Why is this change occurring?
As Ohio moves to the USO (University System of Ohio), the Governor has set forth an initiative that all public institutions are required to change from quarters to semesters. This change will enable better transfer of credits, a common calendar with other public institutions in Ohio, an earlier end to the academic year, making Rhodes State students more readily available for the competitive job market.
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When will Semesters begin at Rhodes State and will OSU change at the same time?
Rhodes State and OSU will both be starting semesters during Fall 2012.
How will students know whether or not they can complete their program on Quarters?
Each student will be expected to meet with either their faculty academic advisor or professional staff academic advisor to complete an Educational Plan for Quarter Completers (EPQC). Students who are eligible and plan to complete their program on Quarters – by the end of Summer 2012 - are considered Completers. Advising for Completers begins Winter Quarter 2010.
How will students who start on Quarters know what path to take to complete their program on Semesters?
Each student will be expected to meet with either their faculty academic advisor or professional staff academic advisor to complete an Individual Transitioning Academic Plan (ITAP). Students who will not complete their program prior to the semester conversion are considered Transition Students. Transition advising will begin Fall Quarter 2010.
Will students be able to graduate in the same amount of time as what they anticipated under the quarter system?
Rhodes State will provide support to students who are eligible and plan to graduate prior to the semester conversion and to those whose programs will span the quarter to semester transition. We will provide timely curricular transition information, online scheduling support, and academic advising for both Completers and Transition Students. As such, Rhodes State College will honor the following Pledge:
Our Pledge to Students
Rhodes State College will establish a semester conversion plan which promotes a working partnership with students to ensure that they are not disadvantaged during their transition to semesters. For that reason, each degree/certificate-seeking student enrolled at Rhodes State prior to Fall 2012 shall receive the following Pledge from Rhodes State:
No Loss of CreditCredits earned by you in your chosen program before the semester conversion will be applied after the conversion.
No Extended Time to GraduationIf you are on track to complete your degree within a certain timeframe at the point of semester conversion and follow your Educational Plan for Quarter Completers (EPQC) or Individual Transitioning Academic Plan (ITAP), you will be able to complete your degree and graduate on time.
No Increased CostsYour annual tuition and fees will not be greater for a two-semester academic year than for the three-quarter academic year system. Please note that the College may implement annual tuition increases as authorized by the Board of Trustees.
Our Pledge to Students is established on a set of expectations for both the College and the students. The following expectations shall serve as the basis for honoring the Pledge:
Rhodes State College will:
- provide appropriate and accessible advising resources to assist each qualifying student in developing a EPQC or ITAP that defines a path toward degree completion; and
- provide instructional resources and courses needed by the student to complete the EPQC or ITAP, and/or a revised plan to accommodate for the needed course.
The qualifying student will:
- work with an appropriate advisor to complete and sign-off on the EPQC or ITAP that will be maintained as a part of the student’s record; and
- understand that the Pledge will be honored only if the student:
- meets with an appropriate College advisor and completes a EPQC or ITAP,
- follows the prescribed EPQC or ITAP as agreed upon,
- maintains continuous enrollment, and
- achieves passing grades in all assigned EPQC or ITAP courses.
How will "transition students” be advised, and by whom.
- Check frequently with the webpage for updates.
- If you have questions related to the semester conversion, meet with your faculty academic advisor in your program, your staff academic advisor in Student Services, or an administrator of your program in one of the academic division offices.
- Develop a Transition Plan – The new semester curriculum will be officially approved by summer or fall of 2010.
- You will need to meet with your academic advisor.
How will courses, majors or programs change and who will make those decisions?
As the College’s catalog states, course offerings and requirements are under continual examination and revision, so requirements for majors, certificates and programs can change at any time. As the curriculum changes for semester conversion, the College will work with students to develop transition plans that allow them to complete their requirements and meet their academic goals with minimal disruption.
Will tuition and fees change under the semester system?
Annual Tuition and fees for the full academic year under semesters will be the same as they would have been for a full academic year under quarters. However, because there will be two semesters instead of three quarters, tuition for a semester will be proportionately higher than charges for a quarter.
What will the semester school year calendar look like?
Under both the quarter and the semester system, an academic year is approximately 32-33 weeks in length. A quarter system is comprised of three 11 week quarters (10-weeks for instruction and one week for exams); while a semester system is comprised of two 16-week semesters (15 weeks of instruction and one week of exams). A summer session will still exist under the semester system.
When will classes begin and end under the semester system?
Typically, schools on the semester system begin classes in mid-August and end the year in early to mid-May. Check the website often for semester scheduling updates.
How are existing quarter hours that have been earned converted to semester hours?
As a general rule, credits earned under the quarter system are to be converted to semester credits by dividing the number of quarter credits by 1.5. For example, a student who has earned 60 quarter credits: 60 divided by 1.5 = 40 semester credit hours.
What are the advantages of semesters versus quarters?
- More time for students to absorb and understand course material
- More time to work on projects and papers
- Alignment with the University System of Ohio (USO) to enable easier transfer to other Ohio institutions
- Earlier graduation gives job market advantage to students
Will my eligibility for financial aid be impacted at all?
Financial aid will continue to be awarded based on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). On the quarter system, financial aid awards are made three times per year, typically fall, winter, and spring. On semester systems, financial aid awards will be made twice per year, typically fall and spring. The total amount of the award for which you may be eligible will remain the same. The award will be divided into two payments rather than three.
How many semester credits do I need to be a full-time student?
You will still need to be enrolled for a minimum of 12 hours per term to be considered a "full-time" student. Of course, in order to graduate in two years, you will need to take approximately 15 or 16 semester credit hours per term. It is important that you check with your advisor as you plan ahead.