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Old 10-24-2012, 11:32 AM
 
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The University of Washington, albeit a great school, uses the archaic (IMO) quarter system, while cross-state rival Wash. State Univ. has been using semesters for as long as I can remember. Has there ever been talk of UW switching to semesters? If so, what caused it to be nixed?

Semesters are the norm in nearby Idaho and Montana. They are not the norm in Oregon, where they actually proposed switch to semesters in the public university system and it was set aside.

Quarter to semester transition has been pulled off in other states. I found that Minnesota and Georgia public universities have gone to semesters. It makes for better learning and less bureaucracy.

Why hasn't Univ. of Wash. gone this route?
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:47 PM
 
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The quarter system works great. I am glad I had it. The best part is that the primary three quarters line up with the crappy weather season up here. Those poor souls in Idaho at Wazzu miss out on half of the nice part of summer stuck in a classroom/wheat field.

I am pretty sure Western Washington Univ. also uses the quarter system.
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Old 10-25-2012, 03:34 AM
 
Location: Southwest Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy View Post
The quarter system works great. I am glad I had it. The best part is that the primary three quarters line up with the crappy weather season up here. Those poor souls in Idaho at Wazzu miss out on half of the nice part of summer stuck in a classroom/wheat field.

I am pretty sure Western Washington Univ. also uses the quarter system.
I also am pleased with the quarter system. I like getting a larger number of classes in. I'm not sure how semesters equate to 'better learning' and 'less bureacracy', so feel free to enlighten me.
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:26 AM
 
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Originally Posted by backdrifter View Post
I also am pleased with the quarter system. I like getting a larger number of classes in. I'm not sure how semesters equate to 'better learning' and 'less bureacracy', so feel free to enlighten me.
It's a matter of opinion. I've experienced both. I like semesters way more. I've spoken to others who have experienced both (i.e. UCLA qtrs. vs. Berkeley sems.) and they like semesters more. I even did a poll on it on the Education sub-forum, and semesters were preferred.

I think the pace is more conducive to learning and letting material seep in, especially if a quant/tech course. You also get 2 midterms and a final, and other items, over which to distribute your grade.
Quarters, to me, felt like mini-seminars. Again, it's all in what one is used to.

The thing is that any school that is doing the conversion these days only goes in the "quarter to semester" direction ... like some of the big state systems. Probably because more use semesters and it makes it way easier to transfer courses when going from one university to another.

However, I just asked about UW and (a) whether they've ever addressed it, and (b) what the decision was and why.
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:53 PM
 
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WSU is just better. End of story.
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Old 10-25-2012, 01:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by robertpolyglot View Post
However, I just asked about UW and (a) whether they've ever addressed it, and (b) what the decision was and why.
I could've swore it was an issue in the 90s, but don't take my word on this. However, it does says on the UW that they do the quarter system because the students can take more classes in their student career ( Is the UW on the quarter or semester system? | University of Washington ) ... So in a rather cynical note: Its more profitable to do a quarterly system.

I will say I do prefer the quarter system because semesters just drags on.
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:08 PM
 
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I agree with you. There's no comparison. I'll admit that WSU in remote Pullman has more of a vocational bent, or a more practical one, in its educational offerings. However, Univ. of Wash. always is toward the very top of the national public university rankings, usually right behind Berkeley, UCLA, Michigan and Virginia. UW has medical, dental and law schools, whereas WSU does not. UW is a Top 10 medical school, and that includes the private ones. UW is a destination school for out-of-staters and foreign nationals, much more so than WSU, where a lot of alums brag about how drunk they were, just to pass the time in the Palouse (the unpopulated rolling terrain in southeastern Washington). UW is a national university. WSU is a regional one. The graduates of the two places also beat to different drums.

Still, the thread wasn't even about that, so sorry for my rant. The thread was about the academic calendar. Thanks, Inkpoe, for providing that link. I'm a fan of semesters. Generally with two semesters, there is also a summer session, which is either configured as one session, or two 6-week sessions, where one can easily pick up one class per module, oftentimes in the evenings while working during the summer.

Last edited by Count David; 10-25-2012 at 10:41 PM..
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:09 PM
 
Location: West Coast - Best Coast!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpolyglot View Post
UW has medical, dental and law schools, whereas WSU does not. UW is a Top 10 medical school, and that includes the private ones. UW is a destination school for out-of-staters and foreign nationals, much more so than WSU, where a lot of alums brag about how drunk they were, just to pass the time in the Palouse (the unpopulated rolling terrain in southeastern Washington). UW is a national university. WSU is a regional one. The graduates of the two places also beat to different drums.
In case you didn't know, WSU has arguably one of the best veterinary schools in the country.
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BellevueNative View Post
In case you didn't know, WSU has arguably one of the best veterinary schools in the country.
I can't think of everything. Same split in adjacent Oregon. Med/dent/law is at U of O, or OHSU in Portland which, while branded separately, is viewed as an extension of the U of O, sort of the same way UCSF (only health disciplines) is almost viewed as the health science campus for UC Berkeley. Vet, in Oregon, is at OSU.

WSU would NOT have worked for me ... neither the location, nor what I identify as the collective personality. I never said WSU was a bad school. I just said I think UW's reputation, locally and internationally, as a whole, is much better.
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Old 10-30-2012, 12:11 PM
 
Location: WA
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I agree. It is outdated. Its more costly for the school because there are 4 registration periods instead of 3 (it makes a big difference). I wish we were on the semester system where I teach: I would be able to get to know the students better, the students would have time to read and absorb the material, and I'd have more prep time between classes.

I think UW was originally on the quarter system to line up with the CA schools, which have since mostly moved to semesters. I can't think of any reason to stay other than "momentum".

I have to admit, I do like having a good chunk of September off! Much better than having half of Jan off.
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