Traditional 16-week semesters aren’t going anywhere, but AC is offering 8-week terms, which allow students to focus on fewer things at once and finish courses faster. Since many courses start every 8-weeks, there are more opportunities to jumpstart your educational journey.
Q: Why introduce a new format?
A: National and AC research shows higher student performance in the 8-week format.
Exposing students to information more often – a more immersive approach – results in higher absorption and retention. AC students are able to dedicate their time to one or two courses during each 8-week term, which provides increased focus time per course. The Student Tutoring Center, the Writing Lab, and TutorMe are available for all students who need additional help.
The research also shows that concentrated learning systems better support individual student needs, emphasize fewer distractions, and allow students to focus intently on an area of interest rather than multitasking.
Q: Can we take more than two courses per 8-weeks?
A: Yes, just as enrollment is currently dependent on multiple factors, the number of courses per 8-week term will be dependent on a variety of factors, such as academic success and/or the number of credits successfully completed. AC Success Coaches will continue helping students look at options that work best for them. Please reach out to your Success Coach for your specific considerations.
Q: Will 8-week courses be easier or more difficult?
A: People learn differently. Generally, 8-week terms will offer a better experience for most students. Traditional 16-week semesters are offered for some courses, especially those where learning material more slowly is valuable or for courses that require clinicals, work-based learning experiences, or field hours.
Q: Will the same amount of coursework be required for 8-week courses?
A: Course content, objectives, and rigor will remain the same as a traditional 16-week course.
Q; Will 8-week courses transfer to 4-year institutions?
A: Yes. Public colleges and universities in Texas have transfer agreements in place to make sure courses transfer between institutions. The course length is not notated on the transcript.
Q: Will class times be longer?
A: Some courses will meet more frequently and others may become hybrid courses, which is a mix of both in-class and online to meet seat time requirements.
Q: As a part-time student that has to balance work, family, and my education, I am concerned that 8-week courses might be too much for me to handle.
A: During a 16-week term, there are more opportunities for life to interfere with academic progress. An 8-week term offers increased flexibility for course completion and attention to personal issues. For example, if a student has an emergency halfway through an 8-week course versus halfway through a 16-week course, the 8-week offers a better chance for completion.
Q: Will this help me graduate earlier?
A: The purpose of 8-week terms is to focus on fewer items at once, not to graduate earlier. A traditional “full load” over 16-weeks would just be cut in half, so students take two courses every 8-weeks, rather than four courses for 16 weeks.