Students & faculty debate semester starting dates

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A lot of talk has gone on recently about changing when semesters begin and end at CEU. The new schedule would have fall semester start after Labor Day and spring semester start after Martin Luther King Jr. Day. There are no definite plans in the works, but many members of the faculty have expressed an interest in the subject of changing the schedule.

One of the reasons for the proposed change is some instructors, especially those that teach classes on Mondays, feel there are too many breaks and three-day weekends as the schedule stands.

Several students, as well as instructors, have said the new schedule would be easier on students because it would line up better with other schools in the state. "Yes, I like it because CEU would have a more similar schedule to other colleges and universities," said a CEU student

One instructor did a survey in her classes on the subject. The results of the survey were mixed, but more students were in favor of leaving the schedule the way it is.

One of the most common reasons students seem to be against the schedule change is the way the schedule is now, CEU students get out of school before high-school students and it is easier to get summer jobs without competition from high schoolers. "No, I do not like this idea [of changing dates]. Mainly because we have an advantage of getting a summer job earlier than most," a student said in the survey.

Some students made the point that getting out of school in early May or late April gives those students transferring more time to prepare for school, "No, because it gives less time to prepare for continuation at another college."

"Yes, I like the idea. Summer is almost over after Labor Day and we wouldn't have to go to school in the heat," was one student's reason for supporting the schedule change. "I love the idea, it allows a lot of people not to miss school because of the deer and elk hunt," was another student's argument for the change.

One instructor, opposed to the change, said the schedule the way it stands is better for learning, "In my experience, it's 'developmentaly friendly' for traditional freshmen students to be at college a couple of weeks and then have a break (Labor Day) to be able to go home. I believe we retain traditional freshmen students better when CEU starts before Labor Day because there is a built in break a couple of weeks after fall semester starts when the majority of traditional freshmen students plan to go home. If there is no built in break, we will have more students go home and stay home the first two weeks of the semester because there is not a planned break. Not only is starting a couple of weeks before Labor Day good for traditional freshmen students, I also think it's good for all students. The homework crunch starts to hit after the first two weeks of fall semester."

CEU student Melissa Byers, however, uses nearly the same argument to support the schedule change, "I think it would be beneficial to the learning process because you wouldn't start school and then immediately get interrupted with a break."

Another thing that appeared to be on students' minds on the survey is finals near the holidays. Several students wanted to keep the schedule the way it is now because they would rather have time before the holidays out of school rather than have more time off in January. "No, I don't like this idea because I enjoy having more time off before Christmas to spend the holiday season with my family instead of stressing about finals," was another response on the survey.

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