Now three years since the idea was first endorsed by Ohio State’s University Senate, the first academic semester is now only a month away.
It will be the culmination of one of the most massive campus-wide undertakings in the history of the university — even units such as the Moritz College of Law, which already had operated under semesters, and the College of Medicine, which has had its own calendar as well, had to revise the way they operate to accomodate the change.
The change began with the original formation of subcommittees to focus on advising, space, technology, communications, core business processes, curriculum and graduate education and included a thorough re-examination and re-imagining of the curriculum in every college and department.
But now the switch is imminent, and nearly all of the work has been done. There are details, of course, that will pop up, and that’s why the original plan to begin a semester calendar in autumn was amended to switch this summer — giving everyone a sort-of test run.
The change in summer, however, presents its own set of challenges, as related by Steve Fink and Randy Smith, co-chairs of the Semester Conversion Coordinating Committee:
“The transitional summer of 2012 will make it unlike any other academic term, past or future,” they wrote in the May Quarter-to-Semester Update. Here are some of its unique challenges:
* Summer break in 2012 will be shorter than the summers we are accustomed to on the quarter system. Summer break 2012 will be 72 days in length, measured from the last day of final examinations on June 7 to the start of fall semester on Aug. 22. By contrast, the 2011 summer break was 102 days long. One-time implications of this shorter timeframe include student work schedules, vacation planning and leasing arrangements.
* There is no May session in 2012. The inaugural four-week May session will start on May 6, 2013, and will conclude on May 31, 2013.
* Summer 2012 will consist of a single seven-week session, with classes beginning on June 18 and concluding on Aug. 3. Exams will take place Aug. 6-8.
Summer 2012: Semesters Begin
Spring quarter Commencement (graduating seniors must be moved out of residence halls) June 10 (S)
Initial fee payment deadline for Summer session classes June 11 (M)
Residence Halls open for summer housing June 17 (S)
Classes begin June 18 (M)
Enrollment census date July 2 (M)
Independence Day – no classes, offices closed July 4 (W)
Last day of regularly-scheduled classes Aug 3 (F)
Final examinations Aug 6-8 (M-W)
Summer commencement and residence hall move-out for graduating seniors Aug 12 (Sun)
Housing move-in Aug. 19 (Su)
President’s Convocation Aug. 20
Classes begin Aug. 22 (W)
Labor Day – no classes, offices closed Sept. 3
Thanksgiving break – no classes, offices closed Nov. 21-23
Last day of classes Dec. 4
Final examinations Dec. 6-12
Autumn Commencement Dec. 16