Starting fall semester 2021, the University of La Verne will pilot eight-week classes embedded in the new 17-week semester.
This will provide more opportunity and variety for students, when adding classes, and the new schedule structure will also allow registration across main and remote ULV campuses, with more classes adopting hybrid learning models.
The eight-week classes, which are still in planning development stages in various programs and departments, are part of the broader calendar changes at the University, designed to align programs across main and remote campuses into 17-week semesters, with an earlier start date in August and a newly added fall break.
Adding this new flexibility may help students who work, said Jonathan Reed, provost and vice president of academic affairs. He anticipates the University will pilot 100 eight-week classes in fall 2021, with more than 200 by spring 2022.
“We saw this as a flexibility for students, who are from different campuses to apply to courses who may not have been able to in the past because of scheduling,” said Gerard Lavatori, interim associate dean in the College of Arts and Science.
The two eight-week modules will be held back-to-back. Some faculty said they are intrigued by the flexibility and opportunity of the shorter time-frames.
“I am excited to see what opportunities this change will present for faculty, staff, and students,” Allyson Brantley, assistant professor of history, said.
This change will also help with students who sign up for semester-long classes and then decide a few weeks in to drop one of those classes. They will be able to pick up class in the second term and not fall too far behind in units.
“There will be some challenges, and we need to redesign our classes in such a way that the students are going to be able to finish in eight weeks,” said Seta Whitby, professor and department chairperson of computer science and computer engineering.
In support of the change, the University has begun to offer training on course design and best practices to adapt to the eight-week model.
The pilot courses will be taught by those professors who volunteer to do so in fall.
The eight-week classes could also be beneficial to student athletes whose seasons are often time intensive for a short period.
“I think it will alleviate the pressure of taking all your courses in 16 weeks, by breaking it up. As a student athlete, having the opportunity to take classes when my season is close to being over, is very beneficial to me,” said Porsche Double, junior psychology major and water polo player.
Sumiko Rudisky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.