When you think about a college calendar, you may automatically think of traditional semesters. You’ve got fall courses that run August to December, spring courses that run January to May, then summer sessions in between. But these rigid schedules are tough for those who work a rotating schedule – or for those who struggle to make a 16-week commitment.
Compared to the semesters offered at four-year schools, we know that our students need more options from their educational institutions.
College fitting with your schedule
By nature, community colleges work to fit the needs of the community, not the other way around. We know our students may juggle work, childcare, family obligations and transportation challenges with their schooling. In addition to evening and weekend courses, our semesters are designed to allow students to carve out a few weeks at a time to knock out classes.
For example, Northern Virginia Community College has the traditional 15-week semester, but it also has three five-week sessions and two eight-week sessions. Tidewater is implementing its own version of shorter sessions (its “Mini-mester,” is about three weeks).
The beauty in this trend is that students can enroll in shorter sessions both online or in-person.
Benefits of late-start classes
OK, sure, there are lots of options, but how does this help you? Multiple start dates means we’re always registering and enrolling students. Chances are, if you’re looking to get started on a degree or certificate, we can get you into classes without having to wait several months.
Late-start classes also offer affordable, alternative solutions to current university students. Many of these accelerated courses are guaranteed to transfer to any Virginia public institution of higher education, meaning students can knock out a few general education courses online, apply the credits towards their bachelor’s degree, and all at a fraction of the cost.
Another benefit is the condensed timeline. We’re not saying a five-week course is going to be easier, chances are, it’s the opposite. Instead of going to class two hours a week, you’re likely to be in the classroom longer. For those with families or demanding jobs, it’s easier to commit to finding childcare for three weeks, or to juggle classes and focus for fewer days on two courses vs. an entire 16-week semester focusing on four or five courses.
What we’re trying to say is that there are tons of options at your local community college – from course variety, to schedule flexibility to financial assistance. If you’re looking to pursue your degree online, fill out this form and connect with an advisor to get started.