By Josh Ballard:
The school year’s first set of eight-week classes is coming to a close and there is still time to register for the fall’s second set of eight-week classes, which begin Oct. 23.
Eight-week classes first began in spring 2016 and were fully implemented the next year. Now college officials say they are starting to see some of the long-term impact of the change.
Course drop rates have declined and grades have seen an improvement, but stress levels seem to be higher, according to Ruth De Anda, an academic adviser.
Many students who take eight-week courses say that they are helpful but are a lot more work. “Eight-week classes equal more work and more stress, but they help me get things done faster,” Kyler Lanzo, a business management major, said. Lanzo took four eight-week courses this semester and said he hopes to finish his degree faster because of them.
“In 16-week classes I lose interest and get bored,” Brianna Maestas, a mass media major, said. Preventing boredom, especially in developmental classes, is one of the goals of the shorter term length.
“Imagine taking a whole semester of beginning algebra, and a whole semester of intermediate algebra and a whole semester of college algebra back to back to back,” De Anda said.
With the eight-week class system, students can now take both the remedial algebra courses in one semester, and college algebra the next semester.
According to De Anda, the typical AC student is a parent with a job and a family who may not have the time to finish a degree. With eight-week courses, students with full-time jobs and responsibilities can also be full-time students and complete their degree plans faster.
Eight-week classes do have some drawbacks. “A lot of students can’t handle the pace of eight-week classes,” Philip Fowler, a mathematics major and tutor, said. Eight-week classes are accelerated and require more work in less time.
“I make sure to let students know what they are getting into,” De Anda said. “If they can commit to the eight weeks, they can accomplish so much in that amount of time and keep moving forward.”
The first set of eight week classes will end Oct. 13 and there will be no classes during fall break Oct. 16 through 20.