SUU President Scott Wyatt held a forum to answer student questions on Monday. The forum focused on SUU’s introduction of a three-year bachelor degree track that will be set into motion as soon as January 2020.
President Wyatt discussed an increase in summer semester classes that would enable students to finish their bachelor’s degree a full year sooner than the current route.
Hosting a full summer semester bears significant ramifications on SUU’s academic calendar. President Wyatt proposed that SUU embrace BYU-Idaho’s academic calendar, but with a completely optional summer semester.
Students would begin the fall semester two weeks later, beginning after Labor Day, and finish toward the middle of December. Spring semester would be renamed winter semester and run from the Monday after New Year’s Day through April 12. The new spring semester would begin two weeks after commencement and run through July 22 or 23rd.
Adopting this calendar would shorten semesters without removing breaks and still allow students a six-week break before the fall semester begins. During that six week break students can fill their break with six-week summer courses or have some time to recover before fall semester.
President Wyatt stressed throughout the forum that students can continue on the four-year path by taking classes in the fall and winter or speed up their path by taking a full trimester schedule.
With the shorter semesters, the new calendar would compensate with longer classes. President Wyatt said that MWF courses would change from 50 minutes to 60 minutes, and TH classes would be 90 minutes rather than 70 to allow professors the time needed to fit the curriculum into 12 week semesters. Time between classes would also be expanded to 15 minutes.
President Wyatt also mentioned that, while the proposal had been approved by the legislature, the logistics of modifying the calendar and working with specific programs are not set in stone.
“It’s like flying an airplane while you’re constructing it,” said President Wyatt.
The forum was an introductory exercise for the university to take input from students. While many details need to be nailed down, it’s evident that SUU will be attempting the three-year degree plan in the near future.
Story by: Connor Sanders
Photo by: Christopher Dymond