President Soraya M. Coley and staff spoke to students about the upcoming Semester Conversion and summer session during Pizza with the President at noon last Thursday in the Bronco Student Center.
Terri Gomez, interim associate vice president for student success, began the session by encouraging students to meet with their advisors to keep them on track next fall.
“Understanding how your curriculum changes is very important,” Gomez said. “Students are going to have the opportunity to switch curriculums… and they really need to meet with an advisor.”
Gomez stated the biggest change for everyone will be how they will manage their time throughout the 15 weeks during a semester rather than the 10 weeks in a quarter.
“I think at first we’re going to have a little anxiety about the pace,” Gomez said. “I think once we get into the rhythm of semesters, we’ll all enjoy it.”
Unlike past Pizza with the Presidents, students met with their colleges and other services to ask questions about the new semester system in Ursa Major.
Staff from Student Accounting & Cashiering Services helped students understand how their tuition will be affected by the system change.
The cost of tuition will remain the same next year, but instead of paying tuition three times during a school year, students will pay twice.
However, the directors of Student Accounting & Cashiering Services are working on providing students with payment plans.
Because of these changes, one issue students will have to deal with in semesters is how to budget, especially if they are receiving financial aid.
Counselor Crystal Steele stated students may struggle with budgeting since they are receiving more money at a time since there will be only two financial aid disbursements within a year.
“[Students] will see a lot of money up front,” Steele said. “But our process is basically the same.”
Some students are also concerned about how their courses will be affected by the semester conversion.
The biggest change for most students concerned about their courses is that they will need 120 units instead of 180 units to obtain a degree.
Units earned under the quarter system will be converted to semester units by dividing the number of quarter units by 1.5.
According to Jacquelyn Trejo, academic advisor for the College of Business Administration, all students should see their advisors to find out how the semester conversion will affect their courses.
“Students need to be aware of the quarter to semester course equivalencies because there are going to be some course titles, names, and numbers being changed,” Trejo said.
Students also learned about the accelerated five-week summer session during the event and how they could receive funding for it.
Students who have less than eight units to graduate may be eligible for special funding in the Summer 2018 session.
They can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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