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18 week semester may give two weeks notice

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By Ashley Edmonds
Staff Writer

The potential of a 16 week semester is the closest it’s ever gotten, though the earliest possibility of this change would be the 2018-2019 academic year.

“This is our third year [giving out information on 16 week semesters]”, said Tony Rector Cavagnaro, division chair of languages and communications. This year the board, which is driven by faculty, seems to be receiving the most support.

The compressed calendar has become more standard for community colleges and universities. Cal Poly hopes to be on a semester schedule by 2020. Cuesta’s fall semester would start around two weeks later, giving the chance to have a winter intersession, much like the summer break. An intersession would make a longer winter break and allow students to take classes during that time.

“The 18-week is becoming an anomaly,” Rector-Cavagnaro said, “There are fewer and fewer colleges that have 18 weeks”.

“It’s kinda crammed,” said Eliane Bauer, anthropology student. “Our midterms are already at the same time. Teachers already aren’t able to put all of the information in.”

This change in being encouraged by social sciences, but opposing teachers are from science and the arts departments.

“For some classes it could make sense,” said Cassandra Tarantino, music professor, “but for a performing ensemble, that’s going to perform twice each semester, you [currently] only have a seven to eight week rehearsal period”.

Tarantino also notes that the newer music students need an extra two weeks to be more comfortable with their own voice and musical abilities before performing.

Faculty seem to be more interested this year than years prior. The board plans on putting out a faculty survey before the semester ends. If the majority of teachers seem to be interested, the board plans on continuing their efforts to change the length of semesters.