Compressed Calendar Task Force Recommendations - Spring 2018
Based on the results of the surveys that were given to faculty, staff, administrators and students, as well as the conversations in the Senates at Cuyamaca and Grossmont Colleges, and the practical and technical considerations reviewed in collaboration with the State Chancellor’s Office, the Compressed Calendar Task Force offers the following recommendations regarding the move to a compressed calendar:
Term Length: 17 weeks total (1 week FLEX - 16 weeks instruction - NO finals week)
Rationale: This schedule is reduced from our current 18 week term length (1 week FLEX, 16 weeks instruction, 1 week final exams).
Final Exams: The decision to remove the finals week rather than shorten the number of instructional weeks was based on the concern among departments with labs regarding the elimination of an entire lab from their curriculum. This allows those programs to continue to offer the same number of labs and will only require the elimination of one day of lecture.
FLEX Week: The decision to keep a full week of FLEX was a response to the concern expressed by chairs from across the divisions that extending class meeting times would limit the ability to offer as many sections each day. The full week of FLEX keeps the Term Length Multiplier higher - and thus keeps the section meeting times lower. This was also consistent with the survey results, which indicated that the majority of faculty, staff and administration prefered to keep FLEX week.
Thanksgiving Break: Continue to offer two days (Thursday and Friday) of vacation.
Rationale: The student survey was split on this (50% preferring two days, 50% preferring the whole week. Faculty, Staff and Administration responded with 55% in favor of the whole week. However, upon further discussion in forums, it became clear that for some of the performance-based programs, this was a significant impediment to effectively serving students as well. There was also concern expressed in both surveys and in conversation regarding the potential loss of students’ momentum taking so many days off just before the end of the term. Finally, the shorter Thanksgiving option allows for an earlier fall term completion date. This improves the ability of admissions and records to close out fall semester grades in time to clear students for intersession.
Intersession: Maintain the current 4-week intersession.
Rationale: There was interest expressed in extending the intersession, as some departments feel that our current length (4 weeks) does not offer enough time to adequately develop students’ knowledge and ability. It became clear when the task force examined future calendar scenarios that there would be years when the first monday after the New Year would fall early in the calendar (i.e. 2nd 3rd, 4rth) and it would be feasible to add a 5th week of intersession without pushing back the start date of the Spring semester much. In other years, the first Monday would fall later and it would not be possible to offer a 5 week intersession and still align our start date with other institutions in the region (which is important for maximizing enrollment). Rather than require that faculty and staff bounce back and forth between two different intersession models, the task force recommends the continuation of a 4 week intersession.