On April 23, 2009, during a regularly scheduled meeting of the faculty caucus
Dr. Karen Reed, Vice President for Learning addressed the group and asked for
their support to convert from Quarters to Semester in the Fall of 2012. A
motion was made and the caucus voted unanimously to support conversion to
II. BOARD OF TRUSTEES RESOLUTION
CONSIDERATION OF APPROVAL TO CONVERT THE ACADEMIC CALENDAR OF NORTH CENTRAL
STATE COLLEGE FROM ONE BASED ON A QUARTER HOUR SCHEDULE TO ONE BASED ON A
SEMESTER HOUR SCHEDULE TO TAKE EFFECT NO EARLIER THAN AUTUMN 2012
WHEREAS: the Ohio Strategic Plan for Higher education,
2008-2017 establishes a University System of Ohio that facilitates the Ohio
Credit Transfer System initiated by the Ohio GENERAL ASSEMBLY; and
WHEREAS: the Ohio Strategic Plan for Higher education
calls for all state two- and four-year institutions still on a quarter calendar
to move to a semester calendar to better facilitate course equivalencies; and
WHEREAS: the four higher education institutions in Ohio
that currently remain on a quarter calendar (Ohio State University, Ohio
University, The University of Cincinnati, and Wright State University) have
declared plans to convert to a semester calendar; and
WHEREAS: a flexible semester calendar would facilitate
and enhance opportunities for transfer, internships, service learning, and other
specialized learning experiences; and
WHEREAS: North Central State College has studied and
widely discussed the feasibility of a conversion from quarters to semesters in
WHEREAS: on April 23, 2009 the Faculty Caucus of North
Central State College unanimously supported a recommendation for the College to
move from a quarter-based calendar to a semester-based calendar.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED: by the Board of Trustees
of North Central State College that North Central State College adopts a
semester calendar to take effect no earlier than autumn, 2012
III. ESTABLISHING THE STRUCTURE
Following the approval of the resolution to convert to semesters, seven sub
committees were formed, with representation from all departments on campus. The
seven committees each elected 2 chairs to serve on the Semester Conversion
Those seven committees are as follows:
- Curriculum Conversion
IV. GUIDING PRINCIPLES
All students who have an individual advising plan called a
(MAP) and follow
that plan will transition quarter coursework into semesters with the following
V. THE END RESULT
A successful conversion from quarters to semesters will
yield the following results:
- A semester calendar will protect and enhance
the intellectual mission and content of all
- The commitment to a strong general education
component in all majors will be preserved.
- The distribution of courses by credit hour
will be justifiable as judged by the impact on
faculty workload and on student progress toward
- The total amount of instruction needed to
meet degree and accreditation requirements
offered in any major will be approximately the
same in a semester calendar as in a quarter
- The beneficial relationship among programs
will be maintained and enhanced, particularly in
the service of one program area to another and
especially in inter-departmental and
interdisciplinary course offerings.
- A semester-based calendar will not require
substantially greater financial resources when
implemented than its quarter-based predecessor.
- A semester-based calendar will be
justifiable in terms of space requirements for
classrooms, laboratories, offices, and other
- A semester-based calendar will not
significantly alter faculty allocations of time.
- A semester-based calendar will enable
substantial flexibility in stimulating and
accommodating innovative approaches to course
length and scheduling.
A successful conversion from quarters to semesters will
ensure consideration of the following concerns:
- The conversion of academic programs should
be carefully coordinated to preserve the
integrity of programs, especially those with an
interdisciplinary focus and involving the
intellectual resources of more than one
- The impact of the conversion to semesters on
students should not disrupt the academic
progress toward degrees.
- Provisions should be made to minimize
complications created in the transition year by
providing for additional and intensive student
advising that accommodates the transition with a
liberal treatment of exceptions, course
substitutions, and other requirements.
VI. AN OVERVIEW OF THE PROCESS
The work of conversion is being led by the NCSC Semester Conversion Steering
Committee Chaired by Dr. Karen Reed, Vice President of Learning, and Gina
Kamwithi Project Coordinator for Semester Conversion.
- FIRST-PHASE PLANNING: CURRICULAR REVISIONS
Most of the current preparation work toward converting to
semesters is invisible to students and the general public.
Currently, NCSC faculty in every department are working on
revising college courses – currently offered on the quarter
system – so that these offerings and their content will
cohesively fit into a semester calendar, with each course
offering integrating with others across degree programs.
Currently, under the quarter system, NCSC has an inventory of
about 650 courses. When the college converts to semesters, all
of the courses will have been comprehensively reviewed in terms
of integration with other coursework to effectively and
efficiently meet the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s workforce,
industry and community needs.
The timeline for redesigning NCSC curriculum by faculty calls
for completion of that work by Spring 2011.
- SECOND-PHASE PLANNING: ENCODING ,CATALOGING,
Once the curriculum is revised to meet future academic needs,
behind-the-scenes encoding and cataloging of the new curriculum
will get fully underway. This work will be complete by Summer
2011. This encoding and cataloging will not only affect our
internal student management system, but will affect all courses
listed in the CAS transfer catalog. At the same time, training
of student advisors will be ongoing in anticipation of the final
phase of preparation for conversion to semesters.
Another area invisible to the public but of primary
importance will be the revision of all forms, processes, and
procedures related to the everyday operation of the college that
are affected by the conversion.
- THIRD-PHASE PLANNING: ADVISING
From Winter 2011 through August 2012, faculty advisors and advisors from the
student success center will meet with all students who will be affected by the
transition from quarters to semesters.
It is expected that every student who will transition from quarters to
semesters will meet individually with an advisor to formulate an advising plan,
which we are calling My Advising Plan (MAP). So long as a student adheres to
that plan, safeguards will be put in place to ensure completion of the degree.
Thus, with that assumption we can make this Pledge to Students.
Students will see:
- No loss of academic progress
- No delay in time to degree completion/graduation
- No increase in total tuition and fees expended for the
In March 2012, students will begin registering for Fall 2012
VII. IMPORTANCE OF CONSTANT COMMUNICATION WITH OUR STAKEHOLDERS
We understand the importance of communication of all of these processes to
anyone affected by this conversion process. Thus, we have created a
comprehensive communication plan for not only the 2 1/2 years we are undergoing
conversion, but the critical time period after we have converted to semesters.
Our three main constituencies are the general public, our employees and most
importantly our students. We have developed a plan to meet the communication
needs of the above mentioned sectors.
VIII. ADVANTAGES OF A SEMESTER CALENDAR
The main academic advantage of the semester system is that is provides greater
opportunities for In-depth teaching and classroom projects. In addition, a
semester calendar will allow under prepared students greater time to adjust to
the rigors of college academic life.
Ease student transfers
Conversion will ease the transfer of students into and out of NCSC programs from
other national institutions, most of which (90 percent) already follow the
semester system. This is especially true for minority students since 94 percent
of historically black colleges and universities follow the semester system.
Students’ careers in higher education are marked by change, and transfers
between institutions or attendance at multiple institutions are common.
According to the November/December 2007 issue of Currents, published by the
Council for the Advancement and Support of education, 60 percent of all
undergraduate students (including those at community colleges) attend multiple
Conversion will help NCSC to “capture” more summer-school students returning
home for the summer months from other institutions and wanting to enroll in
courses (and in a time frame) compatible with their academic careers.
Conversion will provide graduating students a “first-mover” advantage when
entering the job market. Most large employers schedule recruitment of new hires
according to the semester calendar
Flexibility for students
A semester calendar allows students greater flexibility in regard to switching,
dropping, adding or otherwise switching classes because of the extended length
of semesters vs. quarters.