All Cal State’s schools are changing from quarter systems to semester systems, and Cal Poly Pomona is the most recent school to have undergone the change.
However, the semester conversion that we had to go through has not been a pleasant experience thus far. The change to the new semester system has been disaster to students in many ways.
Not being able to sign up for classes has been stressful. Students who tried to sign up for classes when registration opened have had the misfortune of finding the waitlist symbol next to classes they wanted.
I don’t know why the sudden increase in waitlisted classes happened because the school accepted the biggest freshman class in its 80-year history or because the demand for certain classes is higher now due to the new semester system, but I do know that it is bad for students.
Having a semester system now means that we only have two tries each academic year to sign up for the classes we need, instead of the three tries we had when the school was on a quarter system.
The loss of one additional try each academic year to sign up for classes is horrible because if we keep getting waitlisted for one or two classes each year, that means that it will take a longer period of time to meet our academic requirements and graduate.
Changing to a semester system requires classes to be shorter than what they were during the quarter system.
Two-hour classes that were held two days a week are reduced to 1 hour and 15 minutes.
One-hour and 15-minute classes that were held three days a week are reduced to 50 minutes.
Fifty-minute classes are horrible if students truly want to learn and understand the topic the professor planned for the day.
They are too short to go over anything in depth, and sometimes, the professor has to rush his or her lecture because he or she feels like not enough time is given to teach. What was supposed to be one of the best things about changing to a semester system is now probably the worst thing.
The school advertised the semester system by saying that having 15-week semesters would give us more time to study and do well in our classes.
But now that we are in week 11, it just feels like things are moving too slow.
Eleven weeks felt like just the right amount of time to begin and finish classes. We don’t need 15 weeks to do well in our classes; it takes too long and feels unnecessary.
The change from quarter to semester systems is not a student-friendly decision. After experiencing nine weeks of what the semester system has to offer, I wish the school could go back to the quarter system. It used to be easier to get classes, classes were more meaningful and 10-week quarters felt like just the right amount of time to start and finish classes.