OU Continues to Ease Students into Semester System
As part of a ten year plan initiated by the Ohio Department of Education, OU will begin to prepare its students returning for the 2012 school year for the transition. The preparation will include informing students on what they can do to ensure their schedule is appropriated to their degree in order to graduate on time.
“The main reason behind the change was the state of Ohio,” said Linda Lockhart, a representative from University Communications and Marketing. “All of the higher education institutions … will make the change to be on the same academic calendar.”
According to the strategic ten year plan the change will prove advantageous to students when it comes to transferring schools, as well as many other factors.
Many students are concerned about the way the transition will affect their credits, graduation time and tuition costs.
“For my English major, I have to complete my foreign language requirement before the switch,” said junior Kevin Kotowski. “So I’ve been pressed to test into second year Spanish and complete it all this year.
For many majors, the transition may mean fitting more into your schedule in the upcoming years, taking summer classes or even having more leeway with your schedule. But the transition should not hinder a student from graduating on time, as long as they do their part in completing and passing their classes.
“This academic year will really mean that students need to take the initiative to see their advisor and map out ‘here’s what I did on quarters, so here’s what I need,’” Lockhart said.
The student and their respective advisors will have to come to what is being called a Transition Degree Completion Plan, which will be signed by both parties and reviewed by the school.
“This year, it is important for every student to see their advisor,” Lockhart continued.
As far as tuition costs, nothing will change. “Instead of paying tuition in three chunks, that same amount will be divided by two,” said Lockhart. Tuition, housing fees and meal plan fees will be paid each semester.
When it comes to off-campus housing, which has previously been done in quarters, administration is unsure how the change will affect costs. But it can be expected that off-campus housing will follow similar patterns of the school. Holiday breaks and summer break will also change; students will start school earlier than previous years and end later.
The administration feels that many students will benefit from the transition. “Prior to [the transition], we didn’t finish until June, and so semester schools had a leg up when applying for internships and summer jobs,” explained Lockhart. “So there are many advantages, but the transition should not disadvantage completion, time or cost.”