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Old 10-09-2017, 06:15 PM
 
382 posts, read 213,424 times
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One community college I inquired about told me some courses are cut to 8 weeks instead of the traditional 16 week semesters, making one finish school faster. It isn't "crammed" or anything but more like getting to the point. I think University of Phoenix online is also doing the 5 week semester thing. I think it's a way to entice people to actually want to go back and finish school instead of thinking about 4 long years to finish up!

It's not like most people at colleges and universities are there to learn but rather "party it up"! I noticed a lot of time wasters as well. I think a shorter week semester will entice people to "get to it" faster.
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Old 10-10-2017, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Denver
244 posts, read 184,246 times
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More than likely the courses are condensed in the sense that the same amount of material is covered in 8 weeks rather than the traditional 8. I have taken several courses in this format and felt I learned better than in the longer format. I feel often times the professor feels the need to fill the weeks in so at times there is quite a bit of "fluff" added into the course that doesn't add value.
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Old 10-10-2017, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Middle America
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My grad program does a summer term where the coursework for a traditional 16-week semester is taken in 8 weeks. It just moves twice as fast...2x the reading due per week, 1/2 the time to complete papers and projects, etc.
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Old 10-10-2017, 11:20 AM
 
9,041 posts, read 3,670,925 times
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In 8 weeks, I can learn to memorize for a test

In 16 weeks, I can learn to apply and integrate it with other material...

It comes down to do I want to pay to take tests or do I want to learn to use what I learned
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Old 10-12-2017, 01:20 PM
 
Location: OHIO
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I've taken a few "easier" classes like that. but it was a full semester of work in half the time.
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Old 10-12-2017, 05:21 PM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
6,711 posts, read 11,706,569 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ethnicappalachian View Post
One community college I inquired about told me some courses are cut to 8 weeks instead of the traditional 16 week semesters, making one finish school faster. It isn't "crammed" or anything but more like getting to the point. I think University of Phoenix online is also doing the 5 week semester thing. I think it's a way to entice people to actually want to go back and finish school instead of thinking about 4 long years to finish up!

It's not like most people at colleges and universities are there to learn but rather "party it up"! I noticed a lot of time wasters as well. I think a shorter week semester will entice people to "get to it" faster.
But students would likely take a maximum of 8 credits in an 8-week term (and 16 credits in a 16-week term or regular semester). So they wouldn't necessarily finish any faster at all.

For U. of Phoenix and others like it, it allows them to have more "starting dates" to rein in new students. I would bet a lot of it is driven by marketing -- NOT pedagogy.

I teach 6-week sessions in the summer and students are always shocked at how much work they are expected to do each week. Well, OF COURSE they are, they are doing the equivalent of 2.5 "regular" weeks in 1 week in the summer. They think it will be easier, but it's not. (And for the record, I MUCH prefer teaching in a regular semester!!)
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Old 10-13-2017, 01:11 AM
 
6,755 posts, read 9,723,984 times
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There really shouldn't be much of a difference in retaining info between 8-week and 16-week classes. People usually take half as many classes for 8-week sessions. So, even though the classes are condensed, you're focusing on fewer classes at once. I took a 1-month "Maymester" class at a community college, but I was not allowed to take more than one course.

There are some non-traditional schools that offer 5.5-week classes. While you can take two courses at a time, this setup is really designed to let working adults focus on one course at a time without having to take two to four times longer to complete their program.

Competency-based programs are usually self-paced allowing you to go as fast or slow as you need to, within reason. The concept behind these programs is that different people take different amounts of time to master topics. It makes no sense to keep someone in a class for 16 weeks if that person either already knows the subject or is able to learn the subject quickly. Then, you have those who need more than 16 weeks, but competency-based students are mostly experienced adults with prior knowledge.
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Old 10-13-2017, 06:53 AM
 
5,729 posts, read 3,018,324 times
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Here's the real answer. There are no shortcuts. Like several have said shorter semesters usually mean fewer courses at a time or breaking the same material into shorter chinks and more if them.

Anyone who promises a magic schedule is lying to you.
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Old 10-18-2017, 03:12 PM
 
608 posts, read 293,234 times
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It's not really a trend.

Eight weeks is a 'quarter system' and sixteen is a 'semester system'. There have always been schools on the quarter system--they can charge students year-round, and students don't have awkward summer/winter gaps where they have to find alternative housing/work situations to fill. They don't really reduce the amount of studying required though. Quarter systems just break down the curriculum into smaller chunks that can be covered in the shorter time frame.

Quarter systems are much more popular with programs and schools that target the working professional demographic. In a quarter system, three classes=full-time....and one class=part-time. That makes it a lot easier to juggle work/school/family demands for the student, and as an added bonus, the student is still eligible for financial assistance (you could still take one-class-at-a-time in a semester system, but wouldn't be eligible for aid or scholarships).

"Accelerated" programs have been around for at least a decade or more...programs that consolidate a master's degree into four years and such. They were around when I was an undergrad student in the 90s. The quality of such programs varies--some are really great, others only cover the bare minimum that the student needs to know to compete in the workforce.
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Old 10-18-2017, 03:27 PM
 
Location: Florida
4,059 posts, read 3,046,180 times
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I just started at Western Governors University. Full time is 12-16 credits each semester. You take one class at a time and when you're finished you move onto the next. I finished my first class in 2 weeks and just started my second class. Since I'll finish my 13 assigned credits in a few months, I can choose to keep going and knock out more credits per semester. As a working adult, I really appreciate the accelerated program.
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