New academic calendar will deliver promised curriculum, lots of stress

by | Nov 25, 2017 | Campus News, Faculty Strike, Headlines

Kettelia Wright and Cassandra Ryan
Life Reporters

Humber’s two academic terms were shortened by two weeks each following the province’s longest faculty strike to ensure courses are delivered in shorter timeframes.

The changes were made to fit curriculum into two new 13-week semesters, cut down from 15-weeks after five weeks of classes were missed because of the college strike.

1. Classes will resume the week of Nov. 20

2. The last day to withdraw from your program and receive a refund is Dec. 5

3. The last day of classes will be Dec. 22, instead of Dec. 15.

4. No classes, exams or tests will be held between Dec. 22, 2017, as of 6 p.m. to Jan, 2, 2018, at 8 a.m.

5. The first official day will be Jan, 8, 2018. The last day of the fall semester will be Tuesday Jan. 23, 2018.

6. Winter semester classes will begin Monday, Jan. 29, 2018.

7. There will be no February reading week.

8. Winter semester will extended for all classes and exams until Friday, April 27, 2018.

The school year will end at its scheduled date of April 27, 2018, so as not to disrupt travel and work plans. Accommodations are also being stressed by the college for students who made previous arrangements for travel during the holiday break of Dec. 23 to Jan. 7.

“With the changes in the calendar we want to make sure we provide the education that we promised,” said Guillermo Acosta, Dean of the School of Media Studies.

He acknowledges the changes could come with some stress for both students and faculty, but Acosta is certain the curriculum will be delivered. Acosta said the goal is to ensure an environment that allows faculty to teach and students to learn.

“We will get through this, I’m confident,” Acosta said.

“The idea of having the two balanced 13-week semesters is to make it even in order for faculty to plan better, they won’t have to rush to complete a semester in a short period of time.

“It’s a matter of let’s reduce the stress and pressure of cramming material in a very short period of time,” he said.
Students may face new challenges in juggling their workloads under the adjustments.

“I am stressed and overwhelmed because the course load is now condensed and I have less time to learn everything,” said Shanice Daley, a student in the Personal Support Worker program.

Acosta said a major source of stress for students taken into account is the number of assignments and tests, which will need to be reduced so students can achieve their learning outcomes.

“Condensing the time raises the pressure of extra volumes of work, and I don’t think that will be the case,” he said. “The conversation that we had with faculty was: ‘okay, let’s make it work in a reduced time frame.’”

Students will be losing the reading week in 2018, which is instituted for the mental well-being of students. It usually takes place following the family day long weekend, but this year students will have a consecutive 13-week semester.
“What we did was instead of a seven-day break, it will be a five-day break at the end of January between the two semesters,” Acosta said.

He said the decision to keep the break in December was made so students can better understand how their semester is going before coming back, then getting the five-day break before the winter semester.

This hasn’t assured students that the shorter terms won’t affect the quality of their education.

“It’s my last year so I’m slightly worried that condensing the semester will cause me to miss out on potentially important information,” said Sydney Grant, a third-year public relations student.