Tech committee considers extending semester

Julie Baker

Tech’s scheduling committee is proposing extending semesters to 15 weeks to provide a more uniform schedule and avoid overlapping classes. 

Dean Julie Baker who is co-chair of the committee, surveyed SGA members during a meeting on Jan. 28 about their opinions on the 14-week versus 15-week schedule. 

Overall, members indicated they liked a 15-week schedule because it provides consistency with the start and stop times being on the hour or half hour every day. For example: a class that normally starts at 9:05 a.m. would start a 9 a.m. 

Taking away five minutes from class time requires the university to extend the semester an extra week to meet accreditation standards. 

“A big advantage of this to the business office is it ensures the accelerated courses, which are courses that start ahead of the regular semester, would have the same fee payment and confirmation deadlines as the traditional courses,” Baker said. 

The majority of SGA members also agreed 10 minutes is enough time to get from each of their classes. Baker said the committee considered extending the breaks between classes.

“We really wanted to propose this idea to SGA because they are a good representation of the students and are known as the leaders on campus,” Baker said. 

SGA president Mason Hilliard said he was unsure what actions will be taken place at this time. 

“Our main goal is to do what’s best for the student body, so when the time comes to make a decision it will be based on the best interests of the students,” Hilliard said.

The committee, which consists of 22 students, staff and faculty, also went to the faculty senate on Jan. 28 get their opinions of the proposal. 

Faculty president Troy Smith said there are many pros and cons with the proposal. 

“On one side, this proposal is how it used to be done at Tech and how most schools do it. It would also give more face-to-face time between teachers and students,” said Smith. “On the other side, teachers would lose a week over breaks to work and students would have an extra week of living expenses.” 

Baker said a lot of factors need to be taken into consideration before any final decisions are made.