Winter classes stalled

Jenny King

Plans to create a six-week class session over winter break are dead- for now.

“It’s not the right calendar at the right time,” said Dr. Jack Friedlander, vice president of

Educational Programs.

Last week both Friedlander and the Academic Senate decided to abandon the plan, but the Student Senate likes the idea of an intersession. The teachers objected to the plan because of time issues and possible teacher burnout. Friedlander objected to the plan because there is no local competition and it will hurt Spring enrollment.

STUDENTS

The proposed session would run from Jan. 1 through Feb. 10, leaving students a choice of the winter session or nearly an eight-week break. If students did choose to take advantage of the intersession, they could have the opportunity to complete their education in a timely manner.

“I think the winter intersession is a great plan for students, especially those who want to get their education completed quickly,” said Associated Student Senate President James Carter. “The teachers who want to teach can teach and the students who want to attend can go. It will be a positive change for those willing to participate.”

TEACHERS

A majority of full-time faculty and staff reported that they were not interested in teaching classes during winter break. Having an intersession would place pressure on faculty to have Fall grades completed prior to the break in order to have them before the start of the intersession.

“My main concern with the intersession is the possibility of faculty burnout,” said Peter Haslund, Academic Senate president. “Teaching requires periodic breaks in order to get grades and lesson plans organized. Having the winter session would take away a break the teachers are used to, so it could lead to exhaustion.”

FRIEDLANDER

Friedlander, said the possibility of a winter intersession anytime soon is almost impossible because the resistance from faculty as well as the lack of an online student system.

“The winter intersession is not something that we are going to be able to pursue in the near future,” he said. “In order to implement it, we would have to have the new online student system up and running.”

Bill Hamre, vice president of Information Resources said the target date for the online student system is November of ’06. An intersession cannot be implemented until after the system has been running smoothly.

“We can’t try to get the new online system up and running at the same time we begin a winter intersession without overworking the administration,” Friedlander said.

The next step faculty and staff is taking is to look further into finding alternatives. Friedlander says the goal is to find a way to achieve the same objective that will be a little more cost effective and less disruptive to our current system.

The two alternatives that have been suggested so far is a true trimester of three 16-week semesters or the current two semester calendar with two summer sessions. As of now, the faculty is supportive of the current calendar with two summer sessions.

While some are skeptical about having an intersession, others, like Carter, are confident that it could be a success for City College.