OCCC to expand scheduling flexibility with 8-week terms

    (Published: 10-30-19)

OCCC is switching from 16 week semesters to 8 week terms in Fall 2020.

Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC) will change the length of term for the majority of courses by moving from one 16-week semester to two 8-week terms beginning fall 2020. OCCC will be the first college in Oklahoma to make this important switch, which is designed to give students more flexibility.

“In other states, a number of progressive, innovative colleges are switching to 8-week classes and have enjoyed notable success,” OCCC President Jerry Steward said. “In particular, students have supported the change because it increases their chances for academic success.”

The change will allow students to enroll in two 8-week terms during the first half of the traditional 16-week semester and two more during the second half of the semester. Students will continue to be classified as full-time and will still qualify for financial aid. Students will be completing four classes, or 12 semester hours, in a single semester.

Currently, about 20% of courses at OCCC are taught in 8 weeks. The College has more than 10 years of data showing students enrolled in 8-week courses have consistently outperformed their peers enrolled in 16-week courses.

“Other institutions that have made this switch have increased retention at higher rates,” said Greg Gardner, Vice-President for Academic Affairs. “Students enrolled in 8-week courses have higher rates of continuing their course of study and completing their degrees.”

In preparation for the switch to 8-week courses in the fall of 2020, OCCC has begun implementing a new intensive approach to advising that is more comprehensive and supports students better.

“In support of the 8-week course schedule, we have changed the way we advise students,” said Dr. Jeremy Thomas, Vice-President for Student Affairs. “We have decreased our student-to-advisor ratio from 1,000 to one (1000:1) to 350 to one (350:1). Students are assigned to an advisor who will help guide them through all parts of college life, including financing their education, from enrollment to graduation.”

The changes to course flexibility and improved advisement will offer opportunities toward increased student success.

“The changes we are implementing will provide a more direct pathway for students to see their educational goals achieved,” said Kim Jameson, Associate Vice-President for Academic Affairs.

Please email your questions to 8weeks@occc.edu. We’ll post the answers on this page. The first 10 students to send questions will receive a FREE “8 is Great” T-shirt.