Cover photo of the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception from Sean Newhouse
News Staff Writer
The academic calendar for 2020-21 faces a few changes that will look foreign to students, but are necessary to keep classes in order, according to Jennifer Creech, assistant vice president and registrar at the University of Dayton.
Creech is a part of the team that coordinates the academic calendar committee, which establishes the calendar each year with help from guidelines from UD’s Academic Senate as well as representatives from groups on campus, such as SGA members.
The biggest change students may notice is a three-week winter intersession as opposed to the four weeks UD has had in recent years. After facing many challenges that the 2020-21 school year poses – such as summer orientation for first-year students and several breaks during the spring semester – Creech said that taking time away from the winter intersession was the best way to make everything fit.
“There’s not a lot of wiggle room,” Creech said. “Based on all of the priorities that we have, we need 53 weeks in the year to make everything fit in. So that’s where we have to talk about give and take of what the priorities are.”
Hosting first-year students over the summer was the biggest reason the committee needed to take a week away from the winter intersession. During summer orientation, participants will stay in on-campus dorms. On top of housing first-years, student workers will also need housing during that time. Creech said that maintenance and cleaning on campus needed more time to turn over the dorms before the fall semester, prompting a push of the start of fall semester back a week.
Academic calendars are currently published a year in advance on July 1, but Creech said that the committee is currently working on posting further into the future. They have tentatively approved the next five years of the academic calendar, and have discussed publishing three years in advance for students who may want to plan further ahead with their friends and families.
As far as this coming winter, however, Creech assured that this was what the academic committee, faculty and SGA representatives, as well as UD president and provost agreed was the best option for the 2020 -21 school year.
“Shortening the intersession is not a new concept,” Creech said. “When students are looking at the academic calendar, your frame of reference is four years. Historically, it’s always changing. There hasn’t been a set way we’ve done it every year and it just suddenly changed.”