-time students who work a full-time job are strongly advised to take only one seven-week class at a time. This is because seven-week classes are of the same rigor and equate to the same instructional and required study hours as 15-week classes. Second, students should be prepared to manage their time very wisely and carefully, so they do not miss classes and can stay current with the readings and assignments. Just as they would with any class, students should block off sufficient time outside of class to devote to studying.
How will financial aid work for seven-week classes?
Total financial aid award eligibility will not change with our move to seven-week classes. In compressed scheduling, a student’s credit hours for the semester are divided between two seven-week terms. The number of credit hours a student takes in each term will determine when and how much financial aid is disbursed to a student’s account each term. For more information about financial aid, connect with our financial aid office at 517.796.8410 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If I take a course in seven weeks, will the course still transfer?
Taking a course in a seven-week format will not affect the transferability of a class. A student’s transcript will look identical whether they take a course in a seven-week format or a 15-week format. The name of the course and the number of credits assigned to that course will remain the same.