The Office of Enrollment Services is leading an effort to
transition the University to a new academic calendar that will offer consistent course lengths for greater student convenience and scheduling flexibility.
The current non-term based academic calendar allows for a
wide variety of class lengths and start dates that, in the past, has been used
to accommodate the cohort structure of many of Stritch’s academic programs,
which allows student to progress through the courses of a program together.
However, recent analyses connected with Visioning and Planning have revealed that a non-term structure has become
increasing rare at colleges and universities because of its complexity and
difficulty to administer. For example, students who elect to take a break from
their studies and step out of their cohort for a period of time can have difficulty easily returning to their studies, as cohorts can start at any time and run on their
own unique schedules.
Moving forward, the University will utilize two adjoining
non-standard academic calendar – This replaces the non-term calendar, and is
based on the structure of four terms of 12 weeks each. This calendar will
accommodate the evening programs in the College of Business and Management and
many of the cohort programs in the College of Education and Leadership and
College of Nursing.
The non-standard schedule will offer courses that are
consistently either six or 12 weeks in length. This allows students more
flexibility to leave and reenter a cohort, to pick up a class in another
cohort, or to take two courses at once. It also reduces the complexity of
courses starting and ending every week, which was the norm under the old
non-term model. The new “6-12” format also allows financial aid awards to be
distributed more easily.
standard academic calendar, based on the traditional model of fall, spring, and
summer course offerings. All daytime programs and several cohort programs fall into this category.
“Where the old system was extremely difficult to manage and
administer, the new calendar is more standardized and yet remains flexible for
students,” said Stacy Becker, senior director of enrollment systems/registrar.
“It also allows for some common breaks or time off. Many of our graduate
programs will be moving to the non-standard calendar.”
To facilitate the change to two adjoining calendars, the
lengths of some classes will be altered.
The official rollout of this new academic calendar structure
will occur mid-October, although there will be no immediate changes to the
student academic experience. To avoid disruption, students presently enrolled
in non-term based programs will be allowed to complete their studies in that
“We will be having a long teach out process before the new
structure is fully implemented,” Becker said. “We will continue to operate
non-term schedules for a while longer.”
Despite these changes, Stritch will continue to offer a
single commencement ceremony (In May for Wisconsin graduates and in June for Minnesota graduates) and will officially confer degrees three times a
year: May, August, and December.