Compressed calendar intended to help student success


A fall 2018 change to the academic calendar will reduce the length of the semester by approximately a week.

Kion Karimi, Staff Member

Change could soon be coming to DVC’s academic calendar. Scheduled to begin in fall 2018, the change would reduce semester length by approximately one week, while making classes slightly longer and more fast-paced.

There is a lot of speculation as to how this process will turn out, but staff on the project are confident that it will improve student success.

“Students are retained at a higher rate,” senior dean of curriculum and instruction Kim Schenk said. “(There will be) better outcomes for students, classes will be a little longer but students shouldn’t notice much of a difference.”

Short (currently eighty minute) classes will be five minutes longer and extended classes, such as math (a two-and-a-half hour class), will be extended 10 minutes. Breaks will remain the same.

According to vice president of instruction Rachel Westlake, the school faces challenges in implementing the newly condensed calendar. “I feel like we have a lot of work to do,” Westlake said. “It’s going to vary, some students will find that it’ll work (better) for some classes than others.”

Westlake is confident that this will be a success and that students will finish school faster. “The thought is, a shorter semester can help students stay on track, less time to lose their focus. It could allow for an intersession between fall and spring; they can take more classes towards their degree.”

Some students have voiced concerns about the calendar change.

“Everything is going faster – I’m not that fast of a learner,” business management major Diego Cerda said. “I would be pushing myself.”

Only time will tell if the change is effective, Cerda said. “A lot of people would take it negatively because people don’t like change.”

But Heng Tan, a computer science major, felt differently. “I feel comfortable,” Tan said. “It’s okay if it’s only 10 minutes longer. Students will work harder for one week.”

According to officials, the change will, specifically, reduce semesters from 17.5 to 16.6 weeks.

While there is still a lot of work to be done, the staff is confident that starting in fall 2018 students will become even more successful and will graduate faster than ever before.

“The last thing we want to do is negatively impact students,” Schenk said.