Get ready for a little post-Thanksgiving chaos.
Classes are in session for just one week after students return to campus before finals begin.
Kathy Bell, who sits on the Faculty Senate at Salt Lake Community College, says the calendar will occasionally cause some challenges when it comes to scheduling.
“Unfortunately, it happens about every five years or so where Thanksgiving is a week later than usual,” Bell says. “I don’t like the schedule either, but there wasn’t much we could do.”
SLCC will break for Thanksgiving Nov. 28-30, with students and staff returning to classes Dec. 2. That leaves four days of classes, along with Reading Day on Friday, before exams begin the following Monday.
“We looked at shortening the semester,” Bell says, “but we couldn’t do that because we would have had to take the last week of class hours and add them somewhere else which would have made the classes longer.”
The academic calendar is established about 10 years in advance, Bell says, and is checked and voted on by the Faculty Senate’s Academic Calendar Committee. Once approved, it goes to a discussion team for review and approval. After receiving approval, the calendar then goes onto the president for final approval.
The federal government’s Department of Education defines the number of contact hours per credit hour every semester.
This schedule might be an issue for students, Bell says.
“Having only a week of classes, after the Thanksgiving break, before final exams may or may not make it harder for students,” she says. “It depends on how they manage their time and how organized they are with their studying.”
Some students don’t mind how the schedule is set up.
“I don’t think the schedule will affect me at all, at least not this semester because my online classes don’t have finals, just papers,” says SLCC student Jake Nixon.
SLCC student Justin McKenzie says he doesn’t think the schedule will bring additional stress, but he can see how the calendar this year may affect students.
Although this schedule could be stressful and chaotic, “we have a week of classes before finals,” Bell says.