Instructors encounter challenges with shorter terms this semester

Written by | Savannah Tarbet
Amarillo College has begun to shorten some 16-week classes to eight weeks.The purpose of accelerated classes is to allow part-time students to attend AC at a full-time pace. Students can finish a regular 16-week class in eight weeks. AC plans to have almost 90 percent of its courses in the eight-week format and already has started applying the model. The transition to more eight-week classes began this spring. Gale Brewer, a developmental math instructor, has had some experience with the eight-week format before.

“We’re only two weeks in, but we’ve done this before with the fast-track in math, so we’ve had classes that have been eight weeks at a time,” Brewer said. “So the transition hasn’t been too bad.”
The eight-week format’s accelerated pace will take some getting used to. Edythe Carter, a math teacher, discussed the recent transition. “Both students and teachers alike seem to be enjoying it,” she said.
Only two weeks into the new eight-week model, Carter said, “My students have said they like coming to class every day. It allows them to keep up with their work and gives them a chance to ask more questions the following day.”

Though the transition is new to students, Carter said, “Even though we’re only two weeks in, most of the feedback from students has been very positive.” The eight-week model allows students to maintain focus and accelerate their degree plans. Dr. Stefanie Decker, a social sciences professor, said, “I think the eight-week classes are a nice idea for students to get all of their history done with in one semester. They can start to see progress and completion a lot sooner.” Students in Decker’s history class just took their first exam.

“The average was around 78, which is about what it is in my 16-week classes,” she said. “My big concern has always been that it’s a lot of information in a short amount of time. “I think we’re just going to have to wait and see how that pans out.”
Though some eight-week classes are offered, many more are to be shifted to the format during the summer, allowing multiple eight-week classes to be available in the fall semester.

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