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,â€ OCCC President Jerry Steward said. “In particular, students have supported the change because it increases their chances for academic success.â€
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,â€ 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.â€
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,â€ 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.â€
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,â€ said Kim Jameson, Associate Vice-President for Academic Affairs.
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