Written by | Angel Oliva
The spring semester saw a change at Amarillo College as some courses went from a model of 16 weeks to eight weeks in order to help part-time students attend as full-time students. Officials hope the change will be especialy beneficial for parents and working students because they’ll have the opportunity to take four accelerated classes (two every eight weeks) rather than two over the 16-week semester. A student under this model would be classified as full-time by completing 12 semester hours,two classes at a time per half semester, according to AC news releases.
Some students are reacting negatively. Luke Amos, a history major, said the change is “a little bit of a pain. It makes it harder having so much to schedule.” Monique Metchel, a graphic design major, said that “it feels like you’re not getting the same quality.” Metchel described the intensity of eight-week classes. “It’s a lot of pressure to learn a lot of information in a short amount of time,” she said.
An AC news release said students are able to maintain better focus by taking two or three courses over an eight-week period instead of four 16-week courses where dropout rates increase by the ninth week.
Even students who are full-time now can benefit from the faster courses. Only a few accelerated classes in criminal justice and computer information systems are offered for the spring. CIS offers two certificate programs in computer system support and network essentials, with most of the program being eight-week classes so they can be completed in a single semester. The transition to more programs and degree options offering the accelerated classes will continue during the summer and fall semesters.